Why was the reaction to Jesus' death, by his followers, different to the reactions to other great leaders deaths throughout history?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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From the most fundamental point of views, the differences of between Jesus' followers and the deaths of other great leaders is that Jesus' followers, his disciples, abandoned him in his death.  Part of the narrative is that Jesus died without any of his followers either standing with him or being near him in his crucifixion.  Even when Peter swears never to abandon his leader, Jesus tells him that "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times."   It was this stunning aspect of denial and betrayal that is such a part of the narrative of Jesus that is absent in other forms of worshipping the falling of a great leader.  In other narratives, the leader who falls has followers who survive and vow to publicly carry on the great work.  These followers outwardly critique those who took down the leader in the commission of their work.  Yet, in the case of Jesus, the reaction of his followers was one of abandonment.  Jesus' most ardent followers ran away from Jesus, some claiming to not know of him.  Seeking to flee from any sign of their master, Jesus' narrative of death is one in which the reaction of the followers is one of denial.

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