“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 KJV
The instruction to witness was given to the disciples by Jesus Christ just before His ascension into heaven. Today, It’s not uncommon to hear believers today say they are witnesses. However, a proper understanding of the word ‘witness’ or ‘witnesses’ is vital.
The word witness simply means eyewitness. A witness is someone who was physically present when an event took place. What qualifies a person as a witness is his availability to the occurrence of an event.
What were the disciples eyewitnesses of? What did Jesus mean when he told them they were to be ‘witnesses unto him’? Let’s look at some text to find out.
“This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.”
Acts 2:32 KJV
“And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.”
Acts 3:15 KJV
“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”
Acts 4:33 KJV
“The God of our fathers RAISED up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his WITNESSES OF THESE THINGS; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”
Acts 5:30-32 KJV
One of the words associated with witness or witnesses in all the quoted text above is resurrection or raised. They were to be witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ- the reality that God had raised Jesus from the dead. The context of their witnessing was clear and precise. They were witnesses of His bodily resurrection. They were to speak unashamedly of the resurrection of Jesus.
Technically, only the disciples who saw Jesus’ bodily resurrection could really claim the term witnesses. We can say same only because Christianity is a historical faith which requires we say the same things handed over to us, but the disciples saw it with their eyes and were to proclaim it.
The disciples knew what they were to be witness of. They were to preach the gospel – the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. They focused on the resurrection because it can only be preceded by a death and burial.
Go out today informing men that Jesus died for their sins, He was buried, but was RAISED back to life never to die again, so that anyone who believes in Him and His redemptive work can be a recipient of Eternal life.
Say This: I believe that Jesus died for my sins, He was buried and rose back to life for my justification. I am passionate about telling the world today. I am intentional about it.