Today’s reading: Acts 22:30 – 23:11
Paul is being held by the Romans for his own protection. He is taken to the Sanhedrin so the Romans can learn exactly what he is accused of. There he debates with the Jewish leaders. When Paul argues that he is on trial for preaching the resurrection of the dead the hearing descends into chaos. Old rivalries erupt between the Pharisees (who believe in a resurrection) and the Sadducees (who do not). Paul is whisked away by the Romans to keep him safe. The Lord then speaks to Paul:
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”
Whereas before God sent the Jewish people into the Holy Land and commanded the scourge of paganism to be removed now he is sending his emissaries into the great heart of paganism. Again the idols and the false temples will be torn down. In their place, new churches will be built. Great Churches that contain the new sacrifice and the new temple will be built there. Both Peter and Paul will travel there and both will be martyred there. On top of Peter’s bones the greatest of these Churches will be built, bring to fulfillment the prophecy of Jesus, “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church”.
Tomorrow: Acts 23:12-35