Christ brought mankind a message of love. To be a Christian is to attempt- as best we can- to live according to the precepts of Christ.
From everything we can gather reading the gospels- an admittedly fragmentary record- we see that Christ, like Buddha, called on mankind to exercise compassion, intelligence, humility- to become aware of himself and his place in his community. To share his food and to meet others not with rejection, but with unconditional Love.
Christ was a revolutionary. He embraced elements of society who were considered beneath contempt- adulterers and lepers and prostitutes- and demanded that others treat them not like diseased pariahs, but like human beings.
Over the centuries mankind has stained and soiled this message of Love, compassion, and tolerance with collectively self-serving misinterpretations and an endless series of crimes which we refer to as "history."
Over time, people have come to blame Christianity for the misdeeds of its adherents. Instead of the adherents being seen as failed Christians, they see Christianity as a failed set of values. Christianity gets rejected- religion itself is rejected.
Think about the arrogance of this for a minute. For a lot of people, Jesus Christ just isn't good enough.
What are we going to replace Him with, I wonder? Our science? Our machines and bureaucracies? The secular values the UN offers us? We've all seen just how effective those things are. They all come from the same level- earth- and nothing from this level can effect a real transformation in humanity. If anything can do that, whatever it is, it will have to come from the level above us.
About two thousand years ago, a woman named Mary was offered an opportunity to help bring a Force down into the planet that actually could change something. She was afraid- but she said yes. She opened her heart, her soul, and her mind and agreed to serve as an intermediary to give birth to this Force which we now call Christ. A Force which offers mankind the opportunity to learn how to act through love. Not the narrow, self serving and egositic love we batter ourselves and each other with but something much greater. Something imbued with the power to create an entire universe.
Something called Agape. Unconditional Love.
Agreed, we don't know much- if anything- about this thing called Agape, but we can all, if we wish, agree to become students. To try and learn to allow this greater Force, this Light, to act through us, which can only come through the gradual surrender of the cramped little creature we call ego.
Contact with and experience of this all-pervading cosmic Force of Love is the same enlightement the Buddha called on us to participate in- the Liberation of the Yogis... the Divine Rapture of the Sufis.
Even now, Mary, in her Astral presence, is still right here beside us offering to help us open our hearts if we are willing. This not conjecture- it is a certainty beyond faith itself. She lives quietly woven into every moment of the fabric of daily life.