Re:Verse reading–Acts 9:1-22, 26-31 (day seven)
It makes no sense for Paul to come to Christ, and it makes no sense for Christ to forgive Paul. Paul’s hatred burned white hot towards Christians. His heart’s passion was to prove Jesus was a criminal and snuff out Jesus’s followers. Paul watched Stephen’s murder with an approving nod, and could not wait to find the next follower of Christ to murder. Paul’s sins were as egregious as they come, yet Jesus chose to forgive him and use him.
It does not make sense to us. We want really bad people to have really bad comeuppance. The early church didn’t want anything to do with Paul. They feared him and kept him at arm’s length for years. The church hesitated because they could not believe what happened. I’m sure they were like us quietly praying for the holy fires of vengeance, all the while God was doling out grace and mercy.
It is a blessing to us that God forgave Paul, not because he became the greatest missionary the church has ever known, but because it confirms that the grace of God is sufficient even while we are enemies of God.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:8-10)