“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. . . . But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:10, Acts 1:8)
How beautifully the Holy Spirit weaves His themes in and out of Scripture, causing them to emerge in different centuries of the sacred story, each time according to His wise purpose.
The wording of Isaiah’s verse is so close to that of Acts 1:8 that there can be little question about their being close spiritual cousins. The exact details are different but the living thrust of both passages is a divine mission for every true believer in God.
We are to be His witnesses. For the people listening to the prophet, the message was to boldly display the solid case for His eternal Being. They were to show off the perfect trail of prophecy. Since forming the nation, Jehovah had sent Israel a continuous stream of fulfilled prophecies, spanning everything from international politics to personal blessings. The evidence was irrefutable.
In comparison, the argument for any idol of any nation of the world was ludicrous. Various times throughout the book, Isaiah pokes fun at the whole idea of manmade images and the utter absurdity of them being able to foretell anything.
Centuries later Doctor Luke recorded the precise last words of Christ before His ascension. Surely he knew that anyone familiar with Isaiah’s writings would quickly make the connection. The charge was pretty much the same, only here in the New Testament the grace of Jesus and the goal of worldwide evangelism were more clearly seen.
All of the redeemed were now officially called to join the witness stand. The followers of Jesus were to share the overwhelming testimony of His life and identity as Savior of the world.
However, the courtroom was not a specific building or place. It was much larger than that. It was the entire earth! Christians were to scatter to every corner of the globe to witness of the greatest truth mankind could ever know.
As back in Isaiah’s time, these godly people had a thick dossier of proofs. Miracle after miracle, fulfillment after fulfillment, many visual confirmations of His resurrection . . . all stacked up to certify Him as the One and only Messiah.
Perhaps the astonishing question for all of us should be: Why does God even stoop to give us this honor? I really don’t think we could understand the full answer.
We have no inherent right to be such royal ambassadors. We are mere clay, completely unworthy of having the divine image imprinted on our souls or being selected to represent the invisible Lord before a lost world.
But in His amazing grace, the King has chosen us to tell each generation that He was, and is, and always will be. We are living monuments of His love, and are expected to share with any soul who will listen, that He is God.
Dear Father, very often I have been silent about You, both in actions and speech. For many around me, I may be the closest one in Your family they will ever meet. Please help me hold the banner high and boldly show them that You are the true God, and that You came to die for their redemption. Amen.