Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
This sudden appeal appears to be made for two reasons.
1. Because Agrippa professed to believe in the Scriptures, which certainly contained records of resurrections (see 1 Kings 17:17-23; 2 Kings 4:18-37).
2. Because the Sadducee party was the one which was most active against the apostle, and they were chiefly offended by his preaching the doctrine of the resurrection, based upon the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah. Possibly St. Paul may have known that the doctrine of resurrection was a stumbling-block and hindrance to Agrippa. Men in all ages have stumbled at the difficulty of resurrection. It appears to be so contrary to the order of nature; and, so far as human power and skill are concerned, death is so manifestly an irremediable woe. But is resurrection incredible? Three answers may be given.
I. THAT DEPENDS UPON THE EVIDENCES OF THE FACT. It is credible enough if it can be adequately proved. And the test case must be the resurrection of our Lord. It is not enough to dismiss this case as miraculous; we must fairly consider the proofs of the fact. Review them as given by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15., and set them alongside the historical details given in the Gospels, showing the credibility of the witnesses, etc. The position taken by Hume is a very presumptuous one, that it is more likely the evidence is false than that the miraculous event is true. No fact of history can be received unless its testimony is accepted without prejudice.
II. THE RESURRECTION IS NOT THE GREATEST OF MIRACLES. If we can accept greater, it cannot be unreasonable to accept it. St. Augustine well expresses this point. He says, "It is a greater miracle to make that which is not than to repair that which is. Why cannot God raise us after we are turned into dust, who, if we ever were reduced to nothing, could give us a being?" To create man is a greater miracle than to re-create him; and we are not unreasonable in asserting that he who can accomplish the one can certainly accomplish the other.
III. THE WORLD IS FULL OF ANALOGIES WHICH HELP TO MAKE REASONABLE THE BELIEF IN RESURRECTION. These are fully given in works on the resurrection, and are familiarly used in sermons on this topic. Especially may analogies be found in springtime resurrections and insect changes. Science, too, finds analogies, for it discovers that nothing really is destroyed, but all things reappear in other and varied forms. It is but a beginning of argument on behalf of the sure and sublime truth of the resurrection, but it is an important beginning to be able to say - It is not a thing incredible that God should raise the dead. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?