The Christian Difference

So what sets Christianity apart from other religions?

It’s an interesting question because the 3 major faiths (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) share some common roots. All trace their history back to God’s covenant with Abraham, all accept the first part of the Old Testament as sacred text, and all worship one God (Muslims call him Allah, Jews call him Yahweh, and Christians usually just call him God). The difference is Jesus. Jews believe that he was a good teacher and maybe a prophet, but just a man. Muslims claim he was a true prophet from God, but so was Muhammad and he was the last and greatest prophet. Christians claim that Jesus was not just a teacher or a prophet, but he was actually the Son of God.

On what basis does Christianity make such a claim? The resurrection! That one event is the thing that sets Christianity apart. It’s the cornerstone of the Christian faith. If true, than Jesus was the Son of God. If not, he was just a man. If true, then Christians are right to call Jesus Lord. If not, then Christians don’t have a Lord. I believe that the resurrection is true, therefore I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. In history there have been many good teachers, many good prophets, and many dying a martyr’s death but only one was raised from the dead. That’s what sets Christianity apart.

Here’s the way Paul (a former skeptic himself) explained it…

If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead…And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins…If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.

The tomb was found empty. Christ still lives. That’s the Christian difference!

10 thoughts on “The Christian Difference

  1. Good point Russ. And that is also where faith must come in. Sometimes I struggle with needing to know for sure. A book I was turned onto recently that I think would be a good read for those who face some of the questions that we all face at one time or another is the “Myth of Certainty” by Daniel Taylor. If you or any of your many many readers (at least this week) have read it let me know what you think.

  2. shump,That’s my next question…if our faith is based on the resurrection than how do we know it’s true? That’s the challenge I would expect from people of other faiths. And they wouldn’t accept “because the Bible says so.” So how do we answer them? Why do we believe the resurrection really occured?FYI–I left out Hindus of the “major faiths” because honestly I don’t know much about them. I think they might accept Jesus as God, but he would just be one of many Gods. But I’m not certian about that.

  3. Thanks to my friend Amanda, I’ve been turned onto your blog. Here’s why I believe the resurrection is true (It has no biblical reference. It’s only value is in my heart, in my faith.):If the resurrection is not true, then WHAT or WHO am I living for? I’ve lived for myself, and that life stunk. When I came into a close, loving, intimate relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ, I found a reason to live…I mean REALLY LIVE. That’s why the resurrection is real to me. He continues to show me the way, that HE is the Truth and HE is not only THE life, but MY life.I took a course called Evangelism Explosion (actually a day version) and the best thing I took from it was that we are called to be witnesses. What is a witness by definition? One who tells what they’ve seen. I’ve seen HIM, and He is amazing!

  4. Russ,I am sure there are people with some in depth proofs for the resurrection. I always come back to two points…the open tomb and the apostles. The open tomb because if the followers of Christ were saying that He had risen anyone in Jerusalem could have gone and checked. None of the anti -christian literature from the time ever says the tomb was not empty. They even make up reasons that the body was gone. The officials in the New testament did the same.The Apostles because not only do we see them change radically in their behavior…but they went to their death without any of them denying his resurrection. In my mind, if they had lied someone would have broken ranks.The last proof for me is the new heart he has put in me. A new birth…just like he promised. Mike

  5. I’ve never thought of this before. I’ve heard people question the divinity of Christ and the innocence of Christ. But, I don’t remember hearing anyone question the resurrection of Christ. Maybe you have, but I don’t remember that question. Even on a Diane Sawyer special.Three people died on crosses that night. Two thousand years later we are still talking about only one of them. How has that happened? If the Bible is what people try to say it is, nothing more than a collection of uninspired writings, then why is it still so controversial? It is truth and it still challenges people today. It’s amazing that after all his promises of his resurrection, no one was at the tomb waiting for it to happen. They had been defeated. Their Christ was gone. And now he has promised us a return. Is anyone looking to the sky?

  6. I’ve not thought much about it either, but the more I study the resurrection the more I see it as the cornerstone of our faith. That event proves that Jesus is who he said he is (the Son of God)and can do what he said he’d do (forgive our sins and redeem our lives). That event also means that what Jesus taught is true and right, therefore I can trust his teachings and apply those principles to my life. I can also trust is promises (that he’ll come back, that we’ll live forever, etc.) I could go on, but you get the picture. The last attack I remember on the resurrection was the TV special “The Lost Tomb of Jesus.” They claimed to have found the bones of Jesus, but there were several holes in his research. You can do an google search and read about it.

  7. How do any of us know what is true? Through our personal experience. I know that it hurts to prick my finger because I have experienced that. It is difficult to convince a pre-Christian of the certainty of the resurrection separate and apart from this element. I cannot discover truth until I have experienced it for myself. This is precisely why Christians must be living the life the Holy Spirit (poured out on us because of the resurrection) empowers us to live so that others may experience this divine power through us. They will only be convicted when this starts happening consistently.

  8. We stake our claim on the Resurrection, you’re absolutely right. Yes, He sacrificed his life on the cross, but in reality, had He not risen again, it all would have been for naught. Sometimes I believe Christians should wear miniature empty tombs rather than crosses.

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