There is the Reality, and then there is religion. The former is of God while the latter is of man. One is the absolute Truth while the other is nothing but a reflection of man’s understanding of it.
The most significant reality of all is that, not in some ancient past but only 2000 some years ago, God came down from heaven to earth to fulfill a promise He made to His people Israel, that He would send them a Messiah – the anointed One – the Deliverer. Oh! The Divine became a human and lived among men as the Son of God – the Jesus Christ – and revealed Himself to them. But His own – the chosen children of God – the Jews – believed Him not. Those, that were high and holy – the Pharisees and Sadducees – the scribes and the great keepers of Jewish faith – in their religiosity, could not acknowledge and accept the incarnated God, but despised and rejected Him.
The holiness of man was so harsh and hateful that they could not bear His truth, and put Him to death. They mercilessly killed the promised One – their own Messiah – who came to deliver them.
Oh! What an agony of human self-righteousness that it makes man think he is walking the tracks of holiness but knows not that he is leaving behind the unfathomable trails of utter unrighteousness. How sad, that the religion in its rigidness could not recognize the Reality, and crucified the very God whom it searches in its holy scriptures.
Surely, the Jews – the God’s chosen – did not receive the Messiah – the incarnated God – because He was nothing like what they were expecting as He was radically different. He was exceedingly much more than what their religious understanding could ever comprehend. He was not just some mighty warrior who could bring them the material deliverance, but in human flesh and blood, He was the God Himself who descended from heavenly providence to earthly provinces with a very special and extraordinary purpose – to redeem the mankind from the manacles of sin.
The Jews had no idea that He was the Redeemer, Who was to give His own life as ransom to save humanity from eternal condemnation; that He was the divine incarnation of impossibility Who was to overcome death and release man from the shackles of sin; that He was going to take sinner’s place to face the wrath of God and seek his discharge from facing any consequences for his transgressions against the Creator.
The God, as Jesus, preached the gospel; gave the good news; and performed miracles to make it easy for men to believe in Him. He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, and even raised the dead. The multitudes became His followers, but not the defenders of God’s word and professors of the Law. Alas! More He revealed Himself to them, more they chastised Him; and even so more, because He told them who He was, He was exceedingly rebuked and persecuted. They could not believe that He was the Messiah – that as His own Son, it was no other but God Himself in the human form – that He was the promised One – the One who has been prophesized in their own scriptures. So, in their religious arrogance, they killed Him.
This is not some story from the ancient time but a historical fact. However, the religion has the eyes of self-righteousness; so how can it recognize the divinity of the Truth. Need proof? How many are there who doubt how great was the ‘Alexander the Great’? And, how many doubt the narration of His greatness in the history books? The answer is: Most agree, worldwide, with whatever the history has to say about this king, at least in terms of his major accomplishments and how he achieved them.
But when asked: How many believe in the story of Jesus – the incarnated God? Not many.. not many believers are out there of His story. Oh! how sad that there are not many who believe in Jesus’ claims – the claims He repeatedly made about His own reality that He was no other but God Himself. Sad that there are not many who take this truth seriously, that God as Jesus came to this world to be sacrificed so that He could save the humanity from eternal condemnation. Well, this reality is quite disheartening but fact is a fact, that there are not many who agree with the historical facts of Jesus even though it is so gallantly and gloriously stated in the Holy Bible.
Oh! The folks don’t have problem in accepting even the exact date of birth and the historical recounting of Alexander who even lived 356 years before God ever came to this earth as Christ, but they surely have problems in accepting the reality of Jesus and have objections to acknowledging His truth.
And, you know why?
Because, the religion is bound by its intrinsic rigidness; it is infected with the pride of understanding.. and that is why it does not have the freedom to accept the Reality of Christ! There are Pharisees and Sadducees in every religion; they always were and they always will be. And their self-righteousness will never allow religion to heed the Truth of Christ who for the benefit of man so profoundly proclaimed that “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the father, but by Me.” (Holy Bible, John 14:6).
The Anant Missionary Ashram not only accepts the reality of Christ, but considers itself highly blessed to exalt His truth, and dedicates itself to sharing His Gospel through serving the humanity with His love and light.