Luke 24:44-49: Commissioned as Witnesses

Each of the four gospels end with the great commission, and it is reissued again in Acts.  5 times in all we have Christ appearing to His disciples and telling them what to do now that He has died and been raised from the dead.  What is expected of us now that Jesus has risen from the dead?  This is the question that is answered by our portion today in Luke 24:44-49.  Our purpose, our identity, our mission it is all summed up in this one idea of being witnesses.  A witness is a legal witness who bears testimony to certain facts.  A witness is someone who speaks, someone who tells the truth, someone who bears testimony about certain historical realities, someone who talks about what they have experienced.  In v48 Jesus calls the disciples ‘witnesses of these things’ namely the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ and what it means for the world.  In Acts 1:8 Jesus calls them ‘my witnesses.’  The original apostles were the original witnesses but because their witness is written down and it is the churches job to be witnesses for Christ to all nations, to the ends of the earth, we as the church pick up the mantle and take the apostolic message forward in each generation.  Because we too are witnesses we need to listen closely to the words that Jesus spoke to His disciples after He resurrected.