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Hope in the God of the living does not disappoint

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Acts 24:10-21

What are you willing to stand up for? Some would stand up for freedom. Protestors across the nation have stood up for freedom from the recent restrictions. How about morality? Many want the right morals in our society but will you stand up for them? What about your family? Perhaps you’ve grown a little ti

red of them since you’ve been stuck with them for so long, but you would still stand up for them. Some of you would even say “Jesus.” “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, you soldiers of the Cross!” as the anthem sings. But what about Jesus would you stand up for? Why do you stand up for him? The most consistent topic of Jesus that his followers had to stand up for was one date, one fact, one event. It was the first Easter. Are you willing to stand up for the physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus?

Everything we have as Christians (everything we believe in, follow, and know about God) is grounded in the resurrection of Jesus. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that everything, even the morality that Christians follow and promote, would be meaningless if it were not for the physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus.

One saying says, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” But as Christians, every egg we have is there in the basket of the empty tomb of Jesus. That is a safe and secure place because hope in the God of the living does not disappoint. No one displays that better than Paul. Paul knew that hope in the God of the living does not disappoint.

Paul was a first century Christian missionary. His work, along with others who trusted in the resurrection of Jesus, is written in the book of Acts. Paul was arrested at the Temple in Jerusalem and then stood before the same court that pushed to executed Jesus, the Sanhedrin. The session erupted into a brawl when Paul asserted his belief in the resurrection, a divisive issue for Pharisees and Sadducees. A troop of Roman soldiers swooped in to rescue Paul from the violent eruption. Then the Roman officer transferred Paul to the custody of the regional governor.

Paul was spared a plot on his life by a snitch and he escaped during the night. A letter was written to the governor stating the accusations of the Sanhedrin. It was a matter of their own law and there was no basis for death of imprisonment found (like Jesus). Paul was kept on guard in Herod’s place.

After 5 days, the accusers were able to catch up and the trial began. Tertullus, the lawyer handling the case against Paul, had a list of accusations: public menace, stirring up riots, ringleader for Nazarene sect. He accused Paul of attempting to desecrate the temple (bringing a Gentile into the certain temple court for Jews only). Witnesses were then brought forth and affirmed everything.

Then it was Paul’s turn to speak. He had his moment to defend himself. What will he do?

10 When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: “I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense. 11 You can easily verify that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple, or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city. 13 And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me. 14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

After offering his side of the account and explaining his innocence, he confessed the resurrection of the dead.

Guess where it got him? He was severely beat up because of this. Paul wasn’t standing there with