Reflections on Acts 1.
The disciples are confused and uncertain. To be fair, this was a unique time in all of history. Jesus had died before their eyes and now He has been raised to life. What next? It’s confusing and their confusion is revealed in their uncertainty about the future and how God’s kingdom will be played out in relationship to Israel (vs 6). They’re not sure what’s going to happen next.
But they can be sure of two very important, very life changing things … and Luke wants us to be sure of these too:
Firstly, that Jesus is very much alive. “After His suffering, He presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive” (vs 3). This is no figment of their imagination! Over a sustained period, in many different ways, to multiple people, Jesus showed that He is alive! The One who died for sins has been raised to life again in victory. It’s what we celebrated yesterday on Resurrection Sunday – not as a wish, or a hope, or a dream; but as a life-changing reality for all eternity. While we may not be able to physically see Him today because of the ascension, we can still be sure that He was raised to life and is alive! And, in the words of that old Bill Gaither hymn:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!
And secondly, that His followers have a very clear purpose. Those who saw His resurrection and those who believe in His resurrection are to testify to Him being alive to the ends of the earth: “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea & Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (vs 8). In this key verse in Acts, the purpose of Jesus’ followers is clear – testify about Him … bear witness to His death for sin and His resurrection to life. Starting right where we are, but with a concern that all people in all places hear; we are to live as witnesses of Jesus. Nothing has changed in nearly two thousand years. Those who believe in their hearts that Jesus was raised and confess Him as their Lord have not only the assurance of their salvation (Romans 10:9) but also a wonderful calling to be His witnesses wherever they are – to live lives that bear testimony to Jesus’ life-changing resurrection.
Amidst all the confusion of our modern world, are you convinced that Jesus is alive? And does that conviction shape the testimony of your life and witness? Pray that today you will be a faithful witness for the Saviour who lives.