December 15, 2017
So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. -1 Peter 4:19
One by one they died. James, the brother of John, was beheaded. Thomas was killed in India. Simon was crucified in Egypt. Mark, the first Bishop of Alexandria was burned and buried in Egypt as well. Bartholomew was beaten, crucified, and beheaded. Andrew, Peter's brother, was crucified in Rome. Matthew was killed with a spear. Phillip was stoned then hung on a cross. James, the brother of Jesus, was beaten to death after being thrown from the temple didn't kill him.
Two years after writing his first letter, Peter was put to death in Rome. The records of the early church indicate that he was crucified. Eusebius--the "father of Church history," cites the testimony of an eyewitness named Clement who said that before Peter was crucified, he was forced to watch the crucifixion of his own wife. As he watched her being led to death, Peter called his wife's name and said, "Remember the Lord." When it was his turn, he pleaded to be crucified upside down because he wasn't worthy to die in the same manner as Jesus. So he was nailed to the cross head-downward.
The Apostles followed hard after Jesus during their lives and in their deaths. They committed "themselves to their faithful Creator." They were not only great teachers; they are great examples of suffering according to God's will.
Father, give me the courage to die for You if need be. For only when I am willing to die for You can I truly live for You. In Jesus' name. Amen.