If There Were Any Other Way

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What makes Christianity different from all other religions?

No other religion’s founder died in the place of his followers.

All are born in a fallen human nature, prone to sin, and sin demands judgment. A sinful man cannot enter heaven, but must bear the judgment on his sins, and thus will be eternally separated from God. But God so loved the world, that he provided his son to step in and take upon himself the judgment due on the life of each human being who would receive him.

All other religions teach that salvation is a matter of goodness versus sin. If you’re good enough, you’ll get into heaven. If your sins outweigh your goodness, you go to hell. This is heresy, because no other religion offers a way for the sin element to be dealt with, and that precludes any man from entering heaven unless the judgment has been met. Only the atonement made in the Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient to cleanse a believer from all his sins.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9

 

This Was No Monotone Story!

With what depth of attention do you read the Scriptures? Do you place yourself there as though you were watching the scenes personally? Try it. Slow down. Don’t read just for the sake of reading.

One of the most emotion-filled passages of Scripture is found in the 20th chapter of John. Jesus had been crucified and Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to anoint his body with spices, which was the practice in those days. But when she got there, she found the tomb empty. It’s not as though there hadn’t been enough drama the past three days as she witnessed the horror of the crucifixion. Now this? She comes to the tomb and he’s gone? Can you imagine the frustration of the already emotionally-spent Mary? She just broke down crying.

Then suddenly Jesus was standing there, but it was early morning and still dark and she didn’t recognize him.

vs 15:
“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’
She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him,
‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him,
and I will take him away.’”

And then comes one of the most heart-wrenching passages in the Scriptures:

vs 16:
“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’
She turned and said to him, ‘Rabboni!’ which is to say, ‘Teacher.'”
John 20:15-16

Don’t read that in a monotone voice. When he said to her “Mary,” – first shock filled her mind, and recognition filled her heart, and she cries out with all the passion that a human being can have, “my Teacher!!!”

Can you imagine it?

Next, he suddenly appears to his disciples.

vs 19-20
“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week,
when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them,
‘Peace be with you.’
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.”

Don’t read those words they “were glad” in a monotone voice. Glad? Are you kidding? Can you imagine having witnessed the trauma of the crucifixion and seeing his dead body mangled and bloodied — and now they’re hiding in a room for fear that the Jewish leaders might come after them too, and suddenly — very, very suddenly, Jesus is standing there before them!? And he shows them the nail prints in his hands!? Oh they were glad alright. They were speechless. Imagine them sitting there in total shock.

Never read the Scriptures in a monotone voice. Put yourself in the story and see and touch and feel what the passage is describing. These stories are true stories, they actually happened, and they were overwhelmingly heart-rending.

I stood at that garden tomb one day and believe me, it was an overwhelming experience. Read about it here:

In The Garden Tomb