Tuesday in the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time

Acts 25:1-27

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ Is the Real Reason

Chapter twenty-five is broken up into two halves in my ESV Study Bible for ease of reading (“Paul Appeals to Caesar,” vss. 1-12 and “Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice,” vss. 13-27), but we shall take the chapter as a whole as the second half elaborates on the first half and gives us information that explains what the controversy was all about in the first place.  The first half of the chapter relates to us the arrival of the new governor Festus to Caesarea who made a journey to Jerusalem.  There, he was accosted by the chief priests and elders and pressed to bring Paul from Caesarea to Jerusalem for trial, but not to try him but to kill him by ambush on the way down.  Festus agrees to allow the Jewish leaders to come to Caesarea to decide the matter.  At the trial it seems that the Jews level the same charges as before as Paul responds that he has committed no offense against Jewish law, the temple, or Caesar.  When Festus asks Paul if he would agree to be tried before himself in Jerusalem (which he offered as a favor to the Jews), Paul, knowing that matters would not bode well for him there, appeals to Caesar as a Roman citizen.  Festus grants his request.

But it is the second half of the chapter that drops the other foot.  When discussing matters with King Agrippa on his visit to Caesarea to greet Festus, Festus shares the matter with the king.  And it is there he says, “When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed.  Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive.”

And therein lays the entire charade.  Yes, we already knew that the charges laid against Paul were trumped up, and Paul himself proclaimed that he was on trial for his belief in the resurrection.  But we must understand that it is this fundamental doctrine of the Church, that the Son of God was made man while remaining God, crucified and risen, that is so offensive to unbelieving ears.  To the Jews then (and Muslims today), it was scandalous; to pagans, it is simply laughable (1 Corinthians 1:22).  But never doubt the offense of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to unbelieving ears.  If Christ is risen, then he is King of kings and Lords of lords, and must be Lord over our lives.  And please understand, “resurrection” does not mean that only his soul came out of the tomb; it means that his body came out of the tomb.  And as believers, his resurrection guarantees ours at the end of time. Sound foolish?  Well, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1 Cor. 1:25).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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