Word for the World devotionals from Dr. Randy White

Evidence of Christ’s Resurrection

“But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe.” (Acts 14:19-20; NASB95)

What a scene it must have been in Lystra.  Paul and Barnabus had fled Antioch due to persecution.  In Lystra they healed a man who had been lame, causing quite a stir.  So much, in fact, that the locals began to worship Paul and Barnabus, believing they were the Greek Gods, Hermes and Zeus.  The local priest of the Temple of Zeus even brought sacrifices to offer the men. 

But the persecutors caught up with Paul.  Those from Antioch and Iconium, from whence Paul had fled, stoned Paul in Lystra and “dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.”  But Paul was not dead, and while fellow disciples were around him, he came to consciousness and they went back to the city, leaving for Derbe the next day.

Having just been worshiped as a God, wouldn’t you think he would now be received as “The Messiah,” having “risen from the dead”?  Instead, there was not even a hint that Paul was resurrected.  Healed?  Perhaps Restored?  Definitely.  Raised from the dead?  Not at all. 

But when Christ was raised from the dead, there was no doubt that He who was once dead and in the grave was now alive.  Those who didn’t want to believe it tried to make stories that Christ was not really dead, but the evidence of the Roman Soldier and the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea were insurmountable. 

The point?  Even with the limited medical knowledge of 2,000 years ago, the distinction between “healed” and “raised from the dead” was easy to make!  Paul was healed, Christ was raised.    No one “on the scene” thought Paul was raised, no one “on the scene” thought Christ was healed. 

As for me…I go with the eye-witness testimony!   

In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White

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