What would you say is the greatest enemy facing us today? Well, surely it's death, isn't it? The mortality rate of the human race is 100%. And no amount of human endeavour will ever help us escape 'The Last Enemy'. So in the face of this, surely the most important event in human history has to be the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And yet, so many today consider it to be a myth, a legend, a fable or even a lie. Yet what of His 12 Apostles who, following His death, saw Him, spoke to Him, touched Him. Would they have died for Him if it wasn't true? Take a look at how they went on to give their lives for Him...
PETER... was martyred in Rome under the persecution of Emperor Nero. He was crucified upside down at his own request, insisting that he was unworthy of being crucified in the same manner as the Lord Jesus.
JOHN... escaped unhurt after being cast into boiling oil in Rome. He was later exiled on the Greek island of Patmos from where the Holy Spirit used him to write the New Testament book of Revelation. He was the only original Apostle to die of 'natural causes'.
JAMES... the brother of John and the first Apostle to be martyred. He was slain by the sword and beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I. (Acts 12:2)
ANDREW... was crucified on a cross in the form of an X. (Hence the Scottish flag of St. Andrew.) He wasn't nailed, but tied. This was meant to prolong his agony... to take several days for him to die. During this time he continued to preach the gospel to passers-by.
PHILIP... established a powerful ministry in North Africa and Asia Minor before being put to death with his ankles impaled by iron hooks. He finally died by being hung upside down.
THOMAS... was said to have died in India, speared through the chest by 4 soldiers.
BARTHOLOMEW (also known as Nathaniel)... preached in India and Armenia, before ultimately being 'flayed with knives'. Evidence suggests that he was beaten and whipped so severely that his skin was torn to shreds, in other words, he was literally skinned alive.
MATTHEW... is said to have been staked, or impaled to the ground by spears, then beheaded whilst ministering in a remote area of Ethiopia.
THADDAEUS... ministered in Armenia, Syria and was shot by arrows in Persia.
SIMON the Zealot... preached in the Middle East & N. Africa before being sawed-to-death.
JAMES (Son of Alphaeus)... is said to have been thrown down from the temple by scribes and Pharisees then stoned, and his brains 'dashed out with a fuller's club'.
MATTHIAS (who replaced Judas Iscariot)... is said to have been stoned then beheaded and his body burned in Syria.
But perhaps we should leave the last word to President Nixon's former special Attorney...
'I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men
testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned... They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world and they couldn't keep a lie for 3 weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible!'
NB: Some of the detail given above may be open to question.. though not the commitment of these brave men to the risen Christ Jesus.