From the Pastor

 

Undeniable Truth

The Sunday Jesus rose from the dead made all the difference in the world. As a matter of fact, it made all the difference for the world. Sunday was when the disciples’ eyes were opened and they learned death couldn’t hold on to Jesus. Over the next 40 days, Jesus appeared to the disciples and many others—up to 500 people at one time—in various settings (1 Cor. 15:5-8). Those who had seen Him die now saw Him live, walk, talk, and eat. And the reason why we can be assured of this is because history validates this truth with how the disciples lived … and died.

Prior to seeing Jesus Christ alive, His disciples trembled, ran away, and hid. Yet after they witnessed the resurrected Lord and filled with His Holy Spirit, they boldly followed Him and willingly drank of the cup that was His.

James, one of the two who said he was willing to drink the cup when asked by Jesus (Luke 10:38-39), was the first of the 12 apostles to die for His belief in the resurrected Jesus. The Jews in power despised men like James who were unrelenting in their claim that Christ had risen from the dead, so King Herod, in an attempt to please the Jews, killed James with a sword (Acts 12:1).

Judas Iscariot, of course, died by his own hand soon after betraying Jesus to the authorities for 30 pieces of silver (Matt. 27:3-9; Luke 22:1-6). All the other original eleven apostles, except for John, were killed because of their commitment to Jesus. While we have more historical evidence of the martyrdom of some of the apostles than of others, history records in some form or fashion that all died a martyr’s death (except for John, who was exiled onto an island where he died). The exact details differ regarding each death, but one thing remains the same: they all died for teaching and proclaiming Jesus Christ as the resurrected and living Savior.

People will go to great lengths for high-minded notions or ideals. But who would willingly die for a lie? But the disciples died for an undeniable truth. They saw Jesus alive after He had been crucified and buried. And because they did, they knew that death would not be the end for them either. Jesus had come to give eternal life. That was the confident hope in which they died, and it is the same confident hope in which we are to live. 

 

Because of Christ,

Pastor Aaron