“The Lord is risen, and has appeared to Simon Peter.”
The apostles and early disciples claimed that Jesus rose from the dead. Why should you believe they were telling the truth? Why should you trust them? Here are a few reasons:
1. Faith: The Christians worked miracles—not just miracles of healing, though some of these, too—but also by the astonishing power of their preaching. Largely uneducated men, facing intellectually formidable adversaries such as Jewish rabbis and Greek philosophers, still put together a grand new theology and philosophy of their experience of Jesus. Out of no earthly school, Christians produced a coherent interpretation of the Jewish Bible and a critical analysis of Greek philosophy. Christian faith challenges the ivory tower even today.
2. Hope: Christians gained no worldly benefit—neither wealth nor political influence nor sexual favors—but instead lived mostly in poverty and persecution, risking even death. They practiced sexual self-control and many, especially those with greater responsibility, gave up sexual relations and children in order to announce the good news of Jesus’ resurrection.
3. Love: Christians assembled communities of extravagant love. Yes, the early Church included grave sinners, freeloaders, and traitors—the same as we do today—but also heroically holy witnesses who served each other in humility and love. They gave up worldly respect and wealth in order to care for the sick, the poor, and the lonely.