But we Christians believe that he did something else, something extremely odd: he became a baby. Holy books are one thing, but what humans really need is love. So he started out as a baby and walked, day by day, through a specific, earthy human life. The things he did and said during that life are still compelling, two thousand years later. The force of his personality reverberates through the ages.

At the end he went through terrible suffering. It was as if he was saying, “Look, this is how you do it,” and then he did it with courage, love, and, most amazing, forgiveness.

But that wasn’t the end. On the third day he rose again from the dead, trampling down death by death, and smashing the forces that wound and tear us. He demonstrated that the final victory belongs to him.

If you believe this happened, it’s the definition of “good news.” If the fear of death is shattered, everything is changed. Our lives are not free of trouble, but we can look at trouble in a different way, because the conqueror is with us. “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

This story might sound crazy, but it’s not any crazier than the world itself; in that context, it’s strangely fitting. But what about your perfect world, so beautiful and unchanging? Can you honestly say that you love it? Would anyone die for your marble men?