May 21, 2006

We are all witnesses

On Tuesday last week, I received an email from my brother that was preceded by an email from my father, with an attached photo of my grandfather.

My grandfather had died in 1993 and my grandmother had died in 2004 on the day before Easter. We grew up knowing our grandmother a bit more than our grandfather, though who could forget the photo of grandpa with us wearing his shorts, button down short sleeve shirt, black calf high socks and white shoes. We had spent many Saturday afternoons visiting Nana and had several memorable Christmas days at her apartment with the rest of our extended family. We had been fortunate to see Grandpa a few times, yet as few as they were they were still memorable and treasured times.

My brother described how the photo that was sent by my father, along with learning about Grandpa from his wife Polly, whom he was married to before he died, told a story of who he was that helped to fill in the missing parts of knowing about his life. My brother went on to make a very interesting point to say that each of us were witnesses to the life of Nana and Grandpa. Had either of them died when the grandchildren were too young to know either of them, their stories would have been told to us through photos, letters and personal accounts of events that occurred in their lives, so that we would know as much as we could about them. I realized that all of what my brother had written was true from a biblical perspective too.

Here are some examples:
  • Shepherds were witnesses to the birth of the Savior as it was announced to them from an angel of the Lord. (Luke 2:9-12)
  • John the Baptist witnessed the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus in bodily form after he was baptized in the Jordan River where God acknowledged Him as His Son. (Luke 3:22)
  • The disciples were witnesses to many miracles where Jesus had fed thousands of people with only enough food for one or two people, He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, opened the ears of the deaf, made the lame walk, and rose the dead to life.
  • The disciples were witnesses of Jesus calming a storm by His spoken word. (Mark 4:35-41)
  • The disciples were witnesses to Jesus walking on water during a severe storm on the sea. (Matthew 14:22-33)
  • Hundreds were witnesses to his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  • Hundreds more were witnesses to the release of Barabbas from Pontius Pilate instead of Jesus. (Luke 23:13-25)
  • The Romans soldiers were witnesses and accomplices to the severe scourging Jesus received. (Matthew 27:26)
  • The crucifixion of Jesus was witnessed by Jesus' mother Mary. (John 19:25-27)
  • Joseph of Arimathea witnessed Jesus' body as it was placed and sealed in the tomb that was for him. (John 19:38-42)
  • Mary Magdalene was the first to witness that Jesus had risen from the dead. (John 20:12-18)
  • The disciples were witnesses to the appearance of Jesus in a room in which He did not walk in to. (John 20:19-20)
  • Thomas, who had not seen Jesus in the room with the other disciples, doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead. He did not need to put his fingers in his hands, nor his hand into his side because he had now witnessed the risen Lord, saying, "My Lord and My God!" (John 20:24-29)
  • Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, and two other disciples were witnesses to having breakfast with Jesus by the sea, which was the third time Jesus had appeared to them after He was raised from the dead. (John 21:1-14)
  • More than 500 people were witnesses to seeing Jesus at one specific time after He had risen from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
  • The disciples were witnesses to Jesus' instruction to be witnesses of Him in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
  • They witnessed His ascension into heaven before their very eyes. (Acts 1:9-11)

The photos of Nana and Grandpa are proof that they lived. Even greater proof are their children. An even greater proof are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Alfred (Mike) and Anne Michaelson. We are witnesses to their lives, a living testimony, to the lives of our parents.

Since God is our Father, a difficult question must be asked. Will God know that each one of us individually, have been a living testimony, a witness, of Jesus Christ in our lives to others? Just 17 accounts from the bible have been provided of witnesses to the life of Christ when all we needed was His birth, His death, and His resurrection. The witness of those three accounts alone are the burden of proof to the world, to each one of us individually when the day comes to give an account of our lives to God.

A witness for Jesus Christ is a person who willingly confesses to another the life of Christ in them, and God's desire for each person to come to the knowledge and understanding of who Jesus Christ is, God's witness of the forgiveness of sin, the salvation of our souls and the inheritance of eternal life, that is only found in Jesus Christ.

"For God so loved the world that He gave is only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son inot the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16-17)

"You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." 2 Corinthians 3:3

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I especially enjoyed this blog Mr. Michaelson. It is such an amazing Biblical truth that we are witnesses to what we have seen, heard and what God has done in our lives. And on earth we are the offspring of our parents and grandparents, therefore witnesses that they lived, loved and left a legacy.