Dr Clay Jones from Biola University (my alma mater!) builds a defense on why Peter and Paul believed so much that Christ died and rose again that they went to their death for it. He utilizes what we call the Two Minute Drill (he refers to it as the 200 word answer:
In apologetics we provide argument and evidence for the truth of historic Christianity. For example, consider Jesus’ resurrection. We know that Jesus’ disciples walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus—they knew who Jesus was. They were with Jesus when he was arrested and they then scattered. The Romans then scourged Jesus, drove spikes through His wrists and His feet to nail him to the cross, and thrust a spear in His side to make sure He was dead. Then they buried Jesus.
But three days later, Jesus’ tomb was found empty and the disciples started testifying that they again walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus. And what’s really amazing is that many testified to his resurrection even to their own torture and death. We know extra-Biblically that Nero beheaded the Apostle Paul and we know from the Jewish historian Josephus that the Sanhedrin stoned to death Jesus’ brother James, who had become a leader of the Christian church.
So here’s my question: if Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, then why would the first disciples die for what they knew was a lie?
Then he proceeds to explain in wonderful detail WHY