Recently, I was talking to a wonderful human being who, at the end of our conversation on 'Religion and Humanity', concluded with that oft heard cliché - 'All religions lead to God'. I shared with him a few thoughts on Christianity.
What makes the Christian religion different from every other religion is love. I'm not saying that other religions don't concern themselves with love (because every religion worth the title does deal with love), but that in Christianity love is the central reality, not just one among a number of other values, and it is given far more importance than in any other religion. This emphasis on love is what sets Christianity far above every other religion because love is the central reality of human life.
Christianity sees the basis of reality as love: the love that constitutes the Undivided Unity of the Divine Trinity pours itself out in creating the cosmos, and then reveals itself in Jesus' redemptive incarnation and sacrifice on the cross.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27)
Communally man bears the image of God in his ability to love another-- not only the love of the male for the female and of the female for the male, but also to love others in general. Perhaps the greatest of all of God's gifts to man was a share of his own divine life so that man would have the ability to do what only God is capable of doing: loving God with the infinite love of God.
God's love impelled him to take action to help his creatures gone astray so when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman (Gal 4:4) Jesus is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, who was sent for love of mankind:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.... The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (Jn 1:1-5,9-14)
In the last three years of his life, Jesus taught the truth behind the Jewish law (cf. Mt 5:17): the fullness of the truth about man and his place in creation. The morality of Christ is not a set of arbitrary laws designed to keep people from enjoying life. Quite the contrary. Jesus' teachings reveal who man is, and by accepting the truth about oneself, one becomes truly free. This is why Jesus himself proclaimed, ``You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.'' (Jn 8:32)