A Jesus Update
Jesus both participated in time and transcended time. The narrative of his life is filled with “signs and wonders” known to all his contemporaries. These events, contrary to every law of nature, called attention to a realm of existence beyond “nature” (beyond time). The early preaching of Christianity recalled these events and their implied eternity connection. Early Christians died calmly in the Roman Empire because they knew what was coming.
After Constantine (d. 337 c.e.), the number of Christians grew rapidly, and created the need for big-picture views of the world. The leaders of the Christian community set up a community based on sin and sedative.
The sin component turned out to be an error. (“Sin” was not the problem; emotional injury was the problem.) The sedative component turned out to be just that, a sedative. Going to church became a predecessor to Prozac (to support emotional stability in times of social turmoil).
But this arrangement did not provide the clear eternity connection that motivated early Christians in the Roman Empire (e.g., Justin, Perpetua). The Jesus narrative does that.