July 24, 2006

Christ on Trial

Acts 1:1-9

"You will be my witnesses." Acts 1:8


We are Christ's witnesses. As John Stott points out in his little book The Preacher's Portrait, this word is a legal one. It suggests a courtroom scene in which Christ is on trial, the devil is the accuser, and the world is acting as judge. We are brought in as witnesses.

And where is the courtroom? It's spread across the entire world, so we are witnesses wherever we are. Specific charges are brought against Jesus--that he is irrelevant in business, impotent in the social sciences, outmoded in history, or just plain foolish in daily life. And the Spirit prompts us to witness for Christ.

This suggests that our witness must at some point become verbal. We must point the world specifically to Jesus. We must speak about Jesus' life and words. We must echo Jesus' call to follow him.

That's intimidating to most of us. We fear losing our train of thought or not being able to muster an argument. But a stumbling witness is often more credible than a too-slick one. Halting words may be just what someone needs to hear. Our very weakness sometimes confirms our honesty. And although we are not eyewitnesses as the apostles were, we also have experienced Jesus. As Peter says, "Though you have not seen him, you love him" (1 Peter 1:8).

Are you willing to take the stand?

Dear Jesus, we have heard your voice speak to us in your Word. We do believe. Give us courage to testify about you before the world. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Tim Holwerda

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