I Appeal to Caesar
Festus was a different type from Felix; we know very little about him but what we do know proves that he was a just and upright man. He died after only two years in office, but he died with an untainted name. The Jew tried to take advantage of him; they tried to persuade him to send for Paul to come to Jerusalem; for once they had formed a plot to assassinate Paul on the way. But Festus was a Roman, with the Roman instinct for justice. He told them to come to Caesarea and plead their case there. From Paul's answer, we can deduce the malicious charges which they leveled against him. They accused him of heresy, or sacrilege and of sedition. No doubt from their point of view, the first charge was true, irrelevant as it was to Roman law, but the other two were deliberate lies.
Festus had no desire to go against the Jews in the first days of his governorship and he offered a compromise. Was Paul prepared to go to Jerusalem and stand his trial there while he stood by to see fair play? But Paul knew that for him there could be no such thing as fair play at Jerusalem, and he made his great decision to go to Rome. If a Roman citizen felt he was not getting justice in a provincial court, he could appeal directly to the Emperor. Only if the man was a murderer, a pirate, or a bandit caught in the act, was his appeal invalid. In all other cases, the local procedure had to be valid and the claimant had to be dispatched to Rome for the personal decision of the Emperor. When Paul uttered the fateful words, "I appeal to Caesar," Festus had no choice; so, Paul in very different circumstances from those of which he had dreamed, made his first step on the road that led to Rome.
________________________________Life Application: If you were in Paul's place would you have made the choice he did? I have to believe that only a person who was not guilty would even dare to go to Rome. This sounds much like heaven. If you are living a Godly life, Heaven will be your home.
Prayer/Praise: Hallelujah! I am so thankful that You know everything. You know what is true is and what is not. Thank You for the blood of Jesus that washes ALL MY SINS AWAY. You know what is in my heart, and there is no hiding sin from You. Thank You for the blood of Calvary that washes all my sins away. Amen!