Salaam, Muslim Woman, peace to you as well.
Originally Posted by Muslim Woman
Probably not. With some 2 billion Christians in the world, I doubt if there is anything that all believe.
I think that any Christian who is a thinking person and has read the scriptures will believe this. But not all Christians are thinking persons, and sadly not all have read the scriptures.
No. To be a Christian is simply to be a follower of Christ and believing in the work of Christ as a means of salvation.
How do u explain the verse that says Jesus (p) avoided Jews in a place because there was a danger ( i forgot the exact words.....hope u do understand :D )
I understand. Yes, there were times that Jesus avoided Jerusalem, and times when he told the people to keep silent about who he was. I understand that this was because the time had not yet come for him to face the cross. I think the key factor in determining that time was when his disciples, in conversation with Jesus just before the event we call the transfiguration (portions of which I quoted above), finally understood that Jesus was indeed the Christ. Scripture tells us that while he told his disciples not to tell anyone about this revelation they had come to, that from that time on Jesus took his disciples and began to explain to them that he had to face death. Then he went to the mountain where the transfiguration occurred and he discussed his departure with Moses and Elijah, and then coming down from the mountain he head toward Jerusalem where he would complete his mission.
Does that adaquately address your question?
If it was his purpose to die on the cross , why he tried to escape it or asked God to save him ?
I don't think that he did try to escape it. I think that the burden of the event that was about to take place was significant. I know this concept is hard for non-Christians, but remember we understand that Jesus was both God and human. As he walked the face of the earth, Jesus was every bit as human as you or I. He was hungry, he was cold, he was tired, and he had to deal with very human emotions. Whereas for some here to hear that said of one that we also say is God makes you think of weakness or to demean God; it does not makes us think of that at all. So, even though Jesus had resolved to follow this path in his life in order to accomplish the salvation of humankind, in his humanness, it was still a great step to take. Thus, the night he was arrested he prayed to the Father, that if it was possible (if there was another way) let the cup (i.e. the burder before him) be taken from him.
On the cross, it is a different story. First, while others have said that Jesus only spoke once from the cross, that must be the opinion of those who reject the Biblical record and use some other source to tell the story. The biblical record has Jesus speaking 7 times. On one of those occassions he says: "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" You'll note, this is one of the few phrases where we get Jesus exact words in the language he spoken them in. They are in Hebrew (not Aramaic) so what Jesus is doing is not speaking his own words, but quoting scripture. He is quoting the opening line of Psalm 22.
I find it significant for three reasons.
1) The Psalm is a Psalm of David. Now David is known as a man loved by God. Yet despite this attribution which is given to him, Psalm 22 shows that David suffered. The Messiah was to be a Son of David. If David who was so highly favored should also suffer and feel forsaken, why should we expect it to be different with the Messiah.
2) The Psalm shows Davids steadfastness even in the midst of this suffering and feelings of abandonment. In turning to this Psalm I believe we see Jesus identifying with these feelings. He understands that while a part of him feels abandoned that God is still God and he is still committed to submit his entire life, including these last moments to accomplish the Father's will.
3) At the close of the Psalm are written these words:
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness
to a people yet unborn—
for he has done it.
Notice how prophetic they are of Jesus. Furture generations are told of him as Lord. We proclaim his righteousness to people who are born centuries after him. We make this proclamation because of what he did on the cross. For on the cross, Jesus did for humankind what none of us could ever accomplish for ourselves. He bridged the gap between a sinful humanity and a holy God.
Now beyond the text itself, I think the words and emotions of the Psalm are uniquely appropriate for Jesus in this context of his death on the Cross. (Please, no comments from Muslims that it wasn't Jesus, but Judas. I know this is your belief, but the question was posed as to what Christians understand is happening here.) For me, I see one more level to this suffering, beyond human suffering. I believe there is a type of divine suffering involved too. Now, I'll leave for others to debate whether an almighty and all powerful God can suffer. For myself, I do think that God in his interactions with us humans can change (Jeremiah 18 speaks of God relenting, reconsidering, and even repenting of his plans for people when their behaviors change) and that doing so does not in anyway cheapen who God is. In going to the cross, Jesus was going as a sin offering, a propitiation. In so doing, the sins of the people would be placed on him. I don't know the mechanics of how this works, I only know that the Bible declares that this is indeed what happened. And so he who was entirely without sin, suddenly had the sins of mankind suddenly thrust upon him. Now, sin is what separated Adam from God in the beginning. Jesus likewise would experience this sin in much the same way. His whole life, Jesus had never known sin. He had been able to live in communion in fellowship with the Father in the same way that Adam had when Adam was first created, before he sinned. But just as sin had broken that relationship between Adam and God, so now it would, for the first time ever, severe the connection between Father and Son, and Jesus would die.
Jesus words declaring this forsakenness are recorded in two of the four Gospel records (again let us deal with what Christians believe and not attempt to muddie the waters with other so-called gospels that really aren't): Matthew and Mark and in them they are his very last recorded words. But both also say that after saying this line, Jesus was offered some wine-vinegar, cried out, and then died. John, the only one of the gospel writers who would have been eye-witness to the crucifixion, fills that cry in by saying that after he received the drink, "Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."
What is finished? His life? Perhaps. But I tend to think that what is finished is the great drama of salvation that he accomplished on the cross. John also provides one other interesting bit, perhaps it is trivia, or perhaps it is significant. You decide. In the other gospels we find that Jesus is also offered something to drink earlier by the Roman soldiers, this he refuses. But now he is offered by one of his own countrymen, and accepts it. What he is offered is poured into a sponge and lifted up to him on a hyssop reed. And it was to be the hyssop reed with which the ancient Israelites were to have taken the blood of the lamb of the atonement and spread it on their doorposts and sills on the night of Passover. As a Christian, I see Jesus as THE Lamb of the atonement, his blood is shed for my sins that God might not look on me as deserving of death, and would passover my sins which Jesus now takes to himself on the Cross. In doing this, Jesus finished his work, gave up his spirit (which Luke tells us he committed to the Father) and then died, everything having been accomplished. There being no actual attempt to escape, some human trepidation as he approached it, and some a sense of the loss from his close communion with the Father when he took those sins upon himself, Yes. But, nonetheless a solid resolve to complete the task of providing for the atonement of human kind and staying on the task till it was completed, at which point the curtain in the temple which symbolized the separation between God and humanity was torn in two symbolic of the union which Christ restored for people to once again have access to God, and then Christ died, his work on earth done.
when Unitarian Christians die , do people bury them in Christians graveyard ?
Well, in 25 years of Christian ministry, I've never buried anyone in an exclusively Christian graveyard. They have all been public cemetaries. People of all faiths are buried in them, typically side by side -- though in some cases there is a Catholic "section" in the cemetary. I do know of some private church graveyards, and of some private family graveyards. In these cases each of them would be within their rights to make their own rules determining who could and could not be buried there. Some might allow and some might exclude a Unitarian.