I was an atheist for much of my life, and it was my wife’s conversion to Christianity that encouraged me to use my journalism training and my legal training to investigate whether or not Jesus rose from the dead. I hoped to disprove the resurrection so I could rescue her from this cult that she got involved in. But after two years of looking at the evidence, it was like the scales shifted.
Was there one piece of evidence more important than any other? Not really. It was all important. But there was one fact that I couldn’t couldn’t dispute and really tip the scales. And that’s this: the disciples, we have seven ancient sources saying that they lived lives of deprivation and suffering as a result of their proclamation that Jesus had risen.
In other words, they were willing to die for their proclamation, He had risen. Now, what actually happened to some of the disciples gets lost a bit in the midst of history. But we know their willingness to die for this proclamation is well-established. And so I started thinking, wait a minute, you know, we have modern day terrorists who will die for their faith because they think they’re going to heaven if they die that way.
But do they know for a fact they will? No. They’ve just been taught it and they believe it. But in contrast, I realize the disciples were in a unique position of all human beings who ever lived in history. The disciples were in a position to know for a fact. Did Jesus return from the dead and prove he’s the Son of God? Or didn’t He? Is this a lie or is it the truth?
They talked to the risen Christ. They touched him. They ate with them. They knew the truth. And knowing the truth, they were willing to die for the proclamation that Jesus had risen. That tells me something about the veracity of their claims, and that, I think, was the final fact that just made the scales go like that and convinced me the resurrection is true.