During my years of ministry I have preached many times on the death of Christ. Having covered the same territory so many times, I am always on the lookout for a fresh way of looking at the same events. Recently, I ran across a book edited by J.C. Squire and published in 1931 titled “If It Had Happened Otherwise.” This genera of writing is known as counterfactual history, and this work is a series of essays by various authors (including Winston Churchill) imaging what the world would be like if a particular event had not occurred. Such questions are considered as: What if Booth had missed Lincoln? Or what if the Confederacy won the Civil War? Interesting mental exercises to be sure, but none of the authors of this book dared to ask “What if Christ’s crucifixion had never happened?”

The list of potential disasters would grow long without the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord. The church would not exist, much of western civilization would be drastically altered, and we would remain in our sins forever. Not pretty options, but stark reminders of the manifold blessings of Jesus Christ’s work on our behalf.

However we approach it, we must remain enthralled with the centrality and eternal necessity of the cross. Don’t allow your gaze to veer too far from Calvary’s hill.

Jesse Waggoner