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Christianity: Martyrdom Transcends Time Essay

2068 words - 8 pages

Jesus Christ said to his apostles “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. (Matthew 28:19) Naturally, the apostles took the mission seriously, going all over the Mediterranean and Fertile Crescent proclaiming the message of Jesus, the Son of God. However, the Jewish Officials, (the same ones who worked for Jesus’ execution) feared a rising movement that came out of the man they executed. Additionally, a Roman Government built on fear, law, and order desired nothing more than a radical movement based on a divine human to be eradicated quickly and efficiently. Because of this, they enacted cold and brutal ways to deal with the “followers of the way”. Whether it was lashes, crucifixions, or stonings, both the Jewish and Roman officials hoped these punishments would “take care” of this radical movement of rogue individuals. However, Jesus’ death served as a source of inspiration for the apostles and early followers. Rather than scale back their evangelistic efforts after punishment, they “left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” (Acts 5:41). The followers of the way did the exact opposite of what the Roman and Jewish officials had hoped; it exploded with motivated followers ready to die for their newfound religion. Eventually, a majority of the new followers believed that the only way to attain true salvation was to die for one’s faith (check on the source in Chidester, Origin) However, the institutionalization of Christianity by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the year 314 created problem for the followers of the way: They had neither the means nor a government willing to kill them for their beliefs. Now, they were unsure how to attain a true salvation through a religion now backed both politically and financially by the Roman Government.
Jesus’ death served as inspiration for newly converted believers everywhere. Young Jews and Gentiles, both in age and faith, latched onto this new movement inspired by Jesus of Nazareth. However, this new movement caused fear in the hearts of both Jewish religious officials and Roman Governmental officials. Jesus’ execution (as told in Luke 23) was intended to both extinguish the movement Jesus was starting and to make a statement concerning the ruthlessness of the Roman Government. However, the recording of Jesus’ resurrection and subsequent teaching was also a metaphorical resurrection of the following of Jesus’ teaching. With increased vigor and motivation, the disciples took the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and went to “all nations” (Matthew 28:19) to teach. However, this was not without consequences. Those twelve apostles (Judas Iscariot was soon replaced) received heavy criticism, threats, and jail time. All but one was eventually executed by the Roman Government. The rejuvenated sense of calling in the minds of the disciples and other first...

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