Triple Hardened (Acts 24:1)

In my career, I have been called to testify in a courtroom on three separate occasions. Thankfully, these courtroom appearances were only to verify a diagnosis I had previously made and I was not the defendant. Nonetheless, the tension in the courtroom on each occasion was palpable. Any competent trial attorney is adept at public speaking and listening to these polished orators argue their case before the jurors made me thankful that I was not the focus of their attacks. This was not the case in a trial recorded by Dr. Luke in the Book of Acts. The following passage opens with an introduction to the Jewish elders and high priest as the plaintiffs and the Apostle Paul as the defendant. Paul was on trial for alleged blasphemous speeches he made that proclaimed the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the Jewish people. 

 

And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before the governor their case against Paul.

Acts 24:1 (ESV)

 

The prosecuting attorney who was hired to make the case against Paul was named Tertullus. I was intrigued to learn that the name Tertullus means “triple hardened”. I would definitely be intimidated if the attorney who was questioning me had a name like that! Paul was unfazed as he made his defense of his faith in Jesus Christ. 

 

I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.

Acts 24:14-16 (ESV)

 

Undoubtedly, the Apostle Paul remembered the words his Lord Jesus Christ once spoke to His disciples, warning them of times of persecution that would descend upon them. In less than two months after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the persecutions began, but all of the disciples of Jesus remained steadfast in their faith. 

 

When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 

Matthew 10:19-20 (ESV)

 

Thousands of years ago, Paul defended his faith against the dark forces of the Jewish leaders, bent upon preserving their power and authority. Today, this country is under attack by equally sinister forces. Under the banner of inclusiveness and political correctness, Christians have been maligned as racist and culturally insensitive. The Apostle Paul obeyed Jesus Christ and allowed the Holy Spirit to speak for him to present his defense. His conscience was clear because he was speaking the Truth about the Good News of Jesus Christ. All believers in Jesus Christ may face a day of reckoning within this country, a country that previously defended their freedom to worship and was founded on Judeo-Christian values that sought to be inclusive to all races, cultures, and religions at a time when such principals were radical and revolutionary. 

 

Whether our accusers are the liberal social media or a triple hardened prosecutor, all Christians need to stand strong in our faith in Jesus Christ and allow God, the Holy Spirit, to be our voice. 

 

Amen.

 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

 

 

 

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