After the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, He was laid dead in a tomb. However, soon after His Apostles went out and claimed that He was resurrected. Each of them testified that they had seen the Risen Christ, and brought this message to the ends of the earth. So here is my question:
The Apostles all knew whether or not this claim was a lie. If it was a hoax that they had made up (by stealing the body or whatever) then they were not mistaken. How is it then that these men went out and proclaimed that Jesus was alive and risen? They underwent constant ridicule and persecution for their teaching, and ultimately all but the Apostle John were martyred. Why not simply admit that the whole thing was a hoax rather than undergo a horrific death? Why would Saint Peter be crucified for what he knew to be a complete lie?
You might claim that they were all deranged religious fanatics… but all twelve? Perhaps one person might do such a thing, but how is it that all twelve stuck to the same story? Where did Jesus dig up such a group of clearly unstable madmen then?
Peter and several of the other Apostles were fishermen, Matthew was a tax collector. Why not go back to your old jobs? Why not go back to your families? Clearly, these were simple and practical men. They had nothing to gain by such a hoax.
I look forward to any and all responses.
Peace be with you,