15:27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. ESV
You, who “have been with me from the beginning” will also bear witness. You’re probably familiar with the triangle illustration of the Godhead where each point represents one of the three persons, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, that make up the whole. The lines between those points are what I’m calling life lines. Together they represent a continuous cycle of life for those who by accepting and acting in accordance with Jesus have placed their lives securely within that perfect triangle.
Look what happens to that perfect triangle when you factor in your own experience as an image bearer living as a triangle within a triangle. It was fascinating to play around with fitting the odd shaped, imperfect triangles that represent our lives into that perfect triangle. The life lines are all different but each of them are all anchored by the same three points, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They’re the anchor points that connect our uphill climbs, precipitous slopes and blessed straight paths that shape our life in Christ.
I hope my illustration represents those three points are the constants and the variables are those life lines. Those variables change the witness of our life and are the reality that “will also bear witness” to those anchors. That’s what completes our witness and makes us fit perfectly within that perfect triangle. That’s the whole point!
The disciple Peter speaks in Acts 1:17 Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us…21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus— 22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”
I’m continuing my look at the first chapter of each Bible book from the perspective of my three New Years’s questions. In some respects Acts 1 is easy: Judas made the one of the most heart wrenching bad choices on record. Look at the credentials we can assume he had because he was a chosen disciple: he was one of the “men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus—from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us.” Whatever Judas was committed to in those years required real sacrifice and hardship and then everything was not only wasted but destroyed. How could that possibly be?
These men were face to face with God “in the flesh” and even that wasn’t enough to protect Judas from himself. Judas was a victim of his own spirit, his own mind and his own answers on the night he betrayed Jesus. Those are the most important facts of this pitiful story that remind us to be thankful. God has chosen to promise us protection and assurance of grace and forgiveness through the indwelling Spirit of his Son.
Judas’s story is ugly but there is beauty in this same scripture that changes the story. It’s the backstory of the “other” betrayer, Peter. Peter is the disciple who surrendered his own denials made that same night to the reality of Jesus and God’s promise of grace and forgiveness to become “a witness of Jesus’ resurrection” and it’s promise for us today.
Isaiah 43:3a, 10 & 11 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. [v3a the Lord your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior]. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord