If I have done something worthy of death, I don’t refuse to die. But if I am innocent, no one has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!”
Festus conferred with his advisers and then replied, “Very well! You have appealed to Caesar, and to Caesar you will go!”
A few days later King Agrippa arrived with his sister, Bernice, to pay their respects to Festus.
During their stay of several days, Festus discussed Paul’s case with the king. “There is a prisoner here,” he told him, “whose case was left for me by Felix.
When I was in Jerusalem, the leading priests and Jewish elders pressed charges against him and asked me to condemn him.
I pointed out to them that Roman law does not convict people without a trial. They must be given an opportunity to confront their accusers and defend themselves.
“When his accusers came here for the trial, I didn’t delay. I called the case the very next day and ordered Paul brought in.
But the accusations made against him weren’t any of the crimes I expected.
Instead, it was something about their religion and a dead man named Jesus, who Paul insists is alive.
I was at a loss to know how to investigate these things, so I asked him whether he would be willing to stand trial on these charges in Jerusalem.
But Paul appealed to have his case decided by the emperor. So I ordered that he be held in custody until I could arrange to send him to Caesar.”