It is no exaggeration to say that the epicenter of all ancient life can be encapsulated in a literal “tale of two cities,” those being Rome and Jerusalem. Each of these metropolises held and continue to hold both immense religious and sociological significance in mankind’s history.
Integral to one’s understanding the book of Acts is a working knowledge of Luke’s intent in the account of his Gospel. In the preface to his Gospel, Luke writes that he is desirous that one named Theophilus might “know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.” (Luke 1:3–4) The rest of the Lukan account revolves around this premise.
Of the Gospels, it could be asserted that the Johannine version is that which is most replete with cruciform language. Though each Gospel makes its own “turn” towards Jerusalem and, therefore, towards the cross, John’s narrative is uniquely concerned with the Son of Man’s accomplishments on Golgotha’s tree.
Fundamental to the gospel itself is an understanding of its inexorable testament to a literal devil figure, whose might and minions are at once thwarted in their mission to subvert God’s reclamation of creation by the Son of God’s triumph over death. Evidence throughout the Gospels affirm the real activity and tangible presence of Satan and demons, with Jesus trouncing their operation at every turn.
First Corinthians 15 is a chapter brimming with cruciform language. The apostle Paul’s symphony to the Church at Corinth crescendos into a 58-verse movement whose melody is the resurrection. From the first word to the last, Paul endeavors to draw the readers’ attention to the veracity of the resurrection.