The famous mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal said: “I [believe] those witnesses that get their throats cut.”
He meant that people who are willing to die for their beliefs are more likely to be telling the truth. In other words, people don’t tend to die for a lie.
People will, however, give their lives for something they hold incredibly dear—like a loved one, or a God-given truth.
That’s why the words and example of the disciples were so important after they saw the resurrected Jesus. Virtually all of them were martyred for their faith. They would rather be executed than renounce the good news of the resurrected Jesus.
Consider the Christians living in Rome when the brutal Nero was Emperor. They were arrested and burned publicly with tar. They could have recanted—but didn’t.
Or think of “Pliny the Younger” who governed Bythynia in the early 2nd century. He led trials of Christians and had them put to death if they didn’t renounce Christ. Many didn’t. And he even gave each of them three chances to renounce or face death!
All of those early witnesses are gone.
But you aren’t.
You are today’s witnesses for the resurrected Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:12 says that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” So it’s not always going to be easy. But the benefits are immeasurable.
-YOU are the ones to carry the news of his victory over death into this dark world.
-YOU are the ones to speak his hope into the caverns of despair.
-YOU are the ones to live his love in the morbid playgrounds of anger and hate.
You may not die for your faith. But you can stand out, and risk something great for the resurrected Jesus and his message of victory, truth and love.
People don’t die for a life. They do, however, give their lives for something they hold incredibly dear—like a loved one, or a God-given truth.
That’s exactly what we have in Jesus.
By Matthew Ruttan
- “Is there evidence for the resurrection?” That’s my latest blog where I respond to the 4 biggest conspiracy theories that try to undermine the resurrection, and where I offer some other points that bolster the credibility of the resurrection stories. You can read it here. Enjoy!