They were not the kind of group you might have expected Jesus to send forth on his mission to reach the world. There was nothing special or spectacular about them. The twelve apostles were just ordinary working men. But Jesus formed them into the backbone of the church and gave them the most extraordinary task imaginable: calling the entire world, including the mightiest empire ever known, to repentance and faith in the risen Christ. You can be sure that any educated, first-century Roman citizen would have laughed at any prediction that within three centuries the Christian faith would be the official faith of the empire.
…..when Christ died, they deserted him like rats would a sinking ship!
But the same bunch of spineless, chicken hearted, yellow belied funks who ran helter-skelter, hid, denied Jesus’ existence, during His trial and crucifixion turned into an absolutely confident bunch of die-hard people, who with no fear of death, no thought of body harm, went out and preached about the same Christ they had run away from. They did this against the worst persecution any bunch could have suffered from the ruling Romans and even the Jews.
What was it that changed them? What did they see that galvanized their belief into a laser beam of action?
I realized that to have undergone such a startling, dramatic change, they must have beheld something that was truly electrifying and spectacular.
They actually saw the empty grave. They actually saw a risen Christ!
Then later beheld the incredible sight of Him ascending into Heaven!
Only a supernatural, spectacular spectacle could have changed the lowliest of low cowards into the most courageous men the world has ever known or had.
This dramatic realization changed my skepticism many years ago, and through the revelations of these eleven men, we know for sure that Christ did die on the cross, that He did rise from the dead, and did ascend into heaven. All the theories toward the contrary will not change the fact that today over one third of the world follows a religion, which should have ended when their leader died and his men fled!
But in changing into courageous men, it should give us absolute, total and complete confidence that the Christianity we believe in is not some myth or legend, not a nice story to tell our children, but incredibly, powerfully true.
You don’t need more proof, than the change it wrought on eleven cowards!
Are you still acting like they did when Jesus was on trial, scared, threatened, worried, or will you start seeing what they saw, that changed them from cowards to courageous men?
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