Dr. Martin Luther King was once quoted saying “If you’ve got nothing worth dying for, you’ve got nothing worth living for.”
I find this intriguing, especially in a culture that celebrates the promotion of self and causes me to question whether or not there really is anything in all the world truly worth dying for?
A quick answer would be- “Absolutely, most would willingly give their life to save their child.”
Yet, all you need to do is look at the statistics surrounding abortion rates to see that answer doesn’t completely hold water.
So, what would be a cause so worthy that would rate giving up absolutely everything in your life- your career, possessions, family, and ultimately your life? EVERYTHING.
Consider the fate of the following men:
First Christian martyr stoned to death in Jerusalem.
Crucified, upside down at his request because he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
Beheaded in Rome by Emperor Nero. Of note: Paul could not be put to death by crucifixion because he was a Roman Citizen; as such he was exempt from suffering Rome’s cruelest punishment.
Suspended on an olive tree and crucified. Buried in Achaia (Greece.)
Said to have been crucified upside down and buried in Allanum (Armenia.)
Died in India after being speared by four soldiers.
Crucified upside down in Hierapolis (Turkey.)
Some reports claim he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.
James (Son of Alpheus)
Stoned and clubbed to death by Jews in Jerusalem.
James (Son of Zebedee)
Beheaded by King Herod.
Executed by burning in Syria.
The only apostle to not die a cruel death; rather, he was banished by Domitian to the Isle of Patmos. John was subjected to torture when he was cast into boiling oil in Rome.
What do these men all have in common?
Their lives were radically changed when they encountered Jesus and they gave up absolutely everything to follow Him.
The most amazing part is they could have escaped inhumane treatment by simply denouncing their faith in Jesus Christ.
One word and it all stops.
Yet, none did.
They were witnesses to Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. They were convinced with no speculation or doubt that the Gospel was true and was worth everything they’ve got!
It was through their sacrifice and bravery that Christianity was born.
As we celebrate Easter, may we never forget not only the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus but the sacrifice his early followers made to bring the ultimate good news to the world.
So, my friends… Dr. King was right there does indeed exist a cause worth dying for and that cause is YOU.
“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” ~ Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:2)