"only say the word..."
"This is the Jesus God has raised up, and we are His witnesses." —Acts 2:32
On Pentecost, Peter stood up before several thousand people to witness for the risen Jesus. Peter didn't mention how many times he saw the risen Christ. He didn't mention touching Jesus' risen body or the time he ate with Him after the resurrection. Peter even omitted the fact that several hundred people simultaneously saw the risen Christ (1 Cor 15:6). Rather, Peter witnessed for the risen Christ by quoting three Old Testament passages: Joel 3, Psalm 16, and Psalm 110 (see Acts 2:17, 25, 34). Peter knew that the way we meet the risen Christ is through hearing God's word, not by seeing Jesus' risen body.
That explains why Jesus spent the first Easter Sunday afternoon interpreting for two of His disciples "every passage of Scripture which referred to Him" (Lk 24:27). Moreover, Jesus spent the first Easter Sunday evening opening the apostles' "minds to the understanding of the Scriptures" (Lk 24:45).
When God's word comes alive in our hearts, we realize that Jesus is alive. If the Lord has His way, these next forty-nine days of Easter will be a time of very intense Bible learning and teaching. Try to read the entire New Testament this Easter season by reading seven to ten pages daily. In addition, try to hear and share the preaching of God's word more frequently. As you do this, your faith in the risen Christ will grow (see Acts 20:32), your life will be transformed, and you will be a witness for the risen Christ as never before. Faith in the risen Jesus comes through hearing God's word (Rm 10:17).
Prayer: Father, may Your word burn in my heart (Lk 24:32).
Promise: "Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid! Go and carry the news to My brothers.' " —Mt 28:10
Praise: Praise You Jesus, the Living Word! Praise You for opening our minds to the Scriptures.
Reference: (Equip yourself to serve the Lord and share His Word through our Proclaiming God's Word retreat, Apr 19-22. Call 937-587-5464.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 9, 2009
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