The Rev. Billy Graham has explained what makes Jesus Christ's death unique compared to the deaths of other notable historical figures.
In his nationally syndicated column published Wednesday, Graham responded to a reader who asked why Jesus' death is different from other famous people.
"Why is Jesus' death more important than that of any other famous person? After all, lots of people have been willing to die for causes they believed in (good or bad). Why is Jesus any different?" inquired a reader named K.Q.
Graham answered by saying there were two major reasons why Jesus' death was unique, starting with Jesus being "God in human flesh."
"Throughout history tyrants and megalomaniacs have claimed to be divine — but only Jesus Christ truly was God, coming from Heaven and then returning to Heaven," wrote Graham.
"He proved it not only by His miraculous deeds, but by His resurrection from the dead. Jesus rightly declared, 'I and the Father are one' (John 10:30)."
Graham also responded that Jesus' death "wasn't that of a martyr," but rather "His death was that of a Savior!"
"He came into the world for one reason: to become the final and complete sacrifice for sin. We are separated from God, and we deserve only His judgment. But on the cross Christ took upon Himself our sins and our judgment," continued Graham.
"And this means He took upon Himself your sins and your judgment! Have you responded to what He has done for you by putting your faith and trust in Him for your salvation?"
This is not the first time Graham has explained in a column what makes Jesus different. Last October another reader submitted a similar query about the distinctiveness of Christ.
"Why is Jesus any different from every other religious leader who ever lived?" the person asked. "I don't think it really matters what you believe about God, because I think all roads eventually lead to the same place anyway."
Graham replied last year that if Jesus was like any other faith leader, then the 98-year-old preacher would agree with the person's conclusion.
"But Jesus wasn't just another religious leader or philosopher — and the reason, the Bible says, is because He was God in human form," wrote Graham.
"In other words, when Jesus was born, God Himself was taking on human flesh and becoming a man. Think of it: when Jesus walked on this Earth, God Himself was living among us!"