Acts 2:14a, 22-33
“This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.” vs. 32
There are a lot of explanations for the rapid expansion of Christianity in the first century. Some credit Paul with developing a message that offered freedom and hope to God-seekers, and that appealed to both Jews and Gentiles. Without him, they say, no one would even remember that crucified rabbi from Nazareth. It’s interesting to consider such arguments but the true explanation for the growth is much simpler. Jesus was raised up from the dead by God, and his disciples were transformed by the continuing presence of his Spirit among them. Simple Galilean fishermen staked their lives on the validity of their experience and began to spread the good news of new life in Christ. Some stayed close to home, others took to the road, and within twenty years of Jesus’ death, news of the resurrection had spread all over the Mediterranean area. We can certainly have different perspectives on the nature of the resurrected Jesus and debate the significance of the varying accounts of his appearances that appear in the four gospels, but we can’t deny that something big happened! And what is even more remarkable is that those Jesus encounters have continued into our own age, and now billions of people look to him as their Savior and Lord. And witnesses continue to give their testimony, speaking to family and friends of the God-connection that has come to them through Jesus., “Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!” Of that all of us are witnesses!
Thought for the Day: What’s my favorite metaphor for the resurrection?