It is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today. This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. – Acts 26:6-7
Sometimes people forget that the Bible is not the story of world history. There are peoples of the earth whose history is not mentioned, except to the extent that their history is intertwined with the history of Israel, God’s chosen people. The history of those peoples is important, but it is not relevant to the hope carried in the bosom of Abraham.
We are told the story of how the Jews went from mountains of glory to valleys of gloom and despair. They would conquer and be conquered. Ten of the 12 tribes was captured and disbursed to the nations by the Assyrians. Two of the tribes were captured and taken to Babylon, leaving only a remnant. Even in their greatest despair they still had hope.
The greatest trials of this people, the people chosen by God to bear the seed of the Christ who would be redemption for all of mankind, could not dampen the hope that they carried. This is the hope Paul was explaining to king Agrippa.
The last phrase of verse seven in our reading is, “It is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me.” He was in conflict with the Jews because their hope was in one who would come as a warrior and conquer the world with a sword and Paul preached a Christ whose war was in the realm of the Spirit and whose kingdom was in the hearts of men.
The Jews saw the Messiah as hope only for the Jews, but Paul understood that Christ offered hope to all the world. This hope hidden in the prophecies of old told of a Messiah and this hidden hope was fulfilled in Jesus, the Christ of Redemption.
Jesus came to bring the hope of redemption, not to a particular people group, but to the whole world. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believed upon him would not perish but would have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Prayer: Lord, help me to see beyond my trials and cling to the hope that is in Jesus, the Christ of Redemption. In Jesus name, amen.
Principle: Paul understood that Christ offered hope to all the world. This hope, hidden in the prophecies of old, told of a Messiah and this hidden hope was fulfilled in Jesus, the Christ of Redemption.
Affirmation: My faith and hope are anchored in the Jesus, the Christ of redemption.
Reflection: It is interesting that from Abraham to the Christ the Jews looked for a Messiah, but when their Messiah came they didn't accept him. Why do you think they didn't receive Jesus as the Messiah?
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