The greatest event of all history up to this time is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In fact, without the resurrection, there is no Christian message. If it is just a theory or a philosophy, it has no power to help humanity. But thank God, it is a fact of history!
The knowledge of Christ’s resurrection places us under a solemn personal obligation to be witnesses to our generation. So let us look at a conversation between Jesus and His disciples after He was resurrected.
Focus your eyes on God’s kingdom
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:6–8
Jesus adjusted the priorities of the disciples. They were primarily concerned with the restoration of the earthly kingdom of Israel. Jesus did not say that it would not happen, but He said the time and the way in which it would be brought about is something that the Father has put under His own authority. He said, in essence, “That is not the thing about which I want you to be primarily concerned. You have a personal responsibility, and I want you to be faithful in discharging that responsibility.”
The responsibility that Jesus placed upon His disciples was to be His witnesses where they were and then in an ever-extending circle that would not cease until it had reached the end of the earth. He pointed out that in order to be effective witnesses they needed to experience a supernatural infilling of the Holy Spirit. You see, the resurrection of Christ is something totally supernatural and we need a supernatural power to bear effective witness to this supernatural event.
So He adjusted their priorities. He said, “Prophetic insight isn’t the first thing. Doctrinal knowledge isn’t the first thing. The first thing is to lead such a life that you will be witnesses to Me wherever you go.”
You too are a witness of Jesus’ resurrection
When the apostles decided that they had to appoint a successor to Judas Iscariot, this is how they expressed it:
Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He [Jesus] was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection. Acts 1:21–22
The primary function of an apostle was not to be a preacher or a teacher, it was to be a witness together with the other apostles of the resurrection of Jesus. And the essential point of the witness was that Jesus had risen from the dead. “
And with great power, the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all” Acts 4:33.
I believe that every person on the face of the earth has a right to know that Jesus rose from the dead. It is our responsibility to tell them. What they do with this knowledge becomes their responsibility. But if they never hear, then we have failed in our responsibility. You don’t have to be a preacher or an apostle to be a witness. I have heard this definition: to be a witness means to lead a life that can only be explained by the fact that Jesus is alive. That is what God requires of all of us. Whether we are preachers or not is secondary. Christianity: the way you live your life Christianity is primarily not a matter of doctrinal or intellectual knowledge or understanding of prophecy, but it is a matter of how we live.
In the book of Acts, the first description given to Christianity is in the phrase “the way.” People who were related to the early church saw Christians as people representing a way of life, not some theory. And that is what Christianity is primarily today—it is a way of life that makes us witnesses to Jesus and, particularly, to His resurrection.
This is exemplified by the kind of life that the apostles lived as Paul describes it in 1 Corinthians 15:30–31:
“And why do we stand in jeopardy [or danger] every hour? I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”
Paul’s lifestyle was a “deathstyle.” But he never was concerned because he knew that even if he died he would be resurrected. We also need to know that even if we do not lead the same kind of adventurous life as Paul, sooner or later we are going to die. That is one certain fact.
Be aware that evil company corrupts good habits If you are to be a faithful witness to the resurrection of Jesus, you must be careful about the company you keep. If you associate with the wrong people, they will take your faith away from you. Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
You must be circumspect in your close fellowship with unbelievers. You can be merciful, you can be gracious, and you can be loving, but you must not let their example dictate your lifestyle because it will destroy your faith.
Be inspired by Derek Prince’s personal testimony
When sharing from his own experience on what it means to be a witness of Jesus Christ, Derek Prince said:
‘I was educated in Britain between the two world wars. I was privileged to attend two of Britain’s most prestigious institutions: Eton College and Cambridge University. I studied Latin from the age of nine and Greek from the age of ten. I obtained many scholarships, and at a very early age I was elected into a Fellowship (resident Professorship) in King’s College, Cambridge. I say all that not to boast, but simply to show you that if intellectual education could satisfy the needs of a man’s heart, my needs would have been satisfied.
But they were not. I was an unfulfilled, searching person. I studied philosophy because I was searching for the meaning and purpose of life, but philosophy did not provide me with an answer. Academically I was successful, but inwardly I was frustrated. I did not know where to look for an answer.
Then, by an unplanned set of circumstances during World War II, I met some people who really were witnesses. They were humble and not highly educated, but their lives spoke to me of the fact that they knew Jesus personally as being alive today. That created in me a desperate desire to have what they had. Eventually, in desperation, in an army barrack room in the middle of the night, I prayed and asked God in the simplest way to give me what those people had.
I will thank God forever—He gave it to me! He revealed Jesus to me directly, personally and in an extremely powerful way so that there was no room left in my mind for doubt that Jesus Christ is alive and that I knew Him.
From that day to this, I have never been able to doubt that fact. That revelation of Jesus did for me all that the New Testament declares it will do. It totally, radically and permanently changed me—my character, my attitudes, my ambitions and my purposes in life. It gave me a reason for living that has kept me active and full of life and vigor and with a purpose to pursue until this very day.
I want to tell you out of my personal experience: Jesus is alive!
This teaching is taken from ‘Sharing in Christ’s Victory over Death’