And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.
Long before, the people of Israel were to be God’s witnesses, proclaiming His work and His character to the nations around them. They were to make Him known upon the Earth, specifically that Jehovah was God and beside Him there is no other. They were to make known that it was this God who had done miracles and wonders, it was this God who could deliver, and it was this God who people could trust and know personally.
Now the disciples are to be witnesses of Christ and to proclaim those same messages. They were direct witnesses of all the works of Christ, and now they were finally given understanding of how it all connected with what was already written in Scripture. Jesus showed them how He fulfilled all things. He laid out the amazing plan of redemption weaved throughout Scripture for all those years. It all culminated with His death and resurrection, and now they had to tell that story, too. The ultimate purpose was freedom from sin. It was all about Jesus all along, and now that they realized that, they were to spread the good news to all.
And in a way, we have received their witness. We believe what the Bible says about Jesus and His resurrection, what the biblical authors wrote by His Spirit, the truth of God given to us. And now we are also witnesses of His saving power, of His miraculous working, of the fact of His existence and His supreme power and authority. We as believers, forgiven sinners redeemed by His blood, are the evidence of God’s eternal love.
This was the whole point, the conclusion of the whole matter. This was the purpose of Jesus’ life. And because Christ fulfilled His purpose, now the church must fulfill its purpose. The work is finished. Christ was given, yet Jesus lives today to be our Lord and Savior. He suffered for our sins and rose in victory. There is no greater news to tell to others, no more important message to proclaim. So as we believe it in our hearts, as we know this truth so surely for ourselves, may we be witnesses to the world around us of what Jesus accomplished and what that means for them.