There are a lot of people who want to convince us that Christianity is just one more religion among the many that exist. However, when the founders of the great religions are closely studied, the difference between them and Jesus Christ is enormous. While other religions have a human explanation to their beginnings, Christianity does not have one:
1. Jesus is the only one who proclaimed that he is God. Muhammad and Mani flatly deny it. Buddha is eventually worshipped, but only several centuries after his death.
Jesus Christ not only said that he is God, but he demonstrates it with numerous miracles. We Christians have a clear answer to the question: "what is God like?" God is Jesus Christ!
2. All other founders are from rich and noble families with a lot of influence. The exception is Muhammad, who wasn't born rich, but became so when he married a wealthy lady.
Jesus Christ, on the other hand, was born poor in a stable. He lived all his life in poverty and died with nothing, in utmost humiliation on the cross.
3. Everyone else got married. Some, several times. Zarathustra married three times and Muhammad had several wives.
Jesus Christ was born of a Virgin Mother. He lived celibate and praised the "eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 19:12).
4. They all spent many years preaching their new doctrine and gaining new followers. They died in old age, Muhammad at 60, Buddha at 80. All died of natural death, surrounded by his disciples.
Jesus Christ preached very few years and died young. At the time of his death almost all his disciples left him.
5. Muhammad, Zarathustra and Mani received their new religious doctrine in dreams or in ecstatic trances. Buddha received his enlightenment after being more than six weeks sitting still under a tree while fasting and meditating.
The message of Christ is not the result of dreams or ecstatic trances. Jesus Christ has authority in himself and everything he says is recognized as the Word of God.
6. Jesus Christ is the only one whose birth was prophesied. These prophecies are found in the Old Testament and agree with the person of Christ with admirable accuracy.
In all religions the founder is admired and loved by his followers but none say that their founder is alive. However, Christianity is based on the death and resurrection of Jesus. For a Christian, Christ is everything. When we are in grace, Christ lives in us and gives us His very life, communicates His grace to us. Haven't you experienced that? Give thanks to God for all that He has given you and pray that all men may know Christ and enjoy Him in fullness.
-By Sr. Bernadette Clair, SHM