Friday, April 22, 2011
..."These who have turned the world upside down have come here too."
Peter: crucified upside down. James: beheaded. John: natural causes. Andrew: crucified on X-shaped cross. Philip: crucified. Bartholomew: skinned alive, beheaded. Matthew: stabbed to death. Thomas: speared to death. James: stoned, crucified, beaten to death. Jude: crucified. Simon: crucified. Matthias (replacement for Judas Iscariot): stoned and beheaded. Paul: beheaded.
Jesus warned His original disciples before He was killed, "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (John 15:20b). And when their faith was finally tested, when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, "...they all forsook Him and fled" (Mark 14:50). What happened to turn a group of cowards into a core of courageous couriers of the Gospel who turned the world upside down and were willing to die for their beliefs? One thing: they witnessed the Resurrection. This event had a transforming effect on the disciples, transforming them into apostles--"sent ones." When they saw the risen Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3-8), they were no longer afraid.
You may not be called to die for Christ, but you are called to live for Him--the resurrected Lord.
by David Jeremiah