Why did not the disciples lay down their life? Why did not Jesus stop His crucifixion?
Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.
"And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. not he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whosoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast, and forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail Master; and kissed him…Then came they and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. Tlhen all the disciples forsook him, and fled…At the last came two false witnesses. And said, this fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerst thou nothing what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his pace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, and Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death, Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him: and others smote him with the palms of their hands. Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee? Now Peter sat without in the palace; and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also was with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath I do not know the man.' (26: 47, – 50, 56, 60 – 72, 74.)
C. ~ Now what can you think of Christ who had even the power or influence to instill firm faith into the minds of his disciples who ought to have laid down their lives rather than betrayed their master through greed, or denied him, or told an untruth or sworn falsely. Nor did Christ possess any miraculous power. It is written in Genesis (19:11) that all the people of Sodom attacked the house of Lot to kill his guests who were two angels of God. They (two angels) smote them with blindness.
Through this is an impossible story but anyhow it shows that Christ did not possess even so much power as the two angels did, yet the Christians now-a-days make no end of fuss over the powers of Christ. He ought to have preferred suicide with a weapon or by stopping his respiration with the help of Yoga or in some other manner to death with such ignominy. But how could he have this sense when he was so destitute of knowledge.
Answer: Maharishi’s question about disciples of LORD Jesus Christ being not ready to lay down their lives arises out of half knowledge of history and so is the question on why LORD Jesus Christ did not stop the crucifixion. If one were to look at the history that followed after crucifixion, one cannot deny the fact that crucifixion had to happen for the greatest good of humanity and these very events that followed crucifixion revealed that LORD Jesus Christ is the all powerful God.
While it is certainly true that at that point of crucifixion, disciples left LORD Jesus Christ and was dejected and depressed, shortly after the death and burial, they became bold witnesses of LORD Jesus Christ laying down their own lives. The Holy Scripture and history bears ample evidence for this transformation.
Acts 4: 1- 14 “Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, "By what power or by what name have you done this?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed [done] to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
(a) The disciples of LORD Jesus Christ were threatened and yet they did not cease preaching about LORD Jesus Christ.
Acts 5: 40-42 They agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
(b) The disciples of LORD Jesus Christ were beaten up and yet they did not cease preaching about LORD Jesus Christ.
Acts 7:55-60 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast [him] out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
(c) The enemies started killing the followers of LORD Jesus Christ, yet they did not cease preaching about LORD Jesus Christ.
However, what happened was that those who persecut
ed the followers of LORD Jesus Christ became followers of LORD Jesus Christ ready to suffer all things for LORD Jesus Christ. Now let us what the same Saul who led this persecution later suffered for the name of LORD Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:24-33 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness– besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.
What was the motivation for these disciples to have such paramount change in life?
It was the power of LORD Jesus Christ which defeated the death and working in their own lives.
Philippians 3:8-11 “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, FOR WHOM I HAVE SUFFERED THE LOSS OF ALL THINGS, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; THAT I MAY KNOW HIM AND THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
Now, the power of His resurrection is something that no Yogi can ever have or had. It is time that the Vedic believers should leave the Vedas bereft of any power and turn to LORD Jesus Christ who conquered even death.