Paul said (Acts 26:7), “For which hope’s sake, King Agrippa I am accused of the Jews.” What “hope?” The hope (verse 8) that “God raises the dead.”
The OT taught that there would be a great resurrection day. It was not an “incredible” idea. Paul simply believed that Christ had already been raised and He was the “first fruits” of the resurrection.
Paul had given those years (verse 9) to “do many things contrary [against] the name of Jesus.” He arrested “many of the saints” and had them “shut up in prison.” When they were brought to capital trial, he always voted guilty. He “punished” them in the synagogues and tried to get them to “blaspheme” so they could be put to death.
He became “exceedingly mad (enraged) against them” so that he even ventured to “foreign cities.” Paul had seen Christians as the plague and he was the cure.
In the process of going to Damascus to arrest even more believers, Paul met Jesus. Please read his personal testimony in verses 12-15. The “pricks” in verse 14 were spikes on a chariot a stupid horse would hurt himself on.
As the Lord had said to Jeremiah and Ezekiel, he commanded Paul to “rise and stand.” He told him he would be a “minister and a witness.” The persecutor would become a preacher and the savage wolf would become a gentle shepherd. Acts 26 is an amazing testimony of the power of the gospel to change a life!