By Jerry Morningstar, Sully Community Church pastor
There is an old remembrance I have from my childhood days growing up in Lincoln, NE. My brother and I were returning home from a walk to the store. While walking along on the sidewalk, a car slammed into the rear of a parked car along the side of the road just a few feet in front of us. The driver then backed up his car and sped away. A moment later, a guy came running out of his house yelling at the driver to come back – but it was too late. However, my brother then told the car owner that he got the license plate number. Needless to say, this brought great relief to the car owner as he shared that he did not have insurance on his car. If we had not been there, I suppose the car owner would have been out of luck. But since we were eyewitnesses, we were able to provide helpful information. In our legal justice system, all kinds of evidence can be brought forward to prove a case against a defendant. Sometimes evidence is set aside or dismissed for various reasons. However, one piece of evidence that is rarely set aside is the testimony of a credible eyewitness. If there are two or more witnesses, all the better.
The apostles in the Bible liked to make mention of the fact that they were eyewitnesses of the events surrounding the life of Christ. Peter wrote: “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.’ – and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain” (II Peter 1:16-18). This was Peter’s way of saying, “We were there!” We were eyewitnesses when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain. We were there when Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead. We were there when the risen Lord appeared to the disciples in the upper room. The Apostle John also liked to use the “eyewitness” argument when he referred to “what we have heard, and what we have seen with our eyes” (I John 1:1).
I am glad the apostles were around to witness the events surrounding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. I know it was no accident they were on hand for such things, but rather they were providentially chosen for such a vital role. Their testimony coupled with the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts confirms to us our faith rests on a solid foundation. Did Jesus really calm the storm with a word? Did He really feed the 5,000, die on a cross, and rise again? Listen to the eyewitnesses!