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

 

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The Shock And Awe Of The Resurrection

The Shock And Awe Of The Resurrection

It was early in the morning, shortly before dawn and Mary Magdalene had come to the tomb with spices as was the custom in those days. But the tomb was empty. Horrified, she figured someone had stolen the body. Tears flowing down her cheeks, she didn’t know what to do. She looked down into the tomb again – and there were two angels there, but she didn’t know they were angels.

“…and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.
Then they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’
She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord,
and I do not know where they have laid him.’”
John 20:11-13

Perplexed, she turned around thinking she must go and tell the apostles that someone had taken away the body of Jesus. But before she could start back, she saw a man standing nearby and she thought he was a garden worker. So she asked him who would have taken the body, and where would it be?

vs 14-15
“…she turned around and saw Jesus standing there,
and did not know that it was Jesus.
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.’”

It was still dark, she was overcome with grief, and she didn’t recognize who this was. Until …

vs 16:
“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’”

Instantly she recognized his voice. Stunned and in total shock, (can you imagine the shock!) she cried out to him.

“…’Rabboni!’ (which is to say, “my Teacher”).

Mary had seen his disfigured body on the Cross struggling for breath, the blood flowing down from all his wounds, the most grotesque sight she had ever seen. She had seen him take his last agonizing breath. She had watched as they prepared his body for burial …

But now, when he said her name, she was astonished. Here he was standing before her, in his perfect body. She knew that voice. She was dumbfounded. But on hearing that voice, she cried with a heart overflowing with joy, “Rabboni!!!”

Think about it, picture yourself there; think about how incredible this experience was to her. There had never been one who was risen from the dead, so it was normal that no one expected it. Jesus had spoken of it while he was with them, but they thought he was speaking parables, because this was beyond anything they had ever known. The absolute shock of realizing he had literally risen from the dead contained all the wonder, the amazement, the joy of recognition that flooded their very beings.

Having witnessed this, those who had followed him from the beginning of his ministry on earth, who witnessed the crucifixion, and then saw the resurrected Christ – they were so impacted by this that they spent the rest of their lives preaching the Gospel everywhere. They were fearless and willing to die if need be, and indeed most of them ended up martyred for their faith. But they had seen Jesus! And there would now be no price too great to pay. They had seen Jesus. Risen from the dead. And the whole world needed to hear it.

More:
All about Jesus Christ