Acts 26:6

ESV And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers,
NIV And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our ancestors that I am on trial today.
NASB And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers;
CSB And now I stand on trial because of the hope in what God promised to our ancestors,
NLT Now I am on trial because of my hope in the fulfillment of God’s promise made to our ancestors.
KJV And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:
NKJV And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers.

What does Acts 26:6 mean?

For hundreds of years, the Jews had hoped for the promised Messiah who would rescue them from occupying forces and make them a free people again. When the Messiah arrived, however, He did not look like their expectations. He offered them freedom from the sin nature that occupied their hearts, not the Romans who occupied their cities. He offered to free them from slavery to sin and the rigors of the Law, not the swords of the Romans. He offered them the church, not the independent nation of Israel.

Many Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah because of broken expectations. Others did so because they had carved out a comfortable existence which Jesus' teaching showed to be worthless. That included those who were satisfied through either the Law—the Pharisees—or collusion with the Romans—the Sadducees.

Paul, devout Pharisee, once held the same view. On the way to Damascus, however, the resurrected Jesus revealed the truth about the hope of God's promise to Israel. It began with God's promise to Eve: that God would send her Offspring to destroy the enemy (Genesis 3:15). The focus narrowed to Abraham whom God promised would bless the earth (Genesis 22:18), then to Judah, the father of kings (Genesis 49:10). To Isaiah and Jeremiah, God promised the Messiah would inherit David's throne and rule with justice and righteousness forever (Isaiah 9:6–7; Jeremiah 23:5). To Zechariah, God got so specific as to describe the King riding on a donkey, a promise fulfilled during Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem shortly before He was crucified (Zechariah 9:9; Mark 11:1–10).

Paul explains to Governor Festus, King Agrippa II, and the civil and military leaders of Caesarea Maritima that this hope is why the Sanhedrin hates him. It is not because he broke the Mosaic law or caused riots, but because he believes the risen Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the hope of God.
What is the Gospel?
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