Witnesses for Christ

Thursday of Octave of Easter

Acts 3: 11-26; Luke 24: 35-48

By Deacon Larry Brockman


You and I are being called to be witnesses, not just bystanders to Easter joy.


You see, we are in the middle of our Easter celebration, and during that celebration, we should be coming to a fantastic realization.  Because just like the disciples did in that upper room, you and I are hearing about what Jesus said and did straight from the horse’s mouth.  The words in the Gospel and Acts tell us all about it, about how all the things that Jesus said and did fulfilled the Old Testament covenant of the coming of the Messiah; and about how Jesus was resurrected from the dead, and appeared to his disciples.  You should be really excited and joyful. 


Let’s look at it this way.  Just close your eyes now and imagine that you were there.  You are hiding in fear in an upper room.  And all of a sudden you see it.  Jesus the Christ has risen! He is risen indeed, and He is standing before you and talking and answering questions, and even eating a piece of fish.  He was dead- you saw that; but now, He is very much alive.   And it is then that you realize it:  That God loved you so much that he actually sent His son to suffer and die for you; and that God’s son actually rose from the dead just the way he predicted!  That has never happened before- and it is proof that Jesus is the son of the almighty God!  Wow! Can you imagine your joy- because fear of death would be gone.


Each year we celebrate our own personal realization of the Easter mystery.  We can’t just say “ho hum” as we celebrate, and go on with life.  Rather, we are being called to be a witness of the truth of Christianity just like the disciples.  That is the point of the Gospel- it is our Easter duty to evangelize and be witnesses.


And why not?  Easter brings us great joy, because we have come to believe that Jesus has guaranteed all of us who believe everlasting life in the Kingdom of God!  So, out of love of God, we need to share that good news with everyone else.  But just how do we become witnesses for Christ?  What should we actually do? 


Well, what did the disciples do?  First, we see these men, huddled in the upper room out of fear that they would be persecuted next.  But after the Easter event all of that changed.  They defied the authorities and told everyone about Jesus.  And then his disciples even worked miracles in Jesus name.  These disciples were living out what it means to be witnesses for Christ.  They were preaching the Gospel by their deeds, by their enthusiasm, and by their love for one another.  They were telling the truth about their faith.  They were not afraid; they wanted everyone else to share in their joy.


That’s what you and I are being called to do, and it is exciting, because we live in a time when the truth of the Easter mystery is being hidden and suppressed in our culture.  We have the chance to change all that by standing up for our faith; by telling the truth; by being witnesses for Christ. 


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