If you can, you’re pretty unusual, because a lot of people can’t. Especially if it’s the kind of secret that—if exposed—could get them in major trouble.
One recent, and very public, example of this is the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal—which you probably heard about on the news—which helps to prove my point. Last year, when he was caught taking bribes, it didn’t take long for former Congressman Cunningham to spill the beans. He turned state’s evidence against his co-conspirators, and Time magazine reports that the congressman may have worn a wire to record secret conversations.
It doesn’t take much to make us talk, does it?
In that way, the Cunningham scandal reminds us very much of another scandal three decades ago, the infamous Watergate cover-up in which I was very much involved. Surprising though it may seem to some, it took only two weeks from the time that the president was first told the extent of the cover-up to the time when John Dean, his counsel, went to the prosecutors and made a secret deal to testify against the president in exchange for a lighter sentence. Now, mind you, this happened among twelve people, perhaps the most powerful in America, loyal to their leader. In a situation like that, as I saw up close, the desire to save oneself has a way of overriding loyalty or any idealism.
But that little quirk of human nature, believe it or not, gives us one of the strongest proofs we have for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Just think about the situation Christ’s disciples were in after He left them. Here was a group of peasants, powerless, up against the most powerful empire in the world. Possible prison time was the very least of their worries. They knew that torture and execution could be in their future if they refused to stop preaching the name of Jesus Christ.
But they couldn’t stop.
To a man, they kept talking about Christ’s life, death, and resurrection to anyone who would listen. None of them would deny or retract their story. Eventually, just as the authorities had threatened, most of them were executed for it. But still, all of them maintained to the very end that Jesus had risen from the dead—that they had seen Him, touched Him, talked with Him.