The Story Tree

Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

If stories inspire other stories, especially the great ones, then we should expect to hear echoes of Christ’s life in all our civilization’s greatest classics, shouldn’t we? Yes, and that’s exactly what we find. I had the privilege of teaching a high-school class called “Christ and The Classics” a few years back, where I examined a few of the most monumental works of Western History—works like Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities—and showed students how Christ isn’t just a peripheral stage-prop on the stage of Western Literature, He’s the heart of the script and the climax of the action and the foundation on which the whole drama rests. The more we pay attention, the more we read, the more we observe, the more we see that Christ’s incarnation is the theological-historical fact that gives birth to all our fictions. 

Christian, let’s stop approaching Isaiah 53:4-5 as a mere proof-text for Christ’s historicity. It’s so much more monumental than that. It’s the pretext for history itself.