The Twelfth Witness
The pros and cons of eyewitness testimony are being debated in legal circles. Fear, intimidation, or just nerves can cause an eye witness’s memory to become inaccurate or wrong. Scientific studies on the accuracy of memory reveal that a witness can be triggered to invent images of what happened that contradict the facts. As a result, in a criminal trial, a jury can convict the wrong person, but what about a case where the lawyer calls in twelve men from different socio-economic backgrounds, jobs, and yet they are unified in one thing: they saw what they saw?
Before you group the foundational beliefs about Jesus as myths, legends used to help millions cope with the uncertainties and threats of life, you should at least read carefully what a first century doctor says about the testimony of twelve eye witnesses to the events in Jesus’ life, beginning with His baptism by John the Baptist, His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and then ascension to heaven. When Judas committed suicide because he betrayed Jesus, the early believers knew it was essential to replace him with a credible eyewitness so that there would be the Twelve, the ones who give us the facts of the earthly life of Jesus.
“Therefore it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us during the time that the Lord Jesus came and went with us beginning from his baptism by John to the day that he was taken from us—one of these men should be a witness with us to his resurrection. They proposed two—Joseph, the one called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, ‘You, Lord, are the One who knows all hearts, reveal clearly who You have chosen from these two to take the place in this service and apostleship—the position that Judas turned away from, to go to his own place.’ And they cast lots to determine which man was the one, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was counted with the eleven apostles.” Acts 1:21-26
This entire group is Jewish and their Scriptures indicated in Proverbs 16:33 that “the lot is cast into the lap but its every decision is from the Lord, and Proverbs 18:19 told them that the lot can settle disputes. We’ll have to track how decisions are made in the first century church after the Spirit has come, but at this state there is not indication in the text that these early believers did not choose the right man. Now there are twelve, foundational, eye witnesses collaborated with many others, who will be willing to give their lives for the fact that Jesus died on the cross but then rose again
LORD, thanks for these credible Twelve who certify the truth about Jesus, Your Son. In a culture that quickly labels Jesus as one of many gifted religious teachers, help me to get across the reality that the eye witness testimony of these twelve men claims far more about our Savior and Lord.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!
You can also listen to weekly messages from Dave on OnePlace.com.