Thursday, December 25, 2014
December 25 - True and Reasonable
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25 "I am not insane, most excellent Festus," Paul replied. "What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do."
When Paul testified before King Agrippa, he explained that his belief in the possibility of resurrection did not contradict his Jewish beliefs or background. Even as a Pharisee Paul would have accepted the possibility of resurrection. He admitted that early on, he too opposed the Christians, and was, in fact, obsessed with opposing them. One day, however, he came face to face with the resurrected Jesus himself.
Paul told Agrippa that he had become convinced that the suffering, death, burial, and resurrection were exactly what Moses and prophets said would happen. What's more, Paul said, he was sure Agrippa was already familiar with the accounts of Jesus' resurrection, since none of the things he was describing were "done in a corner."
Response and Action:
What could turn a Pharisee who opposed the followers of Jesus into a believer and bold ambassador for Jesus? 1) his realization that Jesus' resurrection was consistent with his faith in God; 2) his discovery that the suffering and resurrection of Jesus were actually consistent with Jewish prophecy; 3) his face-to-face encounter with the resurrected Jesus; and, 4) the wide-spread testimony of so many others who had also seen and encountered the resurrected Christ.
My faith and confidence in the resurrected Jesus grows stronger: 1) as I am discovering that it is reasonable and not inconsistent with other forms of knowledge; 2) as I am testing and proving my faith through my practice and daily life; 3) as I am finding the claims of Jesus and the Apostles to be consistent with the hopes and promises of the Hebrew Scriptures; 4) as I consider the experiential and historical testimony of so many others who have considered the claims of Christ.
O God, I believe that you have the power of life and death. Resurrection is not too difficult for you. I see from reading scripture that Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection are perfectly consistent with prophecy. My own walk with Jesus has confirmed and strengthened my faith. The countless testimonies of people throughout history and around the world serve to increase my belief. May the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead raise and transform my life. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses:
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
by William Lane Craig