Significant events trigger significant memories. On 9-11, people remember where they were and what they were doing at the very moment they heard of the attacks. For me, it was intensely personal. I was in Tower 1 of the World Trade Center when the first plane struck the building.
When I got home that afternoon, I was bewildered and confused. People were calling all day asking what I saw and wanted to hear my account. I knew it was historic and I knew people wanted to know more. So rather than repeat it over and over again, I wrote down what happened that day. There were a couple of reasons the first was: repeating the story was emotionally exhausting. Secondly, I needed to make sense of it all and organize my thoughts.Thirdly, I wanted to preserve what happened so people would know; I thought it would be important.
It begs the question, why do we bother to document anything?
People are known to have kept diaries, or journals. It seems every president wants to write their memoirs. Other authors have painstakingly documented famous people and their actions to preserve for generations to come. But why do we do it all? For me, it was as simple as the answers I gave. I have really not considered myself much of a writer. I still don’t. I see these blogs as a way to sharpen my apologetic message. For others, it is to document what occurred accurately. To preserve history for future generations, especially when the events are extraordinary.
What were the motivations of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John? If we are to believe Luke his reason was pretty simple “... I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught” Luke 1:3-4 NIV
Luke’ s motivation is stated plainly. He wanted the reader to have certainty. He wanted the reader to have no doubt. Are there other possible motivations? Christians were certainly not being rewarded for their belief. There were no publishers paying money for the manuscripts, they gained no fame, fortune, or power.
The exact opposite, Christians were being persecuted. Remember the earliest Christians were converted Jews. The Jewish leaders are the ones that wanted Jesus put to death. They certainly were not any easier on His followers. The unrest gave the Roman government the opportunity to make the early followers targets when Nero blamed them for a fire which devasted Rome.This, in turn, caused even more persecution. Renouncing their faith or giving up any documents they possessed was all that was necessary to have their lives spared. Yet, Christianity spread. People risked their lives preserving early documents and did not rescind their faith.
When I first heard that Paul had a past that included persecuting the early Christians, I was shocked. Back then he was known as Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee, whose mission was to suppress the rise of Christianity. Suppress in the case of Stephen meant to kill.
Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen. Persecution Scatters the Believers A great wave of persecution began that day... Acts 8:1
What reason would you have to go against the culture, your religion, or the government? The question begs to be asked, what truth would you sacrifice your life for. What documents do you hold so dear, so sacred that you would give your life for it? What would you do if you saw the Risen Jesus?
Let's ask the question another way. What lie would you die for? Would you die for any written fiction book maybe? Do feel that strongly about Harry Potter, The Hobbit, or others? This is simply not plausible. Either Jesus rose from the dead or he did not. The Apostles were either lying or telling the truth. There is no middle ground.
As we approach Good Friday please consider how the early church was able to survive. Maybe they saw something so historic they were compelled to write it down. Compelled to try and make sense of what they saw in the life of Jesus, His teachings, His death, and resurrection. Could it simply be as the Apostle John wrote: But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:31
Author - Guy Yasika
Looking to profess my faith to anyone that will listen.