By now, in our story, the Apostle Paul is arrested, chained, imprisoned, and is on his way toward Rome. While in Caesarea, Paul was brought before the Governor, Felix. In response to a series of false accusations, Paul said, “I am on trial before you today because of the resurrection of the dead.” (Acts 24:21)
In other words, Paul’s defense was that he was a good law-abiding Jew in every way. The Jewish leadership had no grounds to accuse him, except for one thing; Paul preached Jesus rose from the dead.
Jesus totally turned Paul’s theology upside down! There’s simply no over-stating how radical was Paul’s belief in Jesus’ resurrection! In fact, so important was his belief in Christ’s resurrection, Paul told the church in Corinth, “If Christ hasn’t been raised, then our preaching is useless and your faith is useless.” (1 Corinthians 15:14)
Paul understood the implications for resurrection, both for this life and the next. Christ’s victory over death makes resurrection and eternal life possible for all. But, resurrection is both a present and future reality.
In Ephesians 2:4-5, Paul writes, “He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace! And God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus.” Hear the past and present-tense? We ARE presently raised and seated in heaven!
And in Galatians 2:19-20, “I died to the Law through the Law, so that I could live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Again – resurrection as a present reality!
For Paul, the New Creation is a NOW reality!
What do you believe about resurrection?
Are you living a resurrected life?
Why was resurrection so important to Paul?
What are your thoughts, comments, questions?