In our study of Acts chapter twenty five, we continue to follow Paul on his way to testify about Jesus in Rome. In this chapter, we see his third trial and the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning him. He had been told that he would carry the gospel to kings and rulers and this chapter finds him in front of a king.
"Three days after arriving in the province, Festus went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem, where the chief priests and Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul." NIV translation
In chapter 24, we watched as the old governor (Felix) left Paul in prison for two years and he was then replaced by Festus as governor. Festus then went up to Jerusalem where the Jewish leaders presented the charges against Paul.
The governors were politicians and so they wanted to keep the people happy but he could not legally have a trial there without Paul being present to defend himself.
Once again, we are reminded that throughout the Bible the number three is associated with the display of God's will and God is using even this to fulfill His purpose for Paul.
"They urgently requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way." NIV translation
The leaders had not given up on their plot to ambush and kill Paul so they tried to get the new governor to bring him to Jerusalem. They didn't expect that he would know about the plot as Felix had before him. Just as the religious authorities were "urgently" trying to do away with Paul, we can expect that in the future, for all Christians. In Revelation 13, we see that there is coming a time when there will be a worldwide religious system that will not tolerate those who follow Jesus Christ. Just as they were trying to use the political system (Festus) against Paul, they will also do the same thing to us.
"Festus answered, 'Paul is being held at Caesarea, and I myself am going there soon. Let some of your leaders come with me and press charges against the man there, if he has done anything wrong.'" NIV translation
Once again, their plot has been derailed as Festus tells them to come and press charges in Caesarea. This is not what they wanted but they still held out hope that they could convince this new governor that Paul deserved to die.