Acts Devotionals

On Jesus’ Resurrection

Early in our Christian life we were introduced to taking sermon notes. Personally I found doing this helps me remember and think through what I am hearing. Note taking solidifies the message in the mind. Normally, if the preacher outlines the message it is by far easier to take proper notes … Introduction, Body (various points) and Application (various points). On a few occasions people have told me they shared the sermon by means of going through the notes with someone. Returning to Peter’s Penetrating, Provocative, Pentecostal Preaching, he explains the basic ingredients of the Gospel … death, burial implied and resurrection. Yesterday we considered

Ac 2:23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

The very people Messiah Jesus came to, “Men of Israel”, with the help of those Roman Soldiers and Pontus Pilate, executed an innocent man because of jealousy, exposure of their leaders’ bad interpretation of the Scriptures and their hypocritical behavior.

Ac 2:24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

1) The Resurrection is by God the Father’s power. But God raised him from the dead. It is important to remember God is Triune … that is He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons, each with their own unique personality, function and responsibility, but together they are one God. The Father sent the Son on a Rescue Mission to Planet Earth. The Son took on the human flesh and became man without losing His Divinity, remaining sinless. Although the text tells us that God raised Jesus from the dead, we need to see the Father and the Holy Spirit, both active in this miracle. God is able to raise the dead. We have seen in the Old Testament how, through some of the prophets He did this. Our Lord Jesus raised the dead too, perhaps most notable was Lazarus. Here we find Him raising the Lord Jesus from the dead. Without Jesus’ Resurrection we would have no Gospel! Just as His Death was substitutionary, so His Resurrection was substitutionary. His Death is all about paying the penalty for our sin and guilt, obtaining pardon and reconciliation with our Creator God. His resurrection is all about the guarantee of us being resurrected from the dead. Jesus’ Resurrection was not a return to normal, although His body was the same body, he ate, walked and taught … but it was changed into a Resurrection Body. You remember after His Resurrection He appeared to the disciples who were in a room, behind locked doors. The dimension of His Resurrected Body looked the same, but there was more. Some may have their rendition of what the body will be like when resurrected. I prefer to rely on the Scriptures

1Co 15:42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 1Co 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

Imperishable, glory, power … and a spiritual body. I do not know what a spiritual body would look like because I have never seen one, but if God says “spiritual body” I am totally happy with that. Are you? 2) Freedom from the agony of death … freeing him from the agony of death. The first thing that “dead” says to me is separation. Jesus, God the Son was separated from God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. That is agony. Then, as I have never been dead, I cannot say what the soul feels without a body to host it. But I am sure that is agony. Perhaps the inactivity of the soul was also agony. As the Father and Spirit raised the Son to life … they freed Him from that agony. At death, the believing soul goes to be with God in heaven … but remains bodiless until the final resurrection when all believers receive their spiritual bodies.

3) The Impossibility of death … because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Remember we are dealing with God not man. Jesus had a human body but remained God. God cannot die! Jesus in the flesh as man died but His Divinity remained.

(1) To illustrate the impossibility of death, Peter calls upon Psalm 16 … a Psalm of David.

(2) Note that in Acts 2v30, Peter labels David as a prophet!

Ac 2:30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.

Not only was he a prophet, he was a king who would always have a descendant upon his throne. This refers to the Messiah.

(3) As prophet, what he speaks in verses 25-28 from Psalm 16, is spoken under inspiration (both David and Peter) and is prophetic. This means that although David might have had himself in mind, he was actually speaking about and pointing to the Messiah who was yet to come. Peter is applying this to Jesus who is the Messiah:

Ac 2:25 David said about him: “‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, 27because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

Jesus came on a mission and knows and understands His mission. It was worked out in the Council of Glory by the members of the Trinity before He was dispatched to planet Earth.

(a) Jesus saw His Father (Lord) before Him in all He needed to do on earth including His Death and Resurrection.

(b) He knew His Father’s presence all the time (he is at my right hand) giving unshakable confidence for the task ahead of Him.

(c) This results in joy filled with hope. The hope is in the fact that His Father’s presence assures Him that after His penal substitutional sacrificial death, He would not be like all humans and rot in the grave! The flow of Peter’s sermon is important. After addressing Jesus death and resurrection he references the continued death of Jesus as an impossibility by applying David’s prophesy to Jesus. To say to the crowds a man crucified, dead and buried rose from the dead would have been unbelievable, especially since the High Priest and his religious leadership together with the Roman Soldiers had already had fifty days to persuade people that the message doing the rounds that Jesus rose from the dead was fake … yet drawing on David’s prophesy slots into what happened to Jesus perfectly.

Help us Lord to trust the Bible. Amen.

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