Resurrection on Trial
The earnest listener and honest inquirer has been invited to see that Jesus is the real deal, to believe, and therefore to live.
Have you heard of Snopes.com? If you want to check out a rumor or a legend that’s online—you get some email that says some guy in Africa has been unjustly imprisoned, he’s actually secretly a billionaire, and he’s trying to figure out what to do with his money; if you will wire him money to help him free he will give you money, and things like this. So you look on Snopes.com and you find out if these urban legends or these rumors are true. It’s a website designed to help us figure out what is a hoax and what isn’t. Because let’s face it, we live in a world ever since Eden in which hoaxes exist.
So I typed in Resurrection of Jesus on Snopes.com. I found some interesting stories about ghostly moths that saved people on a train. Or disappearing hitchhiker stories. A story of Edith Burns who believed in Easter and said so. I’m not sure why that’s on Snopes.com, but it is. And I’m thankful for Snopes.com, because it gives me one way to find out what is true and what isn’t. Even if you go on Craigslist and you want to buy a car, a truck, or furniture, you’re going to get this list that will pop up to help you determine how to notice if it’s a scam or not, how to handle a scam on Craigslist. Handling scams is a part of the real world that we have to live in.
So when we come to this historical document narrated for us in Acts 26, we come into this courtroom scene and you’ve got two guys who are trying to figure out a scam. It’s AD 60, give or take year or two, in a Roman court. This is history, not a made-up story. A Roman court in Caesarea. Two judges: A Roman judge, Festus; a Jewish judge, Agrippa. They are listening to this man ...
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Zack Eswine serves as Lead Pastor of Riverside Church and as Director of Homiletics, Resident Scholar of the Francis Schaeffer Institute, at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.