Paul was wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove, when he perceived that one part of the Jewish council were Sadducees and one part Pharisees. He garnered support in the council from his fellow Pharisees, by stating that his trial was because of his belief in the resurrection of the dead – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection from the dead, while the Sadducees did not.
The reason the plot was made to kill Paul, was because they saw that first of all, the council was unlikely to unite to condemn him before the Roman governor. Secondly, as a Roman citizen, without a condemnation from the Jewish council, they saw no chance at all for getting Rome to agree that he ought to be condemned to death. They believe he deserved death, but I believe that their unreasoning fury against him was spiritually motivated, not rationally motivated. As the enemy stirred up the mob to be irrationally motivated against Jesus, so now he was stirring up whomever he could use to be irrationally motivated against Paul. The Father used this incident to send Paul to Rome to testify before the Roman emperor. But first he had to go through the ranks, so to speak, starting in Jerusalem.
Now the problem the centurion was having, was in writing a cheirographon against Paul. Remember we learned that Jesus had a cheirographon – a written list of his accused crime – nailed above the cross when He was crucified. His cheirographon read “King of the Jews.” The cheirographon was an integral piece of Roman justice, and no prisoner could be held or tried or condemned or punished without it. It was the list of what he had done that broke Roman law. We have something similar in American law (much of our practice comes from Roman law). If someone is taken to the police station in handcuffs, he has to be accused of an actual crime or set free. He cannot be held indefinitely and for no reason.
When the centurion sent Paul to Felix, the Roman governor, he was stating essentially in his letter, that did not have a cheirographon to send with the prisoner, because he could not determine from the Jews what his crime was. So it fell to Felix to determine what his crime had been.This is why Paul’s accusers were commanded to appear before Felix also.
And all the while, Paul needed to keep his faith and trust in YHVH for his life, his vindicaton, and his deliverance. He knew God could miraculously set His people free from chains – he himself had experienced it. But our life, once we become a believer, is not about our comfort. It is about our witness to the world that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God! We have seen numerous times in Acts where God allowed His people to be discomfited, if it got them where He wanted them – as a witness to Him! So we can trust in Him at all times, and His praise shall continually be in our mouths! He is on His throne no matter in what circumstance we find ourselves!