The Charges Against Him (Acts 25:27)

For it seems absurd to me in sending a prisoner, not to indicate also the charges against him.

Acts 25:27

This verse is Festus — a Roman government official — speaking to Agrippa — yet another Roman official — about Paul and what charges should be written down in sending Paul to Caesar. Paul had appealed to Caesar and Festus agreed that Paul, as a Roman citizen, had the right to do that. But Festus was in a bind: he did not know what accusations to put down in writing against Paul since Paul had, as far as Festus knew, not broken any Roman laws. There was no reason that Festus could discern for any of this.

This week leads in to what is commonly called Good Friday. It is Good in that Christ’s crucifixion secured salvation for all who would claim it as their own. When Christ was crucified, Pilate wrote down “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” as the charges against Jesus. I suspect that Roman law would have acknowledged being a king in opposition to Caesar as a crime worthy of death, but Pilate had already declared that he found no reason to put Christ to death. Pilate saw no reason to crucify Jesus other than to forestall the riot he could see forming in the streets.

As was the case when Christ was tried, so it was when His servant Paul was tried: There were no charges that could be brought against him. This does not mean that Paul was perfect. Paul himself wrote that he was the chief among sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). I suspect that everyone who draws near to God feels their their sin more heavily the closer they approach The Holy One. The Bible asks this question: Who will bring a charge against God’s elect (Romans 8:33)? In the cases of Christ and Paul, the answer was, quite literally, no one.

There will be times when I am condemned — sometimes justly, sometimes unjustly. The aim of my life is to so surrender to God that the number of times I am unjustly condemned dwarfs the times I am justly condemned. More, though, it is good to note that God does not condemn me. He is the only One with the right to do so and He declares me righteous based on what Christ has done for me.

Let me seek to surrender so that the only charge that may be laid at my account is that of trusting Christ and taking Him at His word.


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