The Five Witnesses (2) – the Works
“But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.” (John 5:36)
Notice that it appears that Jesus did not appeal only to the works that he had done to this point. He spoke specifically of the “works the Father has given me to finish – the very works that I do – bear witness of me.” That includes the whole of the history of signs, wonders and miracles done; and to all of the things the Christ had worked previously and looking forward to his death and resurrection, which were then just out on the horizon when he had stated this.
There is no discounting of signs and healings, or of miracles such as the feeding of thousands. For here it apparently includes everything from start to finish. The miracles such as healing the blind, raising the dead, casting out demons and raising the lame apparently were not difficult for the hardened of heart to discount in their disbelief, even though some of them had been witness to events. Yet no one had ever done these things, and certainly no one is doing them now. How contrary do you have to be to respond as the Pharisees did in John 9 about a man known to them to have been born blind and who suddenly could see? How conflicted are you when you believe that anyone can raise the dead today when there is absolutely no such thing going on anywhere? The giving of sight to the blind was reserved to the Christ; and the raising of the dead to him and his apostles alone. And who is it that can feed thousands without first making considerable provision?
Further, no one has ever disproved the death and resurrection of Christ, no matter how much they discount the record, or how educated they may be. Explanations fall short of any reason and evidence. It is simply true because there is no case that could or can be made or sustained against it. And it is either accepted by faith as from God, who has no difficulty at all with the remarkable, or it is as a fairy tale fit only for children. You simply believe and accept it, or you disregard and reject it (and why then not everything else in the scriptures). There is no middle ground.
The works which Jesus was given to do – particularly including his resurrection from the dead – that is the second witness.
And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counselor; and he was a good man and just (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them); he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher that was hewn in stone, wherein no one before had been laid to rest.
And that day was the day of preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after him, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.
Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they went to the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed there, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: and as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is raised: remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things to the apostles. And what they said seemed to them as idle talk, and they did not believe them.
(Luke 23: 50 – 24: 11)