A Different Kind of Hero

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

The Roman world into which Jesus was born celebrated the epic poetry of Virgil, who died just a few years earlier, in 19 BC. During Virgil’s lifetime Rome had gone through massive changes. Gone was their republic. Out of years of civil war and unrest, a new order had emerged, enforced through the strong leadership of Octavius (whom we know as Caesar Augustus).

Recognizing Virgil’s talents as a writer, Augustus had asked him to celebrate the founding of Rome by writing a special poem. But the real goal was to glorify Augustus and celebrate his accomplishments.

Virgil labored over this poem for 11 years. The result was one of history’s great literary achievements. Called the Aeneid, it glorifies Rome and exalts the ideals upon which it was founded. At its core is the story of Aeneas, the Trojan prince who arrived in Italy after the fall of Troy and whose descendants founded Rome. Virgil pictures this leader as being virtuous and having strong moral character, willing to sacrifice his own interests for the good of Rome.

Ancient history is filled with myths and legends like this. Stories of heroes who represented what men thought would be the ideal leader.

Yet Jesus was completely different than these man-made legends. As the prophets foretold, He would be despised and forsaken, “a man of sorrows” who would give His life for everyone, even those who rejected Him and put Him to death.

This is Jesus. Our Savior. Immanuel. God with us (Isaiah 7:14). The Man born to bring peace and good will. Born to die, and then to be raised, bringing hope and healing to humankind.