Paul stood on trial before the Sanhedrin, the religious rulers of the Jewish people. He knew some were Pharisees and some Sadducee’s. These were two different groups of the leaders. One of the differences was their belief in the resurrection of the dead. Paul knew this so he stated his belief in the resurrection. This caused an uproar between his accusers, and once again they wanted to kill him. They were about to tear him into pieces. Even so, the Holy Spirit gave Paul boldness to continue to testify. Jesus even came to Him in a vision, telling him he would go to Rome to testify.
Once again difficult circumstances surrounded Paul: accusations, beatings, imprisonment, death, etc. He could have recanted his stories, told his accusers he was a liar and he was sorry. He could have denied what he was proclaiming as truth. It would have all stopped and he more than likely would have been free. Perhaps they would have even made him a hero.
Why did Paul continue? He had a personal, face to face encounter with Jesus. He was changed. The Holy Spirit dwelled within Him. He was not the same man that was on the road to Damascus years before.
It is a known fact that out of the twelve disciples that followed Jesus before His death, eleven of them died as martyrs. Something they saw and experienced made them willing to die for what they believed. People do not die a martyr for a lie willingly. They had experienced truth!
John described it this way:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—” 1 John 1:1-2 ESV
God wants us to experience Him. This is why the Holy Spirit came to live within us. So we could see and touch. We can feel Him. Then we are able to testify to what we know!
May we experience the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives!