The Big Question 22: How Did Christianity Begin?
Oct 10, 2018 1594
How did Christianity begin?
Actually, Christianity began in the unlikeliest circumstances.
The series of events that kicked off Christianity would be ones that most rational people would probably consider to be the least likely to start a religion. Just think about it for a moment.
The Romans had just crucified yet another Jewish religious teacher. It wasn’t the first time they’d done that. His followers were devastated, all their hopes dashed. They were in hiding, waiting for that knock on the door that would mean their arrest and execution would be next. But no-one expected what came next.
These same people, who had been total cowards, suddenly started standing up in public and saying that their leader, Jesus, had risen from the dead. Even more, they were saying that not only was he the Saviour of the world, he was God himself.
In that culture, to say something like that was totally stupid. Crucifixion was only reserved for criminals who were considered to be non-human. It was the ultimate shame. And everyone knew that people didn’t rise from the dead. Furthermore, the death of this Jesus had been officially certified.
This was all so completely ridiculous, that it was obvious to anyone with half a brain that this stupid belief would die out within a few weeks.
But it didn’t. And the question is why didn’t it die out?
The reason is that there were so many hundreds of people who were able to corroborate the story: people who verified that they had indeed seen the risen Jesus. In fact, they were so sure of it, that they just wouldn’t crack under torture and while being executed.
And what made what they said stronger was what Jesus had said about himself before his death. Many times, he had actually predicted his own death and resurrection. He had claimed to have the power over life and death. He claimed to have come from God, and to be the Saviour of the world.
It’s no wonder that the followers of Jesus Christ couldn’t stop talking about Christ all the time. That’s why they were first called Christians, probably in a derogatory sense. But they owned the name and wore it with pride.
And because of what they believed, the first Christians lived differently to everyone else. In a culture where no-one really cared for anyone else, they cared for one another, they cared for the sick and the poor. They had a peace and a happiness that others didn’t. And others wanted a piece of what they had.
So, Christianity started because of who Jesus was and what he did, and because of how that changed the lives of those people who trusted in him.
And I believe that Jesus is still doing the same things today!