Vs. 9, “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth.” Paul is given the opportunity to speak in front of Herod Agrippa II & Bernice now that they have come to visit Caesarea. We get wonderful insight again on Paul’s account of his life before Christ, when he encountered Christ to Damascus, and now his response to Christ upon salvation (vs. 9-23). The Lord certainly knew how to choose the right person to testify of His amazing grace! It’s important to note the response that Festus had with Paul’s testimony. Festus thought Paul had gone insane (vs. 24)! Many of us read this account with the ingredient of faith already mixed in. But for the majority of the world, Christians are out of our minds. We believe in a man who died on a cross and claimed to be God himself! Pretty crazy when you think about it. This wasn’t a trial before King Agrippa, but a God given opportunity to share the clear Gospel message to all those who were present then and even us today (vs. 29)
Regarding application…Open Our Eyes. Vs. 18, “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Question: What does God want? To open our eyes so we may see the light of Christ! In this testimony of Paul, we see the heart of God. Despite our hardened hearts and closed eyes, God still reaches out to us. This exhortation that Jesus gave to Paul wasn’t just for him. The application is quite clear for us today. We must be agents of God and share the Lord by words and deeds so that others will see the Lord through our lives. The more we take the focus off of ourselves, the more life begins to make sense. Paul could have easily despaired for being imprisoned for over two years in Caesarea. But, it wasn’t about him. God timing is always perfect. Think about your own anxieties about the unforeseen future. Let God open your eyes today to see what you can do in the present! Question: Are your eyes open?
Vs. 6, “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee.” I don’t want this fact to be lost in this chapter, He is risen. There is power and fulfillment in the Resurrection! How wonderful that Jesus would meet the women as they came first to honor him on the very first Easter Sunday. Naturally, it would be hard for the disciples to believe this claim, so Peter and John would check it out themselves (vs. 9-12). We are told in John’s Gospel that he also came with Peter. We then are given this interesting story of the road to Emmaus (vs. 13-35). It’s kind of comical as Jesus walks up to Cleopas and his friend who happen to be talking about him. The writing on the wall for hope was there, but they didn’t understand it yet. When then see Jesus reveal Himself to the others in Jerusalem (vs. 36-44). In both instances, we see Jesus the patience and the love of our Lord. Lastly, the disciples and all of us are reminded that we have a job to do! Jesus has commissioned us to be spiritual ambassadors and witnesses to tell the world who He is (vs. 45-53).
Regarding application…Open Our Minds. Vs. 45, “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scripture.” Question: What was Jesus trying to teach them? That all of Scripture points towards the Messiah! Jesus is teaching us that God had a plan from the very beginning of Genesis to the book of Revelation. The disciples were in a relationship with Jesus, but still did not fully understand. And you know what? That’s okay. God does not expect us to know the deep things of theology or Scripture all at one time. But as we progress in this life, our prayer should be that He would continue to open our minds. That is why we read the Bible daily so that our minds would not grow dull to the heartbeat of God. Let Jesus open your mind and your heart today!
Vs. 11, “Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Question: Just who is this Jesus? If Judas had known who Jesus was, perhaps he would not have sold him out for thirty silver coins and subsequently hang himself (vs. 1-10). If the Jewish crowd would have known who Jesus was, they would not have cried out “Crucify Him” (vs. 11-26). Pilate, the governer from Rome, could not make a decision either. The scene of the Roman soldier’s mocking Jesus, we see that the Jews were not the only ones who were rejecting Jesus. And then lastly, we are reminded of the day that Jesus would die and be the final sacrifice for our sins (vs. 32-55). Words do not do justice for the things Jesus would endure that day for you and I.
Regarding application…Open Access. Vs. 51, “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.” This veil covered the most “holy of holies”. Only the high priest once a year could gain access to this place. Now, this incredilby thick and huge veil would miraculously be torn in two. The ramifications of this event still affect us on a daily basis. We no longer have to make a pilgrimmage to a temple to gain access to God. We can have open access anywhere. Don’t take for granted something that cost so much for you to have. God speaks to us through His word and through the inspiration and conviction of his Holy Spirit. Make today His day!