The Christians going to the lions didn't happen in Jesus' time. It started happening around 200 years later, and was mostly due to the Christians disrespecting pagan gods. There were many different gods and religions that got along well in the Roman Empire at the time. For two hundred years. Pax Romana. Almost no religious conflict whatsoever. Until the early Christian churches started popping up. The Christians agitated the public and the public pushed the government to do something about those annoying Christians who were obviously deranged demon worshipers with their zombie prince and talk of brimstone and hellfire.

Nero was persecuting Christians when he was emperor in 64 AD. Persecution of the Christians by Rome ended in 313 AD when Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity.

In 380, Rome invented the Roman Catholic Church and made it the official state religion of Rome. The Roman Catholic Church deified Jesus the Messiah. Before the Romans created the Roman Catholic Church, the Christians were a fanatical Jewish sect. They were goofed on because they were easy to goof on. The historical Jesus was a subversive Jew, put to death by Rome. When Rome made the Messiah God their new tool for social control of the empire, they made the Jews the culprit in the execution of Jesus. The Jews "tricked" Rome into wrongfully giving Jesus the death penalty.

Thomas Jefferson took the New Testament and stripped it of all Roman constructs and supernatural additions to turn it into a "religion." The Jefferson Bible presents Jesus as a revolutionary, in thought and deed. Jesus as Ché Guevara, not a guy floating up to the clouds doing magic tricks.

But frankly, I am just going with the research that has been done on the subject up until now. A lot of people don't realize, or don't want to know, that there is really no evidence for the existence of an historical Jesus, or Yeshua ben Yosef, which would have been his actual name. Never has been. The entire narrative of Jesus is supported by belief and tradition, not fact or evidence. And I am sure y'all know how I feel about that sort of thing.