248. Witnesses of what?
"You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth."* ( Acts 1:8) Witnesses of what? An event! Just as eye witnesses are called to testify about an event that they had witnessed, the disciples too were called to testify about an event that they had witnessed. *What was that event?* The glorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead! Hallelujah! *'In those days, Peter stood up among the believers and said, "... it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning with John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."'* ( Acts 1:21-22) Then on the day of Pentecost, filled with the Spirit, Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd, saying, *" ... God has raised this Jesus to life and we are all witnesses of the fact."* (2:32) Thereafter, at the temple gate called Beautiful, where a crippled was healed, Peter said to the crowd that came running to them: *"...You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this."* ( 3:15) The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees *'were greatly disturbed because the Apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.'* ( 4:1-2) Despite their threats, *'with great power the Apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus'* ( 4:33) in Jerusalem! When Peter was sent for by Cornelius who lived in Caesarea, he said to those who had gathered in that house : *"We are witnesses of everything Jesus did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen ... by witnesses whom God has already chosen ..."* (10:39-41) We too have been chosen by God in this generation to be witnesses of Christ. *But how can we be witnesses of the resurrection without having witnessed it ?* Since we have experienced the power of the resurrection when he brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light, our rebirth therefore testifies to his resurrection power! The power that was *'exerted in Christ when God raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms'* ( Ephesians 1:19-20) is the same power that is at work now in us who believe! However, we need to be his witnesses not only with our lives but also with our words and with acts that demonstrate the power of the resurrection! Hence, he has asked us to *'wait UNTIL we have been clothed with power from on high'* ( Luke 24:49). The one who commanded his disciples to *'go and make disciples of all nations'* ( Matthew 28:19), also *'gave them this command: Do not leave Jersusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised'* ( Acts 1:4). Obviously the command to wait *precedes* ( come before in order or position) the command to go! *Both commands are to all believers throughout the Church age.* Had we obeyed his commands, this generation would have been evangelized a long time back, the Bible way! Amen.