In my previous article, I wrote about some of the “proof” of the resurrection of Jesus from the perspective of the disciples. You can read that article by clicking on this link: Article: Resurrection.
In this article, I am going to write about another piece of evidence regarding the resurrection. It is still the Easter season after all!
If you spent any time with me you have heard me say that the most compelling evidence for the resurrection is found in the person of Saul (see Acts 9).
Saul was an educated Jewish Pharisee and a well-connected one at that. He worked with the priests in Jerusalem and he hated Christianity. He viewed it as a heretical and detrimental to Judaism. Needless to say, he was devout and he was definitely not a Christian.
After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, Saul sought permission to hunt Christians in Damascus which is a long way from Jerusalem. This of course happened after Saul watched over the coats of the men who killed the first Christian martyr: Stephen. He also approved of Stephen’s murder. See Acts 7:54-8:1
On his way to Damascus, Jesus knocked him off his horse and blinded him. This was not done out of retaliation but to spiritually awaken Saul to a new reality.
Jesus then sends Saul on to Damascus and wait for further instructions. Saul complies.
At the same time, Jesus talks to a Christian named Ananias and tells him to go a specific home address in Damascus to find Saul. I love that Jesus gives such specific directions like a map app!
Ananias is a little concerned because everyone knows that Saul hates Christians! Jesus then reveals his purpose for blinding Saul. “This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”Acts 9:15-16
With that, Ananias goes to Saul and heals him of his blindness in Jesus’ Name.
That was enough to change Saul’s mind. He believed in Jesus (not to mention his power) and was baptized.
Saul’s Roman name was Paul and he became the greatest church planter and theologian of the first century… possibly ever.
Here is the point about the proof of the resurrection. People who are devout in their faith do not switch to another religion… especially one they persecute (because they hate it). Do you have plans to switch religions tomorrow? I didn’t think so.
It would take an act of God to change the mind of a devout believer.
The only way that Saul could go from arresting and killing Christians as a Jewish Pharisee to becoming a Christian church-planting pastor is this… he met the risen Christ.
People change faith systems all the time…devout people do not. It takes an act of God to do that.
For me, Saul is one of the greatest proofs of the resurrection of Jesus.