Jesus's resurrection and the Law of the Pressurized Conspirator

I re-read an old book, among many, over the Christmas break,Cover of Cover via Amazon God in the Pits by Mark A. Ritchie. I highly recommend it. The section I want to transcribe here is the same argument I made a year ago, to start off 2011 at the UmBlog. No one dies for a their own lie. Nor do ten guys from many strata of society choose death under torture in many different societies maintaining they witnessed that Jesus rose from the dead. Ritchie writes from the commodities trading pit where fellow workers were busted for inside trading, among other things. First he gives credit to Chuck Colson's experience and observations.

Watergate conspirator Charles Colson was the first to notice this principle of the pressurized conspirator. In his book Loving God, colson observed that even with all the power of the presidential office to be preserved, his small band of loyal followers of the president could not contain the Watergate coverup for more than three weeks. As the enemies of the White House increased the pressure, the men of power gave in to the instinct of self-preservation. Indeed, the likelihood of exposure increased as the pressure on the individuals increased. For purposes of comparison, Colson hypothesized that the original founders of the Christian faith were a band of conspirators like those involved in Watergate; that they had, as my atheist professor suggested, disposed of their beloved leader's body in some hidden spot and proceeded to proclaim him miraculously alive. they soon found themselves the objects of the most cruel torture. And the more widely they spread their story, the more misery they had to endure. After his own experience as a conspirator, Colson observed that they could not have endured the pressure and kept their story intact had they been conspirators. pp. 204-5

Then Ritchie observes his own world of work.
The inside traders have everything to gain, while the first century conspirators had not only no positive things to gain but were inflicting on themselves more misery than it is possible for a human being to comprehend. In addition, the exposure of the insiders would not honly have removed their power and money, but would also have brought upon them great shame and possible jail terms. The opposite was the case for the disciples. Their exposure would not only have stopped their suffering, it might have produced significant financial and political reward for the individual who could have effected the exposure. Yet they maintained their story. p. 206

He goes on to recall a conversation with his wife about this topic.
"I don't know," she said. "People have been known to die for causes that were just wrong...Just because someone died for something doesn't make them any more right about their opinion than anyone else. What does it prove? Only that they are sincerely convinced, maybe misled."
"But this is different and that's just the point. The torturous death of the first-century eyewitnesses doesn't prove that theya re smarter than anyone else. but it does prove beyond any doubt that their testimony was sincere. they had to have been absolutely convinced that they had seen him alive." pp. 206-7
As far as I'm concerned, any defense of the Christian faith has to start with the resurrection of Jesus. Everything hinges on Jesus's resurrection. St. Paul himself writes 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty...17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! See 1 Corinthians 15.
If he didn't rise from the dead, his claims to divinity fall flat. If he's not divine he can't forgive sins. If did not rise, his words aren't trustworthy. If his words aren't trustworthy, the rest of the Bible is not either. But there were witnesses to the resurrected Jesus. They would not recant. They were convinced by their first hand encounter with the risen Jesus that he is indeed God.
English: Resurrection of ChristImage via Wikipedia
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