Today’s excerpt is related to the resurrection of Jesus. When you refute the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you also have a burden to explain why the disciples who were hiding with fear for their own lives when Jesus was crucified were changed dramatically all of sudden. What made them to come forward with boldness and proclaim that the crucified Jesus had risen from the dead? Why were they ready to suffer and die for their faith? Read this excerpt:
In all, at least seven early sources testify that the original disciples willingly suffered in defense of their beliefs. If we include the sufferings and martyrdoms of Paul and James the brother of Jesus, we have eleven sources. Even the highly critical New Testament scholar Rudolf Bultmann agreed that historical criticism can establish “the fact that the first disciples came to believe in the resurrection” and they thought they had seen the risen Jesus. Atheistic New Testament scholar Gerd Lüdermann concludes, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.” Paula Fredriksen of Boston University comments, “I know in their own terms what they saw was the raised Jesus. That’s what they say and then all the historical evidence we have afterwards attest to their conviction that that’s what they saw. I’m not saying that they really did see the raised Jesus. I wasn’t there. I don’t know what they saw. But I do know that as a historian that they must have seen something.”
Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publication, 2004), 60.