Evidence of The Resurrection
 

Key Evidence for The
Resurrection of Jesus Christ --

Changed Lives of The Disciples

 

Another evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is the changed lives of the disciples. How do you account for the fact that before the resurrection they were frightened men and were hiding away in fear of their lives? After the resurrection they preached everywhere for no earthly benefit -- only suffering and martyrdom. The early believers were beaten, stoned, thrown to the lions, tortured and crucified for sharing a lie -- if the resurrection had not occurred. The ultimate martyrdom of thousands of believers is one of the strongest proofs of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The explosive growth of the church is strong evidence that the resurrection actually happened!

Secular history reveals that many Christians died rather than deny the truth of the resurrection. But what about the apostles? Do we know how each one of them died?  There is historical evidence that has been passed down through church history about what happened to some of the apostles.

In Acts 12:2, we find the only recorded death of an apostle that's in the Bible. This disciple's name was James. He was killed by a sword in Jerusalem.

According to tradition, the apostle Peter was crucified upside down under Nero's rule. Peter requested that he be crucified upside down because he did not feel worthy to be crucified in the same way that his master was crucified.

According to tradition, Matthew died from a sword wound as a martyr in Ethiopia.

John was the only apostle who did not die a martyr's death. But tradition tells us that he had been placed in a vat of boiling oil, but miraculously escaped death. Later he was banished to the island of Patmos at the age of around 90 where he became a slave laborer. It is there he received the call to write the book of Revelation. Later he was released and continued his ministry in what is now modern Turkey.

Although not officially an apostle, James the Just was the brother of Jesus. He led the Jerusalem church. Tradition tells us that he was thrown 100 feet down the south east pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem because of his faith in the resurrected Christ.

Tradition tells us that the apostle Andrew was crucified in Greece. First he was viciously whipped and then tied to an axe-shaped cross.  Surviving for two whole days before he died, Andrew faithfully preached to his murderers until the end.

History indicates that the apostle Thomas died in India from a spear wound.

As for the former enemy of Christianity, Saul of Tarsus, he became Paul -- the great missionary and also a martyr. History indicates that Nero tortured and beheaded him at Rome in A.D. 67.

Many of the martyred Christians, who were witnesses of the resurrection of Christ, died lonely deaths. If their story was a lie, wouldn't somebody have admitted it rather than be martyred? Certainly this is strong proof of the resurrection. They believed that Jesus is risen indeed! The empty tomb silently witnesses that fact.



Peter and John at
The Empty Tomb

As soon as Peter and John heard the news that the angels gave to the women, they ran together to the tomb, but John outran Peter and came first to the sepulcher. John stooped down and looked in and saw the linen clothes lying, but he didn't enter the cave.

Simon Peter followed John, but he did go into the sepulcher and he also saw the linen clothes and the napkin that had been covering his head lying separately on the rocky ledge.

Then John went into the tomb also and saw and believed. Neither of them understood at this point that the scripture teaches Jesus must rise again from the dead.