Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. (Acts 4:1-2)
The resurrection of Christ is the difference between a dead religion and a personal relationship. Living by resurrection power is the difference between earthly striving and heavenly reality. These differences can be seen in the contrast between the religious authorities of Israel and the disciples of Jesus.
The disciples were proclaiming to the people the wondrous message of the risen Lord Jesus. "They taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead." Such a message infuriated the religious leaders. "The priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed." Today, many religious leaders reflect a similar response.. In the popular religious world, universalism and skepticism prevail. Each religion is viewed as one more road leading to God. For many, the miraculous is unacceptable, as human reasoning reigns supreme. In many religious circles, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is either an object of scoffing or an area of hypocritical compromise.
The Sadducees of old were like this. They would talk about the resurrection, even asking Jesus questions that seemed to affirm that God could raise people from the dead. "Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her" (Matthew 22:28). This question followed their scenario in which seven brothers would become the husband of the same woman, through seven death and marriage sequences. What a mockery this question represented. First, it was given in hypocrisy. "The Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him" (Matthew 22:23). Second, they were unaware of what the Scriptures said about such a heavenly matter. "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage" (verse 30). Jesus explained that these religious rationalists made two great errors in their approach. "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God" (verse 29).
We who have been born again by faith in the risen Lord Jesus can err in a similar fashion in our day by day living. We can talk about the resurrection of Jesus, but behave as though it were not an actual reality for Christian living. We can be mistaken, "not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God."
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your patience when I profess belief in the resurrection, but live by my inadequate human resources. Help me to understand what the Scriptures say about living daily in the power of the resurrection of Christ, Amen.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon