At Eastertime and other Christian holidays, Baha’is are often asked what their religion has to say about Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is revered in the Baha’i Faith as a Manifestation of God, and anyone who embraces the Baha’i Faith – regardless of their religious background — also recognizes the universal redemptive significance of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, as expressed in the following moving testimony from Baha’u'llah’s own pen:
“Know thou that when the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced, the influence exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but manifestations of the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive, and resplendent Spirit.‘
‘We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him, the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened, and the soul of the sinner sanctified… We bear witness that through the power of the Word of God every leper was cleansed, every sickness was healed, every human infirmity was banished. He it is Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him.“
Baha’i theology draws a distinction between the Spirit of Christ – infinitely glorious, absolutely unique and utterly indispensable as the only pathway to God – and the historical person of Jesus.
The Baha’i Scriptures affirm that Jesus is one of a series of Manifestations of God that includes Moses, the Buddha, Muhammad — and, today, Baha’u'llah– through Whom, from age to age, God has progressively revealed His Will and Purpose for humanity. All the Manifestations of God are like perfect Mirrors for the Spirit of God to come into the world.
“Inasmuch as these Birds of the celestial Throne are all sent down from the heaven of the Will of God, and as they all arise to proclaim His irresistible Faith, they, therefore, are regarded as one soul and the same person. For they all drink from the one Cup of the love of God, and all partake of the fruit of the same Tree of Oneness.“
We wish all our Christian friends a very Happy Easter!
The following resources are available to learn more about Baha’i teachings on Jesus Christ:
Online Baha’i Reference Library – Some Answered Questions (See Part Two: Some Christian Subjects)
Book – Thief in the Night: The Case of the Missing Millennium
Book – Kitab-i-Iqan: The Book of Certitude
Booklet – Preparing for Christ’s New Name
Web site with multiple Baha’i resources on Christian topics – Stonehaven Press
The Baha’i Bookstore – a search under the name “Christ” brings up 21 entries