One of the big criticisms of Christianity is that it is very exclusive, after all Jesus himself said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). I mean, how unfair is that? There are a lot of religions that teach and practise good things, so where does Jesus get off saying something like that? If that were true it would just not be fair to condemn all those other good people to eternity in Heaven.
It is the night before Easter. The night before the day that Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The night before we celebrate the act of God that made acceptance by him available to everyone.
Did you get that word I used? Everyone! You see Christianity is probably the only religion that is accepting of, and available to, everyone. And while Christianity is often branded (by Christians and non-Christians alike) as exclusive, it is actually the most inclusive religion of them all.
- He did not die for Christians, He died for everyone.
- He did not die for Good people, He died for everyone.
- He did not pay the price for a select few or for people from a specific country or racial group, He paid for everyone.
- He did not stand in the place of the condemned for people who do specific rituals or who obey a number of rules, He stood in place for everyone.
- When He hung on the cross and bled and died, he did not even do it only for those who accept him, He did it for everyone.
There is nothing that you could ever have done or been that precludes you.
The bible also says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
A word worth highlighting in that sentence is whoever (in other words everybody). And something that is worth noting is that the only prerequisite for eternal life is belief.
John 3:16 can be summarized in this way:
God loved, God gave. We believe, we receive.
The only person who can feel that that is unfair is Jesus. It cost Him something, it cost him his life. For you it is free.
Unfair? Yes! Exclusive? No!
God bless you this Easter.
[Other blog posts to read about Easter:
[Image credit: erwinbacik]