In college, I took a great criminal justice course. During one memorable lecture, a stranger came storming in, screamed obscenities, and dumped a soda over the TA’s head. Immediately after the stranger ran out, the professor turned to us and said, “Write down a description of the person who assaulted your TA.” It turns out the whole thing was a stunt to show us the reliability, or unreliability, of eye-witness testimony.
Sure enough, as we shared our descriptions, they differed dramatically: The perpetrator may have been tall, stocky, or of medium build, wearing a green, grey, or dark blue sweatshirt. He appeared middle- or college-aged with a southern or foreign accent. The eye-witness testimony of our group was all over the map. Left up to us, no one would find that guy.
So what do we make of the Sunday reading: Acts 1:1-14? Jesus tells his disciples they will be his witnesses. But we know their testimony was all over the map. Left up to them, how would anyone ever find Jesus? How would we?
Could it be that through their flawed testimony God in Christ found all of us?
The glorious Word we encounter this week is that by God’s grace and powerful Spirit, God used human, flawed testimony to reach the ends of the earth!
Does it get any better than that? First of all, Christ is alive! Hallelujah! Second, as WE are now called to be witnesses to his glorious resurrection, we know that God will work through our testimony, even if it’s all over the map!
How tall was Jesus? No idea. What was he wearing? No clue. But I know that my Redeemer lives! Death has lost its sting! Perfect love prevails! That’s my testimony…What’s yours?