Resurrection Power

4 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. [1]

The subject of the resurrection has always been one of intrigue, controversy and speculation.  There is a new TV series called “Resurrection” coming out this Sunday, which is an American fantasy drama television series about previously dead people who come back to life.  This shows our fascination with the idea of the resurrection.

The Sadducees who had Peter and John arrested rejected the oral traditions of the Pharisees and considered only the written Torah of the Pentateuch as valid. They considered the concepts of demons and angels, immortality and resurrection as innovations, believing in no life beyond this life.  They would have fit well into the crowd today who says, “When you’re dead, you’re dead.”

Despite adversities the sermon was no failure. Many did respond and place their faith in the Author of life. So much was this the case that the total number of Jewish Christians came to 5,000. The Sadducees tried their best to stop the witness of the apostles. They did not succeed.

Peter connected the healing of the lame man with the resurrection.  The Sadducees might have been alright with the miracle, with no explanation, but they could not tolerate the connection of the resurrection with that miracle.  As a result, they shut Peter and John down for the night by arresting them.

Dear friends, we should not be surprised when people mock us as we tell about the resurrection of Christ and the change it has wrought in our lives.  When we tell them that we have been put in right standing with God because Jesus paid the penalty in full for our sins, some will mock.   But let’s not forget that on the day of Peter’s sermon, many people believed.

As we go through this week, let’s tell our story.  Be assured some will mock, but some will believe.  I believe in the resurrection.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ac 4:1–4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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