“And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NRS)
“Somebody, somewhere…can I get a witness? Let me hear you…can I get a witness? I want a witness! Just a little bit louder…can I get a witness?” These pleas aren’t coming from a person falsely accused or someone currently incarcerated, but are the lyrics from Marvin Gaye’s 1963 hit recording, “Can I Get a Witness?” (I was still in junior high school)
You would think that living in an age of IPhones and Instagram that personal witnessing would no longer be needed. However, witnesses to Christ’s resurrection are still necessary to address an unbelieving and lost world (1 Cor. 1:23). With this thought in mind, we’ve chosen to focus April’s teachings on the importance of our Christian witness and why we believe what we do. Can I get a witness?
Easter or Resurrection Sunday is unlike any other day in the history of mankind. On that day Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Luke 1:32, 35) resolved the issue of sin (Mat. 1:21). As a result of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, man, who was spiritually dead, lived again (1 Cor. 15:21-22). The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is more that an event; it is the heart of the Good New Message, which believers are commissioned to proclaim: Jesus Christ came from heaven and died for our sins. He rose from the dead. Now we have eternal life. This is the Resurrection witness.
Witnessing is defined as the presentation of evidence. The early church’s presentation of and confidence in the gospel was directly proportional to their confidence in the reliability and accuracy of the witness put forth by Jesus’ followers. Their witness would first serve as a defense of Jesus Himself and the gospel message. Secondly, their witness would become the vehicle for presenting the gospel. Jesus’ followers could provide firsthand knowledge about Jesus’ earthly ministry, from John’s baptism to Jesus’ ascension. Such witness would later provide credible sources for the rich content of the Synoptic Gospels. Jesus’ followers were Resurrection witnesses.
Resurrection Sunday was not only a historical fact but it is also a holy commissioning. Witnessing to the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not a practice that was isolated to the first century church but is even more critical as believers are challenged to “give a witness for the hope that lies within them”(1 Pet. 3:15). Living in this post-modern age, belief in the resurrection is viewed as a fable perpetuated by the Church to justify its existence or for mental weaklings using their faith as a “spiritual crutch”. It is time that the Church, individually and collectively, begin to take our anointed and appointed position as Resurrection witnesses. Look for “resources” and other teaching links on our website each week to support your growth as Resurrection witnesses.