Curious coincidence: one tries to make it appear that, providing one but thoroughly considers the consequences of Christ’s life, this “therefore” will surely be arrived at—and faith condemns the very beginning of this attempt as blasphemy, and hence the continuance in it as a worse blasphemy. “History,” says faith, “has nothing to do with Christ.” With regard to him we have only Sacred History (which is different in kind from general history), Sacred History which tells of his life and career when in debasement, and tells also that he affirmed himself to be God. He is the paradox which history never will be able to digest or convert into a general syllogism. He is in his debasement the same as he is in his exaltation—but the 1800 years, or let it be 18,000 years, have nothing whatsoever to do with this. The brilliant consequences in the history of the world which are sufficient, almost, to convince even a professor of history that he was God, these brilliant consequences surely do not represent his return in glory! Forsooth, in that case it were imagined rather meanly! The same thing over again: Christ is thought to be a man whose return in glory can be, and can become, nothing else than the consequences of his life in history—whereas Christ’s return in glory is something absolutely different and a matter of faith. He abased himself and was swathed in rags—he will return in glory; but the brilliant consequences in history, especially when examined a little more closely, are too shabby a glory—at any rate a glory of an altogether incongruous nature, of which faith therefore never speaks, when speaking about his glory. History is a very respectable science indeed, only it must not become so conceited as to take upon itself what the Father will do, and clothe Christ in his glory, dressing him up with the brilliant garments of the consequences of his life, as if that constituted his return. That he was God in his debasement and that he will return in glory, all this is far beyond the comprehension of history; nor can all this be got from history, excepting by an incomparable lack of logic, and however incomparable one’s view of history may be otherwise.
How strange, then, that one ever wished to use history in order to prove Christ divine.
Are the consequences of Christ’s life more important than his life?
No, by no means, but rather the opposite; for else Christ were but a man.
There is really nothing remarkable in a man having lived. There have certainly lived millions upon millions of men. If the fact is remarkable, there must have been something remarkable in a man’s life. In other words, there is nothing remarkable in his having lived, but his life was remarkable for this or that. The remarkable thing may, among other matters, also be what he accomplished; that is, the consequences of his life.
But that God lived here on earth in human form, that is infinitely remarkable. No matter if his life had had no consequences at all—it remains equally remarkable, infinitely remarkable, infinitely more remarkable than all possible consequences. Just try to introduce that which is remarkable as something secondary and you will straightway see the absurdity of doing so: now, if you please, whatever remarkable is there in God’s life having had remarkable consequences? To speak in this fashion is merely twaddling.
No, that God lived here on earth, that is what is infinitely remarkable, that which is remarkable in itself. Assuming that Christ’s life had had no consequences whatsoever—if any one then undertook to say that therefore his life was not remarkable it would be blasphemy. For it would be remarkable all the same; and if a secondary remarkable characteristic had to be introduced it would consist in the remarkable fact that his life had no consequences. But if one should say that Christ’s life was remarkable because of its consequences, then this again were a blasphemy; for it is his life which in itself is the remarkable thing. There is nothing very remarkable in a man’s having lived, but it is infinitely remarkable that God has lived. God alone can lay so much emphasis on himself that the fact of his having lived becomes infinitely more important than all the consequences which may flow therefrom and which then become a matter of history.