“And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today. This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me. Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:6-8 NIV84)

Today, the Apostle Paul stands before King Agrippa defending the Christian faith. At many other times his focus is on the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of all the dead. But today he adds a bit of a twist. He turns his defense into a question, ” Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?”  To his Jewish contemporaries, he is forcing them to consider whether they do or don’t have the same Word of God. Didn’t their Scriptures tell the stories of God giving children to barren children? Didn’t their Scriptures tell of miraculous healing of the sick and the raising of the dead. Didn’t Elisha raise the son of the woman he was staying with? Didn’t they see or at least hear of the miraculous raising of Lazarus? If anyone should have been unamazed by the dead rising, it should have been the Jewish people because their God seemed to do stuff like that all the time. But today, Paul finds himself on trial because of the truth that should have been common to all of them. God raises the dead!

I simply want us to take one thing away from this devotion. We have an amazing God. He loves us so much that He is willing to die that we might have life. He is willing to suffer that we might have peace! He is willing to raise the dead so we can spend all eternity with Him. When Paul didn’t get it and was persecuting the Church, Jesus revealed Himself to Paul and asked him, ” Why are you persecuting Me?” The resurrected Lord appeared to Paul to correct his thinking and his heart. And if we look deep within ourselves, hasn’t He done the same to us?

Peace!

Pastor Tom

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