Journal Acts 4 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation and notes are mine)
Scripture: And as [Peter and John] were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
And they arrested them and put them into custody until the next day (for it was already evening).
But many who had heard the word believed—and the number of the men came to about 5,000…” Acts 4:1-4
Observation: The Scriptures can convey a sense of irony and understatement: Annoyed? Really?
Tossing Peter and John in a drunk tank overnight?
And “about 5,000” responded to the teaching despite this?
That’s power—even if I don’t understand the transitions…
Application: What is so compelling about the resurrection of the dead subject that tons of people respond powerfully?
In all the subjects of the Gospel that can be broken down, separated, and talked about, the resurrection of the dead doesn’t make my personal top 10.
In fact, this subject and the subsequent antipathy with the Sadducees is what starts the ball rolling sending Paul to Rome for trial (Acts 22).
This morning I am wondering why I tend—no, I focus—on the Gospel outline of innate sin of Man to a Holy God, the need of Redemption, and the subsequent insistence of pursuing Godliness to the End, and not talking about, referring to, the subject of resurrection of the dead.
My mental picture of the pursuit of being a successful disciple is the analogy of the game of baseball. It doesn’t matter where the Manager puts me, I need to play the position assigned with effort, intensity, and most importantly, increasing skill through all my days until the End.
The resurrection of the dead subject seems to be something of “after the End” (except as it applies to Jesus, the Son of God) or an individual act of the Spirit of the miracle of raising the dead through the hands of disciples—not the same thing being referred to that got the Sadducees hot and bothered.
I have post-it notes on my desk wall about subjects I need to pay attention to. Today I added another one: the Resurrection of the Dead—Why?
I don’t have an answer yet. But, through the grace of the Holy Spirit and some elbow grease, eventually I will.
Prayer: Father, help me not to forget this subject. As I read the Scriptures, open my eyes to the subject of the Resurrection of the Dead and where does it fall in the outline of the Gospel.
Address my “wait” problem and allow me the patience to hear from your whisper. Without being arrogant, I request a good and thorough answer and “just” an answer alone—something I can sink my teeth into and be satisfied in You about.
Ricky Two Shoes