I have always wondered with the Apostles thought. A week earlier they had seen their Rabbi welcomed into town and they may have thought He was going to be the long awaited King. Now they are scattered, hiding, and scared they will be killed too. Even Peter, one of His closest friends, denied him to point of swearing.
It. Was. Over.
So, do you want to know how I know Jesus is the real deal and rose from the dead? Do you want to know how I know the New Testament is real and worth pouring into (other than it is the most critically attested piece of ancient literature we have)? Do you want to know how I know that Jesus isn't a religion, like all other great teachers who are still dead and who showed us how they thought living right would get us to Heaven, but rather a person that wants a relationship with us so we can let Him take us to Heaven.
This is how I know...
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, short of seeing, touching, and smelling a living Jesus that would cause 12 young, scared, and poor boys to do what they did. The Book of Acts tells us how empowered they were. We see how bold they shared what they saw. Remember, just months earlier they were denying everything they saw.
Only putting his fingers in the holes in Jesus' hands would cause a fisherman from Galilee named Thomas, who probably had never been more than 50 miles from where he was born, to die in India sharing his story of Jesus. In fact, the Apostle John was the only one of the 12 not to die a martyr death.
So, as great as Christmas is, I am reminded that lots of religions have a day they celebrate their savior's / master's / teacher's / profit's birth. Some even celebrate their death. But, Christianity is the only one that celebrates the Resurrection of the One we claim is Savior.
On this Easter Eve, I am reminded how scared Peter, James, John, and the others must have felt. We know what happens tomorrow. They didn't.
I wish I could tell them...Sunday's coming!