At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a criminal, to capture Me? Every day I used to sit, teaching in the temple complex, and you didn’t arrest Me. 56 But all this has happened so that the prophetic Scriptures would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted Him and ran away. Matthew 26:55-56
We are the only religion that serves a risen God. No other religion can claim this, but how do we know for sure? If your faith isn’t quit big enough to trust and believe the scriptures, take a look at a few human men in history that show us seeing is believing.
After Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, we read above in Matthew 26 that “all the disciples deserted Him and ran away.” They hit the road, denied knowing Him and went back to their old fishing jobs (John 21). They may have even felt a little stupid. They had given up everything (lives, families, jobs) and followed this man called Jesus for three years thinking He was the Messiah, the Son of God who would save the world and now He was dead. But then something happened. . . something so amazing . . . something so BIG that even when the high priests and elders ordered the disciples to stop telling the story of Jesus they were unable to “stop speaking about what they had seen and heard”. They suffered floggings, ridicule, death threats and prison.
So they called for them and ordered them not to preach or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; 20 for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:18-20
After they called in the apostles and had them flogged, they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. 41 Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be dishonored on behalf of the Name. 42 Every day in the temple complex, and in various homes, they continued teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. Acts 5:40-42
Why would anyone put their life on the line to tell a story that wasn’t true? They wouldn’t. Maybe one of them was crazy, but not all of them. Jesus really did rise after three days. He even ate, hung out with and presented Himself to Mary and His disciples several times before ascending into Heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.
After He had suffered, He also presented Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God. Acts 1:3
Can you imagine living to see and share a story like this? The biggest story in all of history! How could you keep that under wraps? I’m so thankful God knew what it would take to grab the hearts and trust of our faulty human minds and hearts. His plan is a miraculous and amazing one that leaves me sitting here in awe of His love for each of us and in gratitude for those who shared boldly and loudly the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. I pray we can be as bold as Jesus’s disciples and share the story of our risen Savior that will return for us once again.