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2. The change in the Disciples’ attitudes after the resurrection. Before the resurrection, they were cowards. Hiding in shadows…afraid of being discovered as followers of Jesus. AFRAID OF BEING KILLED. After the resurrection, they were fully committed. Boldly claiming Jesus’ resurrection in the presence of enemies. (Acts Chpt 2)
QUESTION: What caused such a radical change in their attitudes? Was it the empty tomb? The testimony of people who talked to angels? The bible tells us in John 20:19-20 “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”
THEY SAW HIM WITH THEIR OWN EYES!!!!
No other explanation can account for such a complete turnaround in their behavior.
QUESTION: Is their change in attitude good evidence that they in fact saw him alive? ABSOLUTELY… BUT WE HAVE EVEN MORE. Let’s look at the next piece of evidence…
3.Disciple’s willingness to suffer.
At one point in the Old Testament Book of Job, God tells Satan to look at Job. God is pleased with Job because he seeks to do what is right in God’s eyes.
So Satan asks the question of God…
"Does Job fear God for nothing?" “You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."
In essence… You’ve given him all good things. THAT’s why he follows you. NOT because he loves you. As we know Job passed the test.
Nothing shows others the sincerity of your beliefs …more than your willingness to suffer and sacrifice for it. And the disciples suffered for their testimony that Jesus had risen from the dead.
They could have easily avoided all of this BUT they REFUSED to stop telling people that Jesus rose from the dead AND that they personally saw Him. Not that they HEARD Jesus was alive, but that they SAW him themselves.
4. Willingness to die.
As if a willingness to suffer years of persecution were not enough evidence of the apostle’s conviction to the risen Christ, the Bible and church history give us the confirmation of their willingness to gladly die rather than deny the resurrection.
Some people might suffer and die for what they believe to be true, but no one in religious history was ever willing to gladly suffer and die for what they knew to be a lie. If anyone ever recants a false story, it is when they are faced with certain death. The apostles could have denied the resurrection and saved themselves. But they knew it was true and therefore considered this life of little value compared to their commitment to Jesus.
If the disciples knew the resurrection was a lie, would they have died for it? Of course not. They saw him with their own eyes. Touched him with their own hands. They KNEW he was alive and had conquered death. And THAT accounted for their change in attitude, their willingness to suffer and their willingness to die as martyrs to prove to the world that
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