When it comes to the resurrection of Jesus there are three different views as you may know. Many Jews believe that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Muslims believe he didn’t die. But I believe that he both died and rose from the dead. They can’t all be true. This answers in short the question that they are not the same religion, But what makes Christianity unique?
How do you approach something like that? Well, first of all we have to see the complete picture and realize that there are two levels of difference between religion. The first thing to recognize when you study religions or many ways of philosophy, you’ll find a striking fact. This fact that there is a common element of morality shared by almost human. I have done a bit of research on this and you will find the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would be done by. In every single religion and every single philosophy. You will find this everywhere. What does that tell me? It tells me that we need to respect each other’s ethical code. As a Christian I can be put to shame by the moral integrity of someone or another religion. Therefore we approach this with great sensitivity.
So that’s the first thing, but what I notice is this: The real difference comes not at the level of ethics and morality. But the basis on which a person can have a relationship with God and so are religions and philosophies divided into two systems. One of the systems is a bit like going to a school. There is an entrance examination. And then there’s the studying that you have to do, and all the teachers to help you (hopefully). And then you have final exams to get through the door at the end. The teachers try to get you through all of this with many love and patience, but they cannot guarantee that you’re going to get through the door at the end. It depends on merit and your performance.
Many religions are like that: you enter the religion, than you do the things that are asked to be done and at the end you hope that your good deeds somehow weigh more than the bad ones. And you will be accepted into whatever is beyond. I know that’s a slight caricature but it’s what many people believe. It’s what many Christians actually believe.
I do not believe that at all. The unique about Christian faith is it’s not based on merit, because it does have a gate and a way, but at the beginning the stands Jesus Christ who claims to have come into the world to die for my sin.
”I do not believe that at all”
let me put it this way: suppose I wished to marry someone, but I just said ‘’I would like to consider marrying with you, but there are some things that are needed to be done for the next 30-40 years. Follow the instructions and I will consider accepting you.’’ Of course you could not possibly accept this. It is unthinkable that we would accept someone to marry in this way. Yet millions of people think that that’s a way to base a relationship with God.
It seems to be very clear that Christianity competes with no other religion. As far as I can see is there only person that offers me the knowledge of forgiveness right here and now. So in my life I try to live for Him not in order to gain His acceptance, but because I already have it. It’s not based on my performance or my merit. It’s based on the merit of Jesus Christ who died and rose for me, and for all sinners.
Perhaps the most defining principle of Christianity, that makes it truly unique in every way is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Within Christianity, the resurrection is vitally important, because without it, Christianity does not exist, and our faith is useless (1 Corinthians 15:14). It was the resurrection of Jesus that changed the lives of the disciples. After Jesus was crucified, the disciples ran and hid. But when they saw the risen Lord, they knew that all Jesus had said and done proved that He was indeed God in flesh. The resurrection is proof of who Jesus is and that He has accomplished what He set out to do: provide the only means of redemption for all people.
Muhammad did not rise from the dead. Buddha did not rise from the dead. Confucius did not rise from the dead. Krishna did not rise from the dead. Only Jesus has physically risen from the dead, claimed to be God, and raised others from the dead. He has conquered death.
”John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Only in Christianity do we have the person of Christ who claimed to be God. He performed many miracles to prove His claimed divinity. He died and rose from the dead. And He claimed to be the way the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Him.