Though we see and experience many events each day, few of us will be called to recount testimonial evidence as a witness in a court hearing. We value and protect this and other evidentiary procedures of the Law because without them, the facts and perception of the truth would be subject to manipulation and abuse, resulting in great harm. God has provided his Word for the same purpose—to substantiate the facts.
- Upon what evidence do you rely for your faith?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 24:36-49 (ESV)
36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Though they had just proclaimed that Jesus had risen from the dead, how did the disciples react when he appeared among them?
- What did their reaction indicate about their understanding of Jesus’ identity and their trust in him?
- What did Jesus do to provide proof of his physical resurrection? How does this relate to Jesus’ statements in verses 44-46?
- What charge does Jesus give in verse 47? How have you responded to this charge?
RESPOND TO GOD
Jesus’ death was a crushing blow to the disciples. Knowing their human frailties and doubts, Jesus came to them to demonstrate his risen body (thus proving his words were true) and to explain that his death and resurrection were predicted throughout the Old Testament as part of God’s redemptive plan for all humankind. Having opened their minds to the full understanding of his identity as the risen Christ, Jesus reiterated his foremost message, “that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations” (vs. 47). Before he departed, he also gave the disciples (and us) a new descriptive name: witness—one who attests to the truth.
- Thank him for the cloud of witnesses who led you to an understanding and trust in Jesus.
- Pray for opportunities this week to attest to the truth of God’s Word with those in your immediate circle who doubt.