“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
From The Christian Life in the Danger Zone
It takes guts and courage to be a Christian.
Like the first-century dispute answered well by Jesus about the resurrection of the dead (Mk. 12:26-27), found in the discourse between God and Moses at the burning bush familiar to every Jew in that day (Ex. 3:6), this simple truth about Christian guts and courage is hiding right there for us in plain sight in the scriptures. Conventional wisdom would council Jesus to stay away from Jerusalem for several months or even years for His own safety (Jn. 11:8).
But Jesus is not living His life according to conventional wisdom. Jesus is perfectly living a God-composed walk of faith as the Lamb of God Savior for mankind (Jn. 5:30).
Jesus goes back to Jerusalem the week of that fateful Passover, is crucified on Friday, and rises from the tomb on Sunday morning to become the author of salvation to all those who will place their faith in Him.
There is an exceedingly rare and unique storyline going on here, soaring out of sight above horizontally conventional thinking (1 Cor. 1:25). The life of Jesus, especially concerning the dramatic events leading up to Calvary, is as far removed from the expectations and aspirations of worldly conventional normalcy as is possible. It took the most unconventionally sublime guts and courage to be Jesus Christ. It takes guts and courage to be a disciple and a follower of Jesus Christ.
Listen to the brilliantly concise and courageously liberated words spoken by Peter before the Sanhedrin council recorded in Acts 4:8-12:
8 Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made well;
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
The underlying context supporting these powerful words regarding the Person and resurrection of Jesus Christ was created through the supernatural works of God alone. The events of the rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection that Peter is speaking about are divinely crafted and shaped by God (Isa. 53:3; Ps. 22:16; Ps. 16:10). The entire scenario of the crippled man healed at the gate of the temple, leading to this momentous confrontation between the old and the new at the beginning of the new covenant Christian church in Jerusalem is totally engineered by God. Peter is not testifying here about anything that he has done, using worldly wisdom or cleverly persuasive oratory. The boldness and clarity by which Peter speaks is energized by the Holy Spirit.