In the Rodgers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella, Cinderella’s fairy godmother is explaining what’s about to happen. Cinderella is incredulous and the fairy godmother makes a point of telling Cinderella that impossible things are happening every day. When you look at all the amazing things we see in this world, it’s almost easy to come to that conclusion. Impossible things are happening every day.
As Paul was giving his testimony before King Agrippa, he explained that he was on trial for believing what Pharisees had believed for a long time: the hope of eternal life; the hope that the dead would rise to stand before God at the last judgment. He then asks a question that is logical in the general argument he is making, but stands out as impossible in today’s scientific society. “Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8)
That is an incredible statement indeed! And yet, if there really is a God who is the creator of all things, as Paul knew Agrippa believed, why wouldn’t that be possible? Paul also knew that Agrippa could easily check the records about Jesus if he so desired. While the official records wouldn’t state that Jesus rose from the dead, there would have been enough information from people still living that Agrippa could have come to that conclusion.
When you look at the crucifixion of Jesus and think about all the different possibilities, only one logical conclusion remains. As Sherlock Holmes once said while investigating a case, “…when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth…” Jesus was raised from the dead. AND, if Jesus was raised from the dead, life on this earth as we know it has changed. The biggest change? God deals with us in grace and mercy. That grace and mercy is available to all who come to him. Agrippa tried to blow Paul off, but Paul pointedly reminded him that he had to choose to believe or not to believe and deal with the consequences of his choice. We too must choose to believe or not to believe. There are consequences for each choice: believing leads possibly to difficult circumstances on earth, but a great eternity. Not believing allows us to live comfortably on earth, but a horrendous eternity. In truth, what is even more incredible than God raising the dead is the fact that there are people who know the truth, and refuse to believe it.
Lord God, You do raise from the dead. We all will have to face You at the last judgment. I know that I could not prevail if all my works were laid before You. I thank You that Jesus paid the price for my sin and that I can prevail at that time because of Your grace and mercy. Let me show that grace and mercy to others each day.