The Advent Part 30
So why was it important for the one that was to be chosen to take Judas’s place among the twelve to have been present from the baptism of John? The person that was to be chosen needed to have been present, because the baptism of John was the visible sign of the beginning of Christ’s ministry as Messiah among the people of Israel. When Jesus came to be baptized by John, it showed His submission to the will of the Father, and He received the testimony of heaven that He was indeed the Son of God.
Matthew 3:16-17, “Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘this is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
These men were true witnesses, ones who had seen, from the beginning all that Jesus had done, ones who had heard all that Jesus had said, and who had witnessed the miracles that He performed. Their faith needed to be unshakable, their resolve needed to be unwavering, and their testimony needed to be blameless, because they knew what they must endure for the cause of Christ. They realized early on that this would not be a jaunt down a rose petal covered alley; this would not be an easy endeavor, because they had seen what had been done to Jesus. They had witnessed Him being falsely accused, they had witnessed Him being beaten and bruised, they had witnessed Him being nailed to a cross, and they realized that if their Master, their Rabbi endured such things, then they would not be spared by any means.
The words of Jesus still rang in their ears, they knew that anyone who would not forsake all was not worthy of Him, they knew that anyone who desired to follow after the Christ needed to deny themselves, pick up their crosses and walk the narrow path of faith, they knew what they were getting into. The fact that they would later endure hardship, tribulation, persecution, and even martyrdom did not come as a surprise to these men, yet the counted it all loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus.
The one that was to be chosen would be a witness with the other Apostles of Christ’s resurrection. They would not be witnesses of His good works, they would not be witnesses of His wise words, they would not be witnesses of His gentle heart, they would be witnesses of the one thing that testified to His Godhood, that of being raised from the dead, and ascending into heaven. The Pharisees had no problem with good works, they had no problem with wise words, they did however have a problem with the fact that Jesus had risen from the dead, His tomb was empty, and His followers preached a resurrected Christ.
The resurrection of Christ proves powerfully and clearly that He is the Son of God, the true Christ, that there is a resurrection of the dead, and that there is eternal life in Him.
Romans 1:1-5, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, through whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ.”
The fact that the Son of man, Jesus of Nazareth, lived, preached, performed miracles, loved us, and died, would not have such great significance for us, or for mankind as a whole if He would not have also been raised from the dead, if He would not have also been Lord, King and the Christ of which the prophets of old prophesied.
It is with great boldness and courage born of conviction that the Apostles declared to all who would hear, that God raised Jesus from the dead, and they were witnesses to this fact. The first witness, the first testimony upon which the entirety of the Church and the entirety of the Body of Christ rests is the reality of His resurrection.
Death could not hold Him, for He conquered it, and we as His disciples, we as His followers will likewise conquer death for when Christ our life appears, we will also appear with Him in glory.
1 Corinthians 15:19-22, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the firstfuits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as is in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”
So the next time you hear someone, and I’ve heard the following from preachers who ought to know better as well, that Jesus was a great teacher, a good and noble man, a prophet even, but to call Him the only begotten Son of God, and the only means by which man may attain salvation would be going one step too far, either walk out, or rebuke them in Jesus’ name.
These men who comprised the primary church went to their deaths because they remained steadfast in their testimony concerning the resurrection of Christ. All but one of the Apostles suffered horrible deaths, because they would not compromise the absolute truth that Jesus is the only way to salvation, and the only means by which man may be reconciled to God. No one is threatening our preachers with jail, never mind death or torture, yet they voluntarily deny the singularity of Jesus, and the fact that He is the only way, and the only truth and the only life.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.