had transformed him into a fearless fighter for Jesus? Why was he ready to
die for Him? Maybe the answer is in 1 Cor. 15:5, where it is said that
resurrected Jesus «was seen by
Cephas», i.e. by Peter (see. John.1:42).
look how a man was convinced of the validity of Jesus against his own will on the
example of James, the brother of Jesus (Mat.13:55, Mark.6:3). Though James
wasn’t among the first twelve disciples (Mat.10:2-4), later he was recognized
as the apostle (Gal.1:19), like Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:14). While Jesus was
alive, James didn’t believe that his brother Jesus was the Son of God
(John.7:5). Probably James considered it humiliating
for himself and for his family, when Jesus walked in vicinities and caused
laughter of everyone by his claims: « I
am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me
something happened to James. After Jesus had been crucified and buried, James
began to preach in Jerusalem. He said, that Jesus had died for the sins of
people, and that He had resurrected and was alive. At the end James became one
of the chiefs of the Jerusalem church and wrote the book «The Epistle of James».
The first words in it are: «James,
a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ». James was lost by the death of martyr: he was stoned
under by order of Annas, the chief priest (according to
Josephus Flavius). Why did he come to believe? Maybe the answer is in
1 Cor. 15:7 : «After that, he
was seen by James».
the resurrection didn’t take place and the apostles knew that this was a lie
had they simply supported a certain enormous mystification? It is difficult to
accept such an assumption by knowing about moral qualities
of those people. They themselves condemned a lie and underlined how important it
was to be honest. They aspired to open the truth to people. The disciples of
Jesus could not go on tortures and death, if they were not sure in His
resurrection. Unanimity, with which they preached the unique doctrine, their
courageous behavior were just amazing.
On the day of the crucifixion they were full of grief, on the first day of the week – of joy. On the day of the crucifixion they lost their hope, on the first day of the week their hearts were full of confidence and hope. When they heard about the resurrection for the first time they showed mistrust, it was difficult to convince them, but when they were convinced they never had any doubts from that time on. The disappearance of the body from a tomb couldn’t change their characters and strengthen their spirits. Three days is too a little time for the birth of the legend, which would affect them in a similar way. The formation of legends requires a much longer time.
to imagine the following psychologically absurd variant: a some nice day a small
group of cowards with the broken heads gathered in a closet and in several days
this group turned into an united group, which couldn't be forced to keep silence by
any prosecutions. To try to explain this radical change only by forgery, which
they tried to impose on the world is a complete absurdity.
Nobody wants to die for a forgery.
understand the attitude of the apostles towards Christ, to understand all
incomprehensibility for them of the cross with crucified Jesus it is necessary to
learn the notions about Messiah at the Christ’s time. Life and doctrine of
Jesus were in the insoluble contradiction with all Jewish theories of Messiah.
From the childhood the Jews were imposed on that when Messiah will come he will be a
powerful king, a victorious political leader. He will release the Jews from slavery and
will restore ancient glory of Israel. The suffering Messiah was completely
alien to the Jewish concepts about a messiah.
The whole generation of Jews already lived under the authority of the
Romans, who in every possible way restrained their freedom; the repressions of
the Romans revived and strengthened the patriotic
moods. And in this critical period the ancient dream of wonderful freedom
and of the king - messiah who would bring it, was acquiring a new sense.
Jesus was so much differ of the son of David in Jewish imagination that even His own disciplines hardly connected the idea of Messiah with Jesus. That can be observed in the following episode.