“We have to go and register at the police department.” The Berlin Wall still divided the East and the West and we were in Poland where Lech Walesa was fueling the anti-communist Solidarity Movement. We were definitely behind the Iron Curtain.
I wasn’t too worried, but then out on the street in front of the police station our Polish friends gathered in a circle, joined hands, and prayed, “Lord, help our Texas friends to be safe. And if they get sent to Siberia, we trust that you will be with them and take care of them.”
In fact, the registration was routine, and we discovered while ministering with our Polish brothers and sisters that they had an incredible sense of humor, even when they were talking with the Lord.
I’ve never been in prison for Jesus, but both the Apostle Peter and the Apostle John got arrested for preaching in the Temple. As Luke summarizes the response to Peter’s second sermon in Acts, what was it that got so under the skin of the religious leaders?
“Now while they were speaking to the people, the priests, the Temple guard, and the Sadducees approached. They were disturbed to say the least, especially that they were teaching the people that in Jesus there is resurrection from the dead. They seized them and took them into custody till the next day for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed and the number and the men came to about five thousand.” Acts 4:1-4
Reformed Jews deny the resurrection, like the first century Sadducees, but Orthodox Jews, like the first century Pharisees, believe in the resurrection as indicated by the following Burial Kaddish recited at the death of a loved one:
Yisgadal v'yiskadash shmai rabbah.
Magnified and sanctified be His great name.
B'olmo d'hu asid l'is-chadosho,
In the world which He will renew,
U'lachay'o maisayo, ul'asoko yos'hone lechayai olmo,
Reviving the dead, and raising them to life eternal,
LORD, a close friend just lost his dad. Thanks that your Son's resurrection proves that he will see his dad again. Just as you caused five thousand to open their hearts to the reality of Jesus' resurrection while Peter and John were being arrested, I pray that you would protect those imprisoned for your sake and move thousands around the world this week to believe in Jesus' power over life and death.
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