For the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today.   Acts 24:21

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The three chapters of Acts 24-26, describe Paul’s imprisonment and trial.  Rather than anxiously awaiting to find out his fate, he gives testimony as God’s witness.

Paul is arraigned for trial before Felix, the Roman governor who was well acquainted with Christian faith.  He refuses to make an immediate decision.  Felix keeps Paul confined in Caesarea for about two years.  Festus replaced him.  As soon as he arrives in Judea, the chief priests bring up the case of Paul to him.

And after he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him bringing many and serious charges against him which they could not prove. 25:7

Paul, as a Roman citizen, officially appeals to Caesar.  Festus first takes the case to King Agrippa.

I have nothing definite about him to write to my lord.  Therefore I have brought him before you all and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that after the investigation has taken place, I may have something to write.  For it seems absurd to me in sending a prisoner, not to indicate also the charges against him.” 25:26, 27

Paul testifies before King Agrippa.  Paul tells his early life as a member of Judaism’s strictest sect, the Pharisees.  This group has believed in resurrection and thus should not have been shocked when God raised Jesus.  But, like others, Paul at first reacted by persecuting the church.

… not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them…. I tried to force them to blaspheme and being enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities. 26:9-11

While thus engaged as I was journeying to Damascus… at midday, Oh King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun… I heard a voice saying “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?… I am Jesus whom you are persecuting… But arise, and stand on your feet… I am sending you to open their eyes so that they many turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.  26:12-18

After Paul’s testimony, Agrippa declares:

This man is not doing anything worthy of death or imprisonment. 26:31

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Long imprisonment and threat of death did not faze Paul.  He knew what follows in the next chapter.  Unlike his accusers who had to fabricate false charges, Paul a condemned prisoner did not have to prepare any legal strategies.

Being aligned with God, he could present his case with confidence to the king, defending himself and God at the same time as His witness.

 

There you are again God

After dying on the cross

On trial again

What is man that you try so hard?

Casting your golden net of life again and again

Trying to catch us.

Here I am.

In Damascus

Where light overcame darkness

Where the worst of men turned into the best

Here I am

My days are already numbered

Darkness closing in with each step I take

Catch me Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Damascus, Darkness to Light

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