Today’s reading Acts 13:1-14:28.
Two things hit me today.
First, I normally don’t like the verse divisions because I think they cause an artificial reading instead of just reading it like a book or a letter (I do appreciate how it makes referencing scripture easier). However, there is one division in this reading that really grabbed me–the division between Acts 13:29 and Acts 13:30.
Acts 13:29: “And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.”
Verse break. End of story. Over. Done. Jesus is dead and buried. The story ends. But wait, there is another verse:
Acts 13:30: “But God raised him from the dead.”
The story wasn’t over. Jesus was raised from the dead. He was victorious and I can be victorious through Him. Which leads to my “second.”
Second, Acts 13:38-39 really struck me.
“Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.”
Because Jesus was freed from death, I can be freed from death. Because He was resurrected, I can be resurrected from the spiritual death I have caused. I can’t help but think about what Paul says in Romans 7:24-25, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” My body is filled with death because of my sin, but God can and will raise me up from that death through Jesus Christ. In fact, He already has.
Then Paul goes on in Acts 8:2-4.
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be filled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
My story is not over. God is still working on me. I don’t believe this means I was baptized, now I’ll never sin. Rather, this is a progressive victory over sin. This is an increasing putting off of the flesh and its passions. I’m peeling back the layers of the onion to get down to what God wants in me. I am reminded every day that God will set me free and resurrect me as He did His Son, Jesus.
Keep the faith and keep reading,
P.S. What struck you in today’s reading?