Click on Text Link to Read Online
Focus Verses: Acts 23:6-8
Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others
Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, "My brothers, I am a Pharisee,
the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the
resurrection of the dead." 7 When he said this, a dispute broke out
between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8
(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are
neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.)
resurrection possible? Is the resurrection of Jesus true? Is it
provable? Is it reasonable to believe? If Jesus is the Christ and he did
indeed rise from the dead, what does it mean for the way we live, and
the way we view the world? For the Apostle Paul, it meant being
attacked and imprisoned. His belief in the resurrection challenged the
beliefs and power structures of the Jewish community. It created all
sorts of social, religious, civic, and political controversy.
and hope in the resurrection of Jesus was seen by many as threatening
and divisive. It was also transformational, fulfilling, life-giving,
and motivational to those who believed.
Response and Action:
believe in the resurrection of Jesus. I believe he is the Christ, the
son of the living God. I believe he is alive and that he is at the
right hand of the Father. I believe he will come again to judge the
living and the dead and that his Kingdom will have no end.
faith in Jesus is central to the way I see the world, the way I live
my life--my values, my hopes, my motivation, my actions, my ethics,
and my beliefs. My view of the resurrection is a dividing line. It
makes me different socially, politically, and religiously from most
people in the world. It also makes me more hopeful, more alive, and
Faith in the resurrection of Jesus is
outrageous and seismic in its implications. I should not be surprised
when it causes division, friction, strain, or controversy.
God, thank you for Jesus who, although he existed in the very form of
God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped, but
instead emptied himself. He took the form of a servant, and was made in
the likeness of humanity. He was humble and obedient to the point of
death--even death on the cross. You raised him and exalted him and
have given him a name above all names. I bow my knee to you, O
Resurrected Christ, and my tongue confesses that you are Lord. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: 1 Corinthians 15:14-15
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is
your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses
about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from
the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.
Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
by N. T. Wright