Monday, July 9, 2018

Eyewitness Acounts

            I’m a sports fan and since moving back to Phoenix in January 2005, I’ve been rooting for all of the Valley’s sports teams.  The Cardinals, the Suns, the D-Backs and ASU sports – I watch them all.

            I've followed the St. Louis baseball Cardinals since moving there in 1988.  But in the past couple of years I've been paying more and more attention to the D-Backs.  I like their new front office executives and their manager seems to be top-notch.  When we attended the Cardinals & D-Backs game on the 4th of July I found myself pulling for Paul Goldschmidt and the guys!

            However, if you were a Cardinals fan, a must-read was the book, “Three Nights in August,” by noted author, Buzz Bissinger.  The book is about a three game series that took place in 2003 between the Cards and their biggest rivals, the Chicago Cubs.  Bissinger gives us the opportunity to see a baseball game through the eyes of the manager.  From the stands, we see the players on the field.  Bissinger lets us view the game from the dugout.  We see the game from the manager’s perspective.  We learn why and how LaRussa plots strategy and makes decisions during the game.  The book provides an eyewitness account of what it is like to manage a baseball team during an important series.  I just had to read this book!

            The Bible was written by people who were eyewitnesses or by those who were able to speak and learn from the people who saw the things God did and heard the things God said.  The gospel writer Luke puts it like this: Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.”  Luke, not an eyewitness himself, received testimony from those who were eyewitnesses and were dedicated to telling others about Jesus.  Luke wasn’t interested in the opinions others had about Christ.  He wanted to write about the facts regarding Jesus’ teachings and miracles, His suffering, death and resurrection.  He wanted to get it right.  And so he spoke to those who had seen and heard Jesus.  He spoke to eyewitnesses.

            The apostle Peter, in his second letter, teaches that we can trust the accounts we’ve heard about Jesus because “we did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”  Just think of some of the things Peter saw after he responded to Jesus’ call to be a “fisher of men.”  Peter witnessed Jesus raising the synagogue ruler’s daughter from the dead; he saw the glorified Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration; he looked on as Jesus suffered at the hands of Pontius Pilate; he saw the crucified Jesus and the resurrected Jesus.  Peter was an eyewitness of all these things.
           It’s these eyewitness accounts that help us to truly believe that the Bible is the Word of God.  It gives testimony that the Father is the maker and creator of all things; that the Son suffered, died and rose again so that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life; that the Spirit moved the writers to record all these things so that you, too, might believe that God’s promises of forgiveness and salvation are real and that they are for you.  If you are a follower of Christ Jesus or if your desire to know Jesus as the only Savior and Lord, grab your Bible.  It’s a must-read!

A "Wake Up With The Word" devotion for 2009