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.



Jesus' Meeting with
Doubting Thomas

That very night Jesus came and stood in the middle of His disciples and said to them, "Peace be to you."

Then He showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

Jesus told them again, "Peace be to you. Just as my father sent me, so send you."

After He said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whoever since you remit, they are emitted and whoever's sins you retained, they are retained."

But Thomas who was one of the 12 disciples, was not with them when Jesus appeared to them. The other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"

By Thomas relied, "I won't believe unless I see the print of the nails in His hands and put my finger into the print of the nails and thrust my hand into his side!"

Eight days later, Jesus' disciples were meeting, but this time Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus suddenly stood in the midst of the disciples and said, "Peace be to you."

Then He said to Thomas, "Stretch out your finger and examine My hands. Reach out your hand and thrust it into my side. Don't doubt, but believe!"

Thomas answered, "My Lord and my God!"

Jesus answered, "Thomas, because you see Me you believe, but happy are those who have not seen and yet believe."