The power of one

For almost two weeks, my kids’ schools were on a soft lockdown.

A man robbed a gun store about 30 minutes away from their schools and made threats against schools, churches, and the government. That city and all the surrounding counties were on alert—and it even became a nationwide story. The kids didn’t go outside for recess, one church closed on Palm Sunday, the Speaker of the House had additional security, and police increased patrols. While people were thankful for the security, it was a little frustrating that one man could change the lives of so many people.

After he was captured without incident on Good Friday, it wasn’t surprising how much one man’s arrest could bring relief to an entire region.

On the very first Good Friday, one man’s capture and crucifixion changed the lives of not just so many people, but all people.

As Caiaphas, the high priest at Jesus’ time, even said, “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish” (John 11:50).

As we watch Jesus suffer and die and come back to life, we see the power of one. Jesus’ suffering means that only one man would have to take blow after blow of God’s wrath. Jesus’ rising means that all people can now truly ask, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).

One man brought eternal relief to everyone who believes.

There’s only one problem. Not everyone knows the one true man, about this one true God.

That’s where you—the power of one—come in.

God has set the exact times and places where you live. That means he has a plan for you to reach and serve and love the people he has placed around you. You don’t need a formal outreach plan. It’s not hard or elaborate. God tells you how to do it: “In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

Love them. Serve them. Get to know them. And check yourself. Don’t tell them about Jesus to prove them wrong. Don’t tell them about Jesus so you can make them change their behavior. Tell them about Jesus because you love them. Tell them about Jesus to let the Holy Spirit work in their hearts and change their lives. 

Because the Holy Spirit is living in you, you not only have the power of one; you also have the power of the One. 

Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker. She is amazed by all the teachers who kept children inside for recess on warm spring days during the lockdown—and never complained.