Were You There?

Have you ever heard the old hymn “Were You There?”

The first stanza goes like this:

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

This past Sunday we looked at Acts chapter 5 and talked about the BOLD Courage of Peter and the apostles.  They were brought before the Sanhedrin and were persecuted for telling the people about Jesus after the high priest and his associates warned them not to.  Verses 27-32 read, “27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

How would you compare your courage to that of Peter and the apostles?  Could it be defined as bold?  Do you stand up and speak the name of Jesus in the midst of persecution?

Some might say, “Well, Peter and the apostles were witnesses to the death and resurrection of Jesus.  They have a first-hand account.  They were there.  Of course they’re going to be bold.”  Do you ever feel disconnected to Jesus’ death and resurrection because you weren’t actually there?  Have you ever thought that your faith would be stronger if you had only been there and witnessed everything yourself?  My friend, there is good news.

Re-read Acts 5:32.  Notice anything?  Peter and the apostles weren’t the only first-hand witnesses.  Look what it says, “and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given TO THOSE WHO OBEY HIM.”

Do you know what that means?  It means that the significance of what Jesus did for us is not diminished or lost over time because we have an eye-witness dwelling inside of us who can give His first-hand account THROUGH us in such a way as to penetrate the hearts of those who have separated themselves from Christ through unbelief!  As a witness in the courtroom is put on the stand to give a testimony, so we too have a testimony to give.  We are witnesses to God’s grace through the Holy Spirit, and God has called us to stand and testify to this good news!

So have courage!  Be bold!  Share Jesus at all costs because even though you may not have been there when Jesus died and rose again, the Holy Spirit, who was there, now dwells in you as a believer and you have been called to bear witness to these things!