The Pantheon in Rome is a magnificent circular structure that was built in 27 BC and completely reconstructed by the emperor Hadrian about ad 120. Its purpose was to unite the conquered peoples of the empire by providing a central place for their gods. When Christians were offered a niche for a statue of Jesus, they replied, “Never! He cannot stand beside gods that are not true.”
In AD 609 the Pantheon became a Christian church. Centuries later, a British lecturer visited Rome and found that all the niches around the wall were empty except one. It contained a statue of Jesus.
This reminds me that Jesus Christ has no equal in the world. He stands out from all others. For that reason, Christianity is both the most exclusive and inclusive religion of all. Christ said that He Himself is the truth and the only way to God (Jn. 14:6). But forgiveness of sin and knowledge of the true God are available to all who put their faith in Christ and His atoning death. It’s no wonder that Paul could not remain silent when he saw an altar in Athens addressed “to the unknown god.”
Father, we believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Help us by Your power to let Him have His way in our lives so that others may know You, the one true God.
He is the way, the truth, the life—
That One whose name is Jesus;
There is no other name on earth
That has the power to save us. —Sper
You can have tons of religion without one ounce of salvation.