Paul the persecutor is transformed

The apostle Paul is another remarkable example. As a devout Jewish rabbi and strict Pharisee, he was resolutely convinced that Jesus' resurrection had not taken place. Paul persecuted members of the early Church for believing in such nonsense. He staked his whole mission in life on his conviction that the resurrection was a fabrication and the movement was a threat to every tradition he held sacred.

This new movement, he was convinced, deserved to be stamped out by any means, including imprisonment and execution (Acts 22:4)—and this would be his personal crusade. Then something happened. Jesus Christ appeared to Paul and spoke to him.

Paul was not a man given to the vivid imaginations of superstitious people. He was a levelheaded intellectual. Yet he later was prepared to defend his zeal for Christ before hostile mobs as well as governors, kings and other rulers. In the end Paul was prepared to die for what he knew was true: Jesus was indeed the Messiah and was alive and well at the right hand of God.

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