This post is the second part of a ten part exploration of what I consider to be the most valuable teachings from some of the world’s most followed religions. Last week, I wrote some words about Buddhist acceptance, which live here.
Today it’s Christianity’s turn. As occurs in Buddhism, Christianity takes its moniker from its chief prophet’s popular, rather than historical, name. Christ is a derivative of christos, Greek for the ample term ‘anointed’. For some, ‘anointed’ means ‘chosen,’ for others it translates to ‘savior’ or ‘Messiah,’ and for many the title designates the literal son of God. However varied the religious beliefs that Jesus Christ may incarnate, his life, no doubt, is exemplary of unconditional love.
Love for enemy is not an exclusively Christian belief. In fact, one of the most potent forgiveness exercises I’ve ever encountered is of Hawaiian origin. But no story radiates unconditional love as that of Jesus Christ on the cross. Of course, it’s not just a story but history and allegory at once. The possible and impossible wrapped up in fact.
To study Jesus is to study compassion and sacrifice. Mary Magdalene is redeemed; Judas is absolved. ‘What would Jesus do?’ is a fantastic question. And its answer is: Jesus did what was hard. He loved the unloveable with such furor that 2000 years later his empathy remains palpable
What’s more, Jesus did not present himself as the only being capable of such love, such faith, such power. He never claimed to be better; he never even claimed to be God. On the contrary, at the essence of his preaching lies a simple guideline: love like me; be mighty like me.