Jesus’ first encounter with the disciples after His resurrection was very important. They were fearful, distressed, discouraged, and perplexed. They had locked the doors of the room out of fear, but Jesus came and stood in their midst. With a clear and warm voice He said to them:
Peace to you. Startled and terrified as they were, it was difficult for them to believe their eyes and ears. Lovingly, the Lord showed them His hands and His feet and explained to them everything the Scriptures said about Him. That night, His presence and His words transformed them dramatically, dispelling their anxiety and unbelief and filling them with the peace and joy that come from the certainty of His resurrection.
Then Christ began to expound their mission, gradually helping them to grasp the significance of their responsibility as witnesses of His death, His resurrection, and His power to forgive sins and to transform lives (Luke 24:46-48). They had surely seen Him die, but they had also seen Him alive again. So they could testify for Him, that He was the Savior of the world.
A witness is someone who has seen an event happen. Anyone can be a witness, provided that he or she has personally watched something. There is no such thing as a secondhand witness. We can testify based only on our own experiences, not someone else’s. As rescued sinners, we have the privilege of telling others what Jesus has done for us.
The book of Acts shows that the believers’ testimony could have convincing power only through the presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling in their hearts. After receiving the Spirit,
with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Acts 4:33, NKJV). That is, they were able to speak, openly and with great power, about what they themselves had witnessed and experienced. In a very real sense, our witness about Christ must always include our own experience with Him.
What has been your own personal experience with the Lord? What has God done in your life that you can witness about firsthand to others? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath.