Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Resurrection: Celebrating a New life in Christ
“And I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.”(V.15)
This passage explains St. Paul’s witnessing testimony about his faith in Jesus Christ and Resurrection. While Paul arrived at Caesarea as a prisoner the Jewish prosecuting team arrived there to state their charges against him. It was composed of the high priest Ananias, some of the Jewish elders and a special legal counselor named Tertullus. Tertullus was a common Greek name, and he was probably a Hellenistic Jew chosen because of his expertise in Roman law and skill in public speaking. He put forward many accusations against Paul in front of Felix, the Governor of Roman emperor. These accusations- trouble maker, creator of riots, ring leader of the Nazarene sect were meant to paint Paul and early Christians as a threat to local order and to the security of the Roman Empire in general.
In this trial Paul got a chance to explain his position. After denying all the accusations the Jewish group charged against him, Paul confessed his faith in God the Father. In verse.14, “I admit that I worship the God our ancestors……” Paul’s words vividly pronounced that, he had not deviated from Israel’s true faith. He claimed that his being a Christian did not make him an apostate Jew. Paul continued by saying, “l have the same hope in God …………..that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked”(V.15).For the Pharisees, the resurrection of the just was a future event, with justification dependent on an individual’s personal commitment to keep the law. For Paul, the pledge of a future resurrection-a down payment on the promise, so to speak-had already occurred in the resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus had taught about the resurrection of the righteous and wicked. Not all believed. But, some did. They lived by faith in Jesus Christ, keeping their conscience tuned to that still small voice of the Lord. Those who believed in this promise of Jesus still diligently pursued holiness and godliness in the hope of the upward call of God. Their comforter and guide was the Holy Spirit who even in the challenges of daily living gave them the power of the resurrection life. Without  the Holy Spirit  they would be lost, with  Him they would be empowered. So because of Jesus’ resurrection, we can claim forgiveness, redemption and resurrection. Let us praise God for the new life and hope we received through His son and our savior Jesus Christ.
Prayer: O Lord Jesus, we praise you that nothing could keep you dead in the grave. Through your death and resurrection you defeated all the deadly powers and open a door to eternal life. Help us to remember that there is nothing to be afraid of, because you are alive and by our side…….Amen.
Thought for the day:  Live a life worthy of the calling you have received”. (Eph.4:1)

                      Rev. Shibu Mathew Epiphany MTC, New York.