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What makes Christianity different or true? Part 1

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

Are not all religions the same?

This study gives an overview of the main points by which Christianity is demonstrated to be distinct and unique from all the other world religions.

As a starting point we should note that Christianity is rooted in history and evidence[1]. For example in the case of the historical reality of the resurrection, Christ vindicated His claim to divinity. The miracles of Islam and Buddhism lack historical validation. The claims of Christianity unlike other religions are never irrational nor contradictory.

Christianity gives an explanation to the phenomena we see in everyday life e.g. the origin of selfish behaviour etc.

Key points unique to Christianity

The incarnation

The truth is that Jesus is God. Christianity is the only religion where God is born as a man and becomes fully human[2]. All other religions teach that humans must work their way toward divinity.

The Cross

For Christians, the cross represents the defining moment in history when creator God is reconciled to humankind. Jesus Christ, God in flesh, laid down His life as the sacrificial lamb, taking the punishment we deserve upon Himself, atoning for our sins, and setting us free from the enslavement of sin and the second death. No other religion has a Saviour dying on a cross. See also the section below ‘The Gospel.’

The power of the cross of Christ reconciles humanity with our heavenly Father. In Jesus we find forgiveness of sin. He was raised from death to give us a new life in Him. In the risen Lord Jesus, we are a new creation.

The Resurrection

It may be surprising to learn that there is evidence from both biblical and non-biblical sources for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Although we have historical evidence of Jesus’ life and death, we should note that his body has never been found. Sceptics have argued that the disciples stole the body and hid it. This is highly unlikely for the reasons given below.

When Jesus was arrested by those sent from the Jewish leaders and turned over to the Roman authorities to be crucified, his disciples scattered from Him (Mark 14:43-50), and their leader, Peter, even denied that he had been with Jesus (Mark 14:66-72).

The disciples acted out of fear and scattered, hid, and did not want to be associated with Jesus in His death. However, seven weeks later, we find Peter preaching in Jerusalem proclaiming that Jesus was raised from the dead by God (Acts 2:14-36). What had changed for Peter and the other disciples? What turned their fear into a bold courage? Was it the fact that they had hidden a corpse? Or was it that these men had seen Jesus after He had risen from the dead (Acts 1:3)?

It is reported that all but one of the 12 apostles suffered violent deaths for their preaching of Jesus Christ and not one of them took back or renounced their faith. It is often said that many people have died for a lie. But how many have died for a lie knowing that it was a lie?

If the disciples had stolen the body, then they would have known that the resurrection was a lie. You would think if that were the case, at least one of them would have taken back their testimony in the face of torture and a violent death.

Persecution and death for preaching Christ was true not only for the 12 apostles but for those who received their teaching. It is difficult to believe that these people would willingly die for Jesus Christ if they knew it was a lie. Thousands of these Christians died because they believed the statements in the Gospels about Jesus to be true. They willingly died as martyrs, refusing to deny their faith in Him. In the face of Jewish and Roman opposition and persecution, Christianity spread all throughout the Roman Empire in 300 years, and it continues spreading today. If the Romans and Jews had known where the body of Jesus was, all they had to do was display the body on a cart/wall and Christianity would have died right there and then.

Some claim (including the Muslims) that Jesus never really died but only fainted on the cross, and later revived in the tomb giving the impression of being resurrected. However this is contradicted by Jesus’ corpse being pierced by a spear with water then blood issuing from his body. Modern doctors tell us this would only happen if Jesus’ heart was ruptured and hence, he was clinically dead.

Sceptics have even suggested that all the appearances of Jesus after the resurrection were hallucinations caused by overactive imaginations. This is highly unlikely since any two individuals almost never have the same hallucination at the same time, whereas the bible records groups of people repeatedly saw the risen Jesus. Such evidence is recorded in the bible which states that more than 500 people claimed to have seen the risen Jesus after his resurrection from the dead (see 1 Corinthians 15:6).

In Part 2 we consider the claims that Jesus Christ made about himself.

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