Have you ever heard of Polycarp? This short video tells his story. Some of it may be legendary, but it is certainly true that he was burnt at the stake for his faith in Christ.
Polycarp (70-155) was a disciple of the apostle John, who is said to have appointed him bishop of Smyrna. Late in life he was arrested as the leader of what was mistakenly thought to be a dangerous cult. A Roman proconsul offered to set him free if he would simply say Caesar is Lord and offer a small pinch of incense to Caesar's statue.
Although he knew that refusal would mean torture and death Polycarp responded with this now-famous reply:
Eighty-six years I have served Christ, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?
Polycarp willingly died as a Christian martyr because he was persuaded that Jesus really did rise from the dead and was seen by John and the other apostles Polycarp had met.
Polycarp's life and death provides an inspirational example for all Christians. He gave his earthly life for Christ, and in the midst of his sacrifice, he gained eternal life.
|Ruins of Smyrna|
Throughout 2011, we will be sharing more stories of great Christians everyone should know. Please come back for our next entry.