Paul Before the Sanhedrin (23:1-11). In addressing the Sanhedrin, Paul managed to divide the council concerning the issue of the resurrection of the dead. This resulted in a great commotion and argument between the Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) and the Pharisees (who acknowledge there is a resurrection). Consequently, the commanding officer took Paul into custody — for his own protection.
The Plot to Kill Paul (23:12-35). More than 40 Jewish men conspired to murder Paul. They even took an oath not to eat or drink anything until they had killed the apostle. However, the son of Paul’s sister learned about the ambush and reported the conspiracy to Lysias, the commanding officer. As a result, he sent Paul that night to Caesarea with seventy horsemen, two hundred spearman, and a letter addressed to Governor Felix explaining the charges against Paul.
Practical Lessons: (1) The hope of the resurrection of the dead is the keystone of Christianity. (2) Just as in Paul’s case, the Lord stands near and is able to strengthen and encourage all believers.