Christians rightly make a big deal out of the death and resurrection of Christ. “By His wounds we are healed.” This is not merely a hero’s death designed to inspire courage against tyranny. We believe that He died in our place–that His death makes payment for the sins of those who believe. His death purchases our pardon and opens the door to eternal life. His resurrection, too, is vital. If He died, and was not raised, the Bible says we are still in our sins, and our faith is futile.
Sometimes, in all this emphasis–we can forget, almost to the point of obscurity, that His life and ministry are vital to our redemption as well. His perfect obedience fulfills the Law, and qualifies him to be the Sacrificial Substitute on our behalf. The Gospel stories show us not only a Sacrificial Lamb, but a Healer, Teacher, Lord of Creation, Victor over the devil and his demons, Master, Servant, Son, Brother, Friend, Craftsman, Prophet, Priest, and King.
C.S. Lewis reminds us that it is this Christ that we seek to imitate as His followers:
…our imitation of God in this life…must be an imitation of God incarnate: our model is the Jesus, not only of Calvary, but of the workshop, the roads, the crowds, the clamorous demands and surly oppositions, the lack of all peace and privacy, the interruptions. For this, so strangely unlike anything we can attribute to the Divine life in itself, is apparently not only like, but is, the Divine life operating under human conditions.C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, 7.