Torch, Spring 1979

Dr. Paul Dixon, President 3 WheReO~ we •• • • • aRe witnesses ,, Peter, the denier, stands before the multitude. God has healed the lame man at the gate of the temple. The people have rushed to behold this miracle in the life of one so familiar. When Peter sees it, he seizes the opportunity to preach Christ. Suddenly, he begins talking about their denial of Christ. These people know Peter. They are not strangers to what had happened previously in Jerusalem. Was Peter not the one who had denied Him thrice? He would talk to them about denial? Yet, with all boldness and without hesitancy he cried, "But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Author of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses" (Acts 3:14-15). There it is! That is the key! Don't miss it! What changed Peter the denier into Peter the witness? A risen Christ! Somehow the knowledge of an arrested, soon-to-be-crucified Jesus had sapped him of his spiritual strength and enthusiasm. Now he is alive, bold, pointed, empowered and effective in his witness. The difference was an empty tomb and a resurrected Saviour. And that does make the difference! Most of us Christians are not witnesses at all, let alone bold witnesses. Our biggest problem is fear- just like Peter. We wonder what people will say and think. The same Person and truth that transformed Peter can also change us. Jesus Christ is alive! It was the 25th anniversary of the United Nations. The leaders of the world gathered to honor then Secretary General UThant. One after another, they stood to praise this well– known man. Time passed- finally all had saluted him. Slowly, quietly, the small-of-stature U Thant stood. He spoke deliberately: "If Iam everything you say I am, and if I have done everything you say I have done, Iwant you to know that I owe it all to Buddha!" For the next thirty minutes he witnessed of his god. But before Buddha died he said, "I am still searching for truth!" He never claimed that he would come back from the dead; furthermore, he didn't. Before His death, Jesus Christ said, "I am the truth!"- and He is: He foretold that He would arise from the dead- and He did! If U Thant could stand before those people and testify for a dead Buddha, we can surely stand up and be counted for Jesus Christ. We serve a risen Saviour. Let us deny Him no longer, but be bold like Peter.