1Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You may speak in your defense.”
So Paul, gesturing with his hand, started his defense: 2“I am fortunate, King Agrippa, that you are the one hearing my defense today against all these accusations made by the Jewish leaders, 3for I know you are an expert on all Jewish customs and controversies. Now please listen to me patiently!
4“As the Jewish leaders are well aware, I was given a thorough Jewish training from my earliest childhood among my own people and in Jerusalem. 5If they would admit it, they know that I have been a member of the Pharisees, the strictest sect of our religion. 6Now I am on trial because of my hope in the fulfillment of God’s promise made to our ancestors. 7In fact, that is why the twelve tribes of Israel zealously worship God night and day, and they share the same hope I have. Yet, Your Majesty, they accuse me for having this hope!8Why does it seem incredible to any of you that God can raise the dead?
What Paul is pointing out is so common. In this case he is talking about being raised from the dead, but it applies to so many things. We say our God is great. We say he can do anything. Then we see a miracle and we don’t believe it, or need a miracle, and we don’t even ask for it. Why?
In this case Paul is telling everyone that the Jewish faith was built on the idea that death was not an end, but a change. All God’s promises to the patriarchs and the prophets all had an eternal view. But now Jesus is risen from the dead, and they refuse to believe.
But do I even really believe? If I truly believe in the resurrection, and my personal resurrection, it changes everything about every decision I make. I have no reason to worry about how I’m treated by others here on earth, I’m going to heaven. I have no reason to hoard goods or property, I’m going to heaven. If you think about it, I shouldn’t have a worry in the world, I’m spending eternity in heaven!
Lord, change my life. Let every word I say and thought I think be guided by your eternal promises.