The Main Event

Read: Acts 24:1-21

Other than this one thing that I cried out. (v. 21)

Paul’s accusers called him a plague, a rioter, a cult ringleader, and a profaner of the temple. Not one charge rang true though, and they knew it. But if they could paint Paul as a troublemaker, Felix would snuff him out. Maybe, just maybe, it would be the end of Jesus’ followers. How would Paul rebuff their ire?

The former Pharisee turned apostle cut to the heart of the matter. Like them he worshipped God, believed in the Law and Prophets, and a final resurrection of the dead. They differed on just this “one thing” Paul had said: “It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial” (v. 21). He was not referring to the general resurrection of people but the specific resurrection of one person, Jesus the Nazarene. This is the main event of history.

Tim Keller writes, “The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead” (The Reason for God, p. 210). The Jewish leaders rejected Jesus’ teaching and pursued his death. Jesus prophesied that he would rise (John 2:19). For Paul’s accusers to accept that event would end their worldview. And yet it would be the beginning of true life: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9).

Friend, if you believe that Jesus rose from the dead, you will be saved. —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, ask God to help you believe.

About the Author

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.