Martyrs

Posted: 6 March, 2008 in Ponderings
Tags: , , , , , , ,

For nearly two-thousand years, courageous men and women have been tortured and killed because of their confessions of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Of the Commission so great that it cost their very lives. What makes them want to believe what they believe in even in the face of certain evil and death?

We often heard stories of heroic courage, overcoming faith, spreading the Gospel at great cost. Of the amazing grace of God that enabled men, women, and children to endure persecutions and often horrible deaths.

What it took that the message of the love of God can come to you and me?

Matthew suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound. Mark died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead. Luke was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost. John faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

Peter was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died. James , brother of Jesus, the leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club. This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.

James, son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

Bartholomew also known as Nathaniel Was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip. Andrew was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: “I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.” He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.

Thomas was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent. Jude was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. Matthias, the apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded. Barnabas, one of the group of seventy disciples, wrote the Epistle of Barnabas. He preached throughout Italy and Cyprus. Barnabas was stoned to death at Salonica.

Paul was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Jesus, Christ the Messiah, Son of the living God, God Himself, came down to earth as Man to die a cruel death on the cross for the sins of the world. He resurrected on the third day overcoming death and ascended up to heaven. That whoever believes in Him will not die the eternal death but will have everlasting life. The teacher of all the apostles above, and all who gave their lives knowing that they have attained Life.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.   Matthew 16:24-26

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Comments
  1. ashish john says:

    this has made me to think what i have done for the sake of god.

  2. King David says:

    It is not so much what have you done, but what Christ has accomplished on the cross. When you hold the Bible in your hands from now on, know that it didn’t come cheap. The Gospel is written in blood, the blood of the Son.

    Just for you.

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