The making of a martyr
From Revelation: A 28-Day Devotional
Revelation 17 describes a woman "drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."
Jesus told us His followers would be persecuted, and Revelation 17 gives us an idea of just how bad it gets. "They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God," Jesus said (John 16:2).
Nothing solidifies our priorities more than thinking about what we would die for. Every year, thousands of Christians around the world are murdered because they confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
It’s hard to predict how we might respond if asked to lay it all on the line. Peter told Jesus he would follow Him anywhere — even die for Him! But when pushed to pick a side, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times.
Roughly 33 years later, Peter really did lay down his life for Jesus in Rome. What made the difference? What made the same man who wouldn’t admit to knowing Jesus boldly proclaim the Gospel and die for his Master?
Jesus’ resurrection transformed Peter, and it’s still transforming lives today.
Peter, crushed by guilt, mourned Jesus’ death and experienced His forgiveness firsthand (John 21). That the grave could not hold Jesus made everything else He said worth staking his life on. That one fact and our willingness to let it change our perspective is the thing that will transform us from Jesus’ acquaintances to actual disciples who are willing to die as martyrs.
- How does the thought of laying down your own life for Jesus change your perspective on your day-to-day existence?
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:31. How do we prepare ourselves for something like Peter faced?