Easter was celebrated about a month ago; the eggs are eaten or tossed, the bunny is back on the shelf, but Jesus is alive!
The Bible tells of Saul of Tarsus who sought to slaughter followers of Christ. He later became known as Paul the apostle who preached the risen Lord. The name change and change of nature came from knowing a great name—Jesus, whom Paul “affirmed to be alive” (Acts 25:19).
The resurrection was not just a story about Jesus that Paul told but an experience he witnessed with others. Acts 9 tells how Peter spoke to a devout woman who had died, “Tabitha, arise!” He then “presented her alive” to her friends and family.
Paul preached until midnight and a drowsy young man fell asleep and then fell from a 3rd story loft. Eutychus died from the fall but Paul declared, “…his life is in him.” Acts 20:12 reports, “And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.”
Paul shared the hope of the resurrection and its promise to many he encountered, government officials included after his arrest. Governor Festus reported accusations against Paul about, “one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.”
When his case went to the king, Paul asked Agrippa, “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” The king had political and judicial power, but divine power is required to raise the dead.
Paul related his testimony to the king about meeting the resurrected Lord. He knew the king was aware of what happened because “this thing was not done in a corner.” He asked Agrippa, “Do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” The king replied, perhaps sarcastically, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” Paul answered, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except these chains.”
Fortunately many became believers as a result of Paul affirming Jesus to be alive. The hope of the resurrection is an anchor of the soul.
We can affirm Jesus to be alive today because of the many times He answers prayer. Rick Abbott can affirm him alive because he is now cancer free. Other physical ailments are gone as well. Trudi can affirm he is alive because after prayer, cancer in her body has either decreased or disappeared. She now walks without her cane. Many more can affirm Jesus to be alive because of the positive change he brought to their lives.
Not every prayer every time is answered in the way we want. However, the promise that comes with prayer found in Philippians 4:7 offers comfort, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” So does the truth and hope of the resurrection.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada Drive. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. Thursday Bible study is at 7:00 p.m. (sterlingpentecostalchurch.com).