Acts 23: The Centrality of the Resurrection

This entry is part 101 of 103 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

Holding to a historical Jesus without believing in His resurrection is not sufficient for salvation.

The Importance of the Resurrection

Acts 23 demonstrates the centrality of the resurrection to the Christian faith. Paul was on trial in front of the Sadducees and Pharisees because he preached the gospel—the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

The Sadducees did not believe that the passages in Scripture looking forward to the Messiah’s victory over death were literal. They did not believe in a resurrection after death. The Pharisees, on the other hand, did hold to a bodily resurrection.

Knowing this division, Paul made the claim that he was “on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead” (Acts 23:6 NASB). His adamant preaching on this central fact of the gospel had led to his arrest, and Paul did not hold back from pointing this out.

The Hope of the Gospel

Paul knew where his hope was, and he was ready to make a defense for it (1 Peter 3:15). After all, only the death and resurrection of Jesus restore our relationship with God. Without the resurrection, we would have no hope in this world (1 Corinthians 15:13–19).

Like Paul, we need to be able to present the gospel simply, getting at the heart of it. When God gives us opportunities to speak His truth, we do not want to cringe in fear. If someone asks for a reason for our hope, the resurrection is a good place to start. We need to step boldly into the obedience God calls us to, surrendering our plans to His control and submitting to the promptings of the Spirit.

Watch part 101 of the 365 Key Chapters of the Bible series, based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

Related Reading:

I’m Glad You Asked answers fundamental questions regarding Jesus’ resurrection.

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