Title: How Easter Revolutionised the Lives of These Four Disciples
Artwork by: YMI X @@hmcortesillustration
Description: Easter Sunday marks the day that forms the crux of the Christian faith.
Two days before that, Jesus was buried in a tomb fiercely guarded by Roman soldiers (Matthew 27:62). But, on the third day, His tomb was empty (Luke 24:5-6).
The resurrection of Jesus radically changed the lives of His disciples–men who were neither teachers nor rabbi, but just regular Joes working regular jobs. They were compelled to speak of what they had seen and heard (Acts 4:20)—and many were even willing to be martyred or face death for the sake of sharing about the gospel.
Even though Jesus no longer physically walked with them, He gave them the Holy Spirit which empowered them to be impactful witnesses.
Curious to know more about them and how Jesus’s resurrection changed their lives? Let’s hear from four of His disciples!
Hi, I’m John and I’m one of the 12 original disciples. Peter and I are partners in spreading the Gospel after the Pentecost.
Not everyone’s happy with our teachings though, because we were proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead (Acts 4:1-4). We were imprisoned for it. But those who heard our message believed it, and the numbers grew to about 5,000 (Acts 4:4).
People are also astonished to learn we’re just a bunch of regular Joes with regular jobs. You know, it just goes to show how ordinary people can shine for Jesus.
I was a Christian-slayer. I even approved the killing of Stephen.
But, one day, while I was on my way to Damascus to capture more Christian prisoners, a voice from heaven asked: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:2-4).
My defining encounter with Jesus left me a changed man, and I am clothed with a new identity and purpose.
I now fearlessly and boldly preach Christ (v 27-28). I’m an avid letter writer, and I’m known to pen lengthy letters to the various early churches and to individuals, encouraging them to stand firm in Christ. My letters are compiled into 13 books in the Bible.
The church I once persecuted grew in strength and numbers. For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
I’m Stephen, and I’m quite a secretive guy–not a lot is known about my personal life. I was added to the discipleship pack after the resurrection of Jesus, as more manpower was needed in sharing the gospel, which was growing exponentially.
God graciously filled me with His grace and power, enabling me to perform many great wonders and signs.
There were, of course, people who opposed my teachings, but the Holy Spirit gave me the wisdom I needed to speak, and nothing could stand against it!
Carrying out God’s will didn’t mean a trouble-free life for me. I was eventually stoned to death by those unhappy with what I was doing. I was able to endure such a painful death because when I looked to Heaven, I saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Saul was one of those who approved of my killing, but it’s okay Saul, I forgive you.
I once denied Jesus three times before His crucifixion. It was the lowest point in my life, but it’s made me resolve to spend my life displaying God’s power to those around me.
My teammate, John, and I are a dynamic-duo, and we spend a great deal of time preaching God’s word and also healing the sick. People came running to us when they saw how we restored a lame man’s ability to walk.
People gawk at us, as if it was our own power or godliness that made this man walk. I remind them that it was Jesus, the Man they disowned and murdered, but raised to life by God, who is the real miracle-worker. We witnessed His resurrection.
It’s the name of Jesus and his (the lame man) faith that healed him.