Jesus was no political figure; he had no connection with Herod or the Sanhedrin; he took no political action; his disciples were relatively uneducated. Yet he changed millions more than Alexander the Great, Mohammed, and Napoleon put together. It all happened because his message and his physical resurrection transformed his early followers, who did not pick up the sword to defend themselves even during brutal persecutions, but rather they went about spreading his love and the need for his forgiveness by word and deed to all—regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, poverty, or wealth. They did so because they believed with all their heart, soul, and might the words of Jesus: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). They echoed the conviction of Peter’s words spoken to his fellow Jews: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
They took this stance because they knew that Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, did in fact physically and empirically rise from the dead. They knew that it was not their faith that validated Christ’s resurrection, as many of today’s modern theologians teach and preach, but that it was his physical resurrection that validated their faith.
— Alvin Schmidt, from How Christianity Changed the World, p. 45