Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Witnesses of the Resurrection

Anita Clark – Pastor 
Carbondale, Kansas

After the ascension of Jesus into heaven, recorded in Acts 1:10 & 11, His disciples returned to Jerusalem and were gathered in an upper room, continuing, “with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Vs. 14).  Peter stood up in their midst and declared they should appoint another to take the place of Judas Iscariot.  One who had “companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us...unto the same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of His resurrection” (Vs. 21,22).
In Acts 2 after the out pouring of the Holy Ghost and Peter’s declaration that “this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel,” in Vs.16, he goes on to state, “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know; have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up having loosed the pains of death because it was not possible that He should be holden of it” (Vs. 22-24).  Again in Vs. 32, Peter says, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” 
The resurrection of Christ is of such vital importance for all believers.  He had affirmed throughout His ministry that He would die and rise again.  The disciples then witnessed the “Infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3) of the empty tomb and His appearances to them and others.
In Acts 4:33 as many that believed were gathered together at Jerusalem it is written of them, “And with great power gave they witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”  Today we also give witness of our resurrected Lord and Savior through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Apostle Paul encountered the resurrected Jesus as recorded in Acts 9, as he journeyed to Damascus intent to do harm to those who believed and preached this risen Savior. When the brightness of the risen Lord shined about him and revealed Himself saying, “I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest” (Vs. 5), Paul from that time forward gave witness to Jesus’ resurrection. In Paul’s first recorded sermon as preached at Antioch in Piscidia, He declared, “When they had  fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulcher.  But God raised Him from the dead; And he was seen many days of them which came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses unto the people” (Acts 13:29-31).
Paul continued to say, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you, the forgiveness of sins: And by Him all that believe are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Vs. 38-39).  This message we gladly affirm yet today.  It is the only message which can change men and bring hope.  And we are witnesses to the power of the resurrected life that has been imparted to us who believe.