“Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead.” Acts 17:3
Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Leviticus 13-14, and Acts 17.
Paul was “armed” and “dangerous” wherever he went. He knew Scripture and he wasn’t afraid to take that knowledge into even hostile territory.
His preparation and persistence are role-model materials.
I was struck by the part of this verse that says, “the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead.”
Yesterday I blogged about Jesus going to the cross. He chose to take the death sentence we deserved for our sins. We were going to be dead and separated from Him if He hadn’t.
But what about the “rise from the dead” part? What is important about it?
In Acts 17 Paul may be making sport of the folks in Athens when he noted that they even worshiped “unknown gods.” There were also plenty of gods around made of material.
BUT Jesus is different. He is not dead. He came back from the dead and appeared to several hundred witnesses. The grave is empty.
Why important? Death was not an obstacle for Jesus. Every other individual ever worshiped as a god came to an end at the grave. Their teachings may have been inspiring but death ended their relevance as a live person.
Jesus did not stay dead. He is alive now. He is still relevant. Death was not His end.
When Jesus is quoted in Scripture talking about the next life, it makes perfect sense to take notice. Why? Because He is already there. When He says that there will be judgment, believe it! When He says that there will be a remarkable life for those who belong to Him, believe it!
Jesus being relevant means that following Him makes perfect sense. Those who have chosen to follow other gods, counterfeit gods if you will, are putting their trust in terminal things. They won’t last. There’s an expiration date!
“Lord, You are relevant. You are alive. You are viable. Your Words about the after-life are true. There will be a Judgment Day. There will be a glorious after-life for those who have accepted You as their Savior. Father, open the eyes/hearts of those worshiping the terminal. I beg You, Lord.”
Are you united with a live God or does something terminal have your best allegiance?