The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
In Acts 26 Paul is given the opportunity to defend himself before Agrippa. His defense is centered on the facts of the resurrection. He declares the idea of the resurrection to be completely consistent with Jewish belief. He then defends the fact that he, a hostile witness toward Jesus, convinced of the resurrection, found that Jesus was the one who brought resurrection to life.
Paul’s defense is very simple. God’s people believe that there is a resurrection from the dead. Jesus has shown himself to be the one who raises the dead. There is nobody other than the Messiah who could ever raise the dead. Therefore, Jesus must be the Messiah.
We really seem to try making the Christian faith a difficult thing. It isn’t that hard to understand. God has promised to forgive sin. He uses physical means, such as someone’s death, to accomplish that forgiveness. He raised up Jesus, God the Son, to die in the place of all sinful people. He demonstrated that Jesus was the one with power over death and life by raising him from the dead. It really isn’t that difficult to grasp. It is, however, a message like none other.
How do we respond to the message of Paul? How will Agrippa respond to Paul’s message? We’ll look at that later.
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