Simon Peter stood before the emperor. He did not avert his gaze, but stood confidently before the most powerful man in Europe and beyond.
“I understand you have been causing unrest throughout my realm,” Caesar stated. “They tell me that Herod failed to kill you, and that you somehow escaped. It will not be such a simple matter here. So tell me what are these exaggerated tales you peddle?”
“Your Majesty, Jesus Christ – a righteous man – was falsely charged and executed by you Roman’s. But he has come back to life, and of this I am a witness,” Peter proclaimed.
“Nonsense,” the emperor snapped. “The dead do not return to life. I charge you to depart, and never speak such fanciful yarns again.”
“Yes Mighty Caesar, but I am constrained to tell the truth that Jesus Christ – a righteous man – was falsely . . . ,” Peter said boldly.
“Yes, yes. You have had your say, now no more of it!”
“But Jesus Christ – a righteous man, was falsely charged, and . . . ,” Peter rejoined.
“Do you not understand that I have the power to kill you?” Caesar bellowed.
“Yes, Your Highness, But Jesus Christ – a . . . .”
“Do you not realise that I am going to crucify you?” the emperor warned.
“No, Caesar. Not that I beg you. I am not worthy to die in the manner of Jesus. For he was a righteous man . . . .”
And Peter remained bold in his proclamation. He even then repeated his testimony, and he in his boldness was spared being executed “in the manner of Jesus.” Simon Peter, the fisherman from Galilee was crucified upside down.
*based on extra-biblical tradition.