Great Commission


A Christian witness must be "ready to make a defense . . . for the hope that is in you" (1Pe 3:15). Your testimony is based on the truth of the gospel. God has "furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead" (Ac 17:31). Jesus "was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead" (Ro 1:4). To be able to explain you must understand Jesus' part in the predetermined plan. He "began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things" (Mt 16:21). He told them, "'The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day'" (17:22-32). It was a planned sequence of events. However, he said, "'Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead'" (17:9). On the Cross he said, "'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit'" (Lk 23:46). Jesus was buried and would be raised on the third day. Some point out that during this time he preached "unto the spirits in prison" (1Pe 3:19 KJV). What form did he take at this time? "He appeared in a different form" (Mk 16:12) to disciples on the road to Emmaus. Later he appeared to the disciples and "He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be to you'" (Lk 24:36). "They were startled and frightened and thought they were seeing a spirit" (:37). He said, "'Touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have'" (:39).

On the journey to Emmaus "He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the scriptures" (Lk 24:27). Later at dinner "He took bread and . . . began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him" (:30). It shows that having a supernatural body also requires a spiritual anointing to discern it. He told them, "'Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me'" (Mt 28:10). This was to fulfill the prophetic statement made earlier that, "'After I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee'" (26:32). Then when they met with the Apostles and "were telling these things" (Lk 24:36) Jesus appeared and "when they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some were doubtful" (Mt 28:17).