|Posted by obsessd on December 25, 2012 at 1:00 AM|
I've seen some of this lately, and sadly to say I've seen it in connection with Christmas this year, the celebration of the birth of the Savior. Some people make a lot of fuss over supposed similarities between Jesus Christ and other so-called gods of the pagan religions that have come before or since the birth of Christ. They say things like,
Other gods supposedly did the same things Jesus did, dying and rising again, so really Jesus is just people taking the same old stories and adding their own names and places over the old myths.
But I don't believe this is actually true at all. It's not that there are not a number of similarities, that's not the point. It's not about the surface details, but the core. An analogy may help explain. Suppose you have two men. They're both named Rupert and they were both born on February 7th, 1989. Their mothers are both single parents. They both graduate from college with a bachelor's degree. They both are killed October 9th, 2008. They, on the surface, seem like very similar people, don't they? Here's what we don't get told: Rupert A's mother is single because she got a divorce from her husband who cheated on her and she refused to forgive him (although he truly was repentant of his sin) and so she left him. Rupert B's mother's husband died in a car accient leaving her to raise Rupert alone. Rupert A was a history major while Rupert B was criminal justice. Now here's the really important bit. Rupert A overdosed on heroin his first time trying the drug. By the time parametics made it to the scene, he was already gone. Rupert B was shot by an enemy soldier in Iraq protecting the rest of his squad from harm. His sacrifice made sure the rest of his men made it home safely.
They're very different people, despite the similarities on the surface. Even if we took away all the differences but that last one, that's enough to make a major difference. One died to save others, while the other just...died. They even died the same day! But does that mean that if we talk about Rupert B, it's just Rupert A with a few different details? Of course not, they're two distinct individuals.
In a very similar way, the story of Christ is not merely a repainting of existant mythology. It can seem that way if all you examine is the surface, but there's much to differentiate Christ from all who came before or after Him. His death was a sacrificial death, one that saved all mankind from our sinful state, offering us a pathway to escape our rightful condemnation to the fires of Hell, and to bring us into the light of God's presence. He was born specifically for that. He came to this earth precicely so He could suffer and die and so that He would bridge the gap between God and men that could be bridged by none other than Himself.
Jesus' death was not incidental, it was a part of the plan since the beginning of time. And it is the only death that is sufficient to cover the sins of any of us, if we accept Christ into our hearts and offer our lives up to Him. If we do not surrender ourselves to Christ, we are still in our sins and destined for the torments of Hell.
So while some may see the surface similarities, I see the core contrasts that set Jesus Christ at the head of history, the most important Man to ever walk the face of the Earth. Because He was both man and God. And everything the Bible claims He is.