When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. Acts 15:13
He hears the sounds of Jerusalem waking up. As the city awakes, it beckons his eyes to open. His mind begins the acknowledge the new day. Thoughts of what the day holds begin to meander through his mind. Then all of a sudden, the magic of his life and calling begins to hit him. His day would be filled with teaching, encouraging, and fanning the flame of this fledgling movement of Jesus followers. To think, not long ago, he wouldn’t have been caught dead associating with this movement. Now, he was part of the leadership of it. Everything had changed since he had seen his brother resurrected.
This week in our daily writings, we have explored the character of James, the brother of Jesus. We saw his childhood, rejection of Jesus’ ministry, and conspicuous absence at his brother’s crucifixion. If you fast forward to the book of Acts, you find James standing up and leading the Jerusalem church. It’s somewhat jarring to observe James’s massive change of heart. His entire life is spent advocating for the reality that his brother is God and savior.
This is the power of resurrection. If the resurrection is real, it can change everything. It didn’t just win James over; it caused him to rise as a leader in the church.
Do you have someone you have given up on, someone you have prayed for but rejected your faith? Don’t give up hope. James was an unlikely character to become a leader in the early church. Yet, he becomes a leader in the movement he had rejected before seeing his dead brother rise again. Don’t give up hope on your loved ones. If God can raise the dead, he can also change everything for those around you. Ask God to make his resurrected presence real. When people encounter God alive, they can’t help it; they will be changed.