There are more religions and off-shoots of religions than we can probably count. So someone might ask, “Is it narrow-minded to think that there is only one way to God? Why is there only one way? And how can we know that a baby born in a stable 2,000 years ago is THE way? How could one baby change the world and impact me 2,000 years later?”
These are all good questions and for the sake of space, I certainly couldn’t make the complete case for Christianity. People much smarter and more erudite than me have written entire volumes on the subject. But I can outline the case from my personal perspective.
Every other religion shows people how to approach God or be better versions of themselves. Christianity is the only faith that shows us that God approached us and revealed Himself to us by putting on human flesh and living a life recorded by those He lived with so that every generation could see the demonstration His nature.
Every other religion involves sacrifice; but the sacrifices are those of the participants, not of God. Christianity is the only one that tells us there is only one hope for a better version of ourselves and it can never be produced through more effort, more sacrifice or increased devotion. We are all broken – and in our brokenness, God came to us. The chasm is infinitely wide between us and God and no amount of pious living is going to get us across that divide. So He came, laid Himself across the breach and now we walk by faith through the sacrifice of His body and blood into the Presence of the Father Who sought us.
Other religions have good ideas about kind and gentle living, treating others with respect and love, and training our minds and bodies to be self-disciplined. The Bible does this as well. But no other religion demonstrates that God Himself is the power behind these motivations, holy actions, and self-discipline. The Bible is the only book that clearly states that without the Lord empowering our faith-filled actions, we ourselves are powerless to change – or even want to change. The Lord, Creator of Heaven and Earth, is the one who grants us, by His grace and mercy, the desire and ability to accomplish His will.
Ephesians 2:8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God… (Bold mine)
The baby in the manger was the most pivotal birth and momentous event this earth has ever known. This child was the incarnation of the Word of God, for John states that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
John 1:14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
In no other religion on this planet does Jehovah Himself take on human flesh, live a life empowered by the Spirit and then suffer and die to satisfy the judgment and the punishment that would have caused our eternal separation from God. God longed for us and loved us so much that he sent His only Son to be our substitute.
There is absolute Truth in this world. We all seem to understand that there is only one way for many natural things to occur – things that are far less important to mankind than eternal salvation. Yet we never buck those natural laws or question them. So why do we imagine that for something as important and infinitely critical as our eternal salvation that there would be any ambiguity or any chance we could miss the mark due to misinterpretation? There is only one way for an airplane to get off the ground. For years, man tried other ways and fell mercilessly to the ground. Did mankind shake their fists at the sky for its injustice and narrow way? No! We tried other ways until the law of lift was discovered and the way to leverage it for our benefit was uncovered. The same goes with the law of gravity and electricity. If you abuse those natural laws, you will pay the price. Is that Nature’s fault or your own? Ignorance of those laws will be no excuse but knowledge of them is power.
You can argue all you want, but there are certain things that just ARE the way they are. They existed in this world before mankind and only God can override those natural laws. Those natural laws show us that there are absolutes. You don’t have to like it or even believe in it, but that doesn’t change the truth. And if you keep your heart closed to the Truth of Jesus Christ, you will become a casualty of the Truth when you fall (by your own choice).
Is your fall God’s fault? No! He has done everything to cross the divide, to pay for your crimes, to recklessly demonstrate His love for you, and to pour out mercy on you even when you don’t turn to Him or love Him in return. He will feel such pain as you choose to keep your eyes closed to the law of Love operating right in front of you. But it’s your choice and He won’t take it from you.
So that’s why a baby in a manger 2,000 years ago has something – no, EVERYTHING – to do with you! If that baby means nothing to you, I encourage you to approach the manger and look with eyes wide open. Maybe this time, you will see the Truth of how extravagantly you are loved. You have never laid your life down for someone else. He has. And it was for you.