During high school, I experienced a time of doubt. I don’t think I would have called myself an atheist, but I had questions:
- Is Christianity true?
- Am I a Christian just because my parents are Christians?
- Was this all just made up?
Most young people go through this phase. Unfortunately, many don’t have a mentor to help navigate these treacherous waters.
Thankfully, I had a teacher named Pastor Hintz who responded to my doubts with evidence. He focused our class’ attention on Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. If he could prove to us that Jesus really rose from the dead, then wouldn’t that mean that everything else about Jesus and the Scriptures is true too?
He gave us quite a few pieces of evidence for Easter. But for me, the logical argument was that Jesus’ closest followers died for their faith. He said, “All the apostles died testifying that they saw Jesus alive.” Then he said, “Some people might die for what they hope to be true, but nobody will die for what they know to be a lie.”
He explained how people sometimes give up their lives for causes and creeds they believe in. A police officer, a soldier, or even a suicide bomber might willingly give up their lives for what they hope to be true. But nobody would willingly give up their life if they knew they were dying for a lie.
Most of the apostles died at the hands of different oppressors in different locations. Thomas was martyred in India. Peter and Paul in Rome. Matthew in Ethiopia, etc. But they had one thing in common: they were willing to sacrifice their lives for what they saw with their eyes. No one could convince them otherwise.
The disciples were not always so bold. In fact, when Jesus was arrested, they all ran. When a servant girl questioned Peter about his connection to Jesus, he denied him vehemently. Before the first Easter, Jesus’ disciples were cowards. But after they saw and touched Jesus’ glorious, renewed body, they were unstoppable.
That one idea led me to pursue the truth of God’s Word for myself. And through that Word the Holy Spirit strengthened the faith in my heart.
Maybe you or someone you know is starting to question their faith as I did. Take a moment to consider the testimony of the martyrs. They would not have died if they didn’t see Jesus alive. And, if he’s alive, then so is everything else connected to him.