You Are a Witness!

Key Verse: “That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.”
—Luke 24:47, 48

Selected Scripture:
Luke 24:33-49

WHEN THE MISSION JESUS had come to accomplish of providing a ransom was completed at his death, it was not possible to continue holding him in death, and God used his mighty power to raise him from the dead on the third day. Jesus appeared to his disciples on various occasions starting on that day and during the following forty days before he left them to go to heaven. It was necessary to have eyewitnesses of his resurrection. As Paul would write later, “He was seen of Cephas [Peter], then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”—I Cor. 15:5-8

The women who came to anoint his body after the Sabbath were also eyewitnesses of his resurrection as were other faithful disciples. Two of them left Jerusalem to go to Emmaus about seven and one-half miles from Jerusalem. They knew of the report brought by the women who had gone to the sepulchre and were told by the angels that Jesus was alive. This was confirmed by others who had gone to the sepulchre, but the body was not there. Even this news was not enough to make them glad, rather they were still puzzled and sad as they journeyed. They were joined by our risen Lord who appeared to them as a stranger and asked what was engrossing their conversation to make them sad? They proceeded to tell him about the crucifixion of Jesus who was “a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.” (vs. 19) They believed that he was the Messiah. But his death was a great puzzle to them.

Jesus then said, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” (vss. 25,26) He witnessed to them, beginning at Moses and the prophets and explained what had happened and why. They came to the village and he appeared to be going farther but they pleaded with him to abide with them. When they sat down to eat and he blessed the bread and gave them to eat, they recognized the familiar manner of Jesus and their eyes were opened, but he vanished out of their sight. The witness Jesus gave to them caused their hearts to burn within them.

The two could not stay in Emmaus and hurried back to Jerusalem that same night and found the eleven apostles and other disciples still puzzled by the events of the day. As they told of their experience, Jesus appeared in their midst, and they were frightened. He had them touch him and ate with them. Then he expounded to them all that had been fulfilled as written by Moses, the psalmist and the prophets. A new work was to begin, later described by James as God taking out “a people for his name.” (Acts 15:14) Israel still had exclusive favor from God and from their nation would be found those who would be willing to follow Jesus. They would be used to witness to others, but first they had to receive the Holy Spirit to make their understanding of God’s plan complete. This would happen on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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