November 20, 2020
The Victory of the Resurrection
By Skip Heitzig
If there had been an inscription over the tomb of Jesus Christ, it might have read, "Don't worry—I'm just borrowing this for the weekend," because He was only in that grave for about three days before He rose again from the dead.
This was the main theme of Peter's sermon in Acts 2, his first recorded sermon in the Bible. Peter wanted to show that Jesus wasn't an ordinary man; He was the God-man, God's predicted Messiah. So he gave three simple lines of evidence for the fact that Jesus was different from anyone else:
1. Jesus' miraculous life: "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know" (v. 22).
Jesus' miracles got people's attention. They proved that He was who He claimed to be and that God's power was uniquely operating in Him. And if He could do these miracles, then He could do the biggest miracle ever: get a person from earth to heaven by salvation.
2. Jesus' meaningful death: "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death" (v. 23).
Notice how Peter approached Jesus' death from two different angles: on one hand, it was a vicious plot carried out by man. On the other hand, it was a victorious plan foreordained by God from the beginning of time (see Revelation 13:8). Jesus' death had to happen if the obstacle of sin between us and God was going to be removed. Thus, Jesus' death was a victory. Plus, He didn't stay dead. They put Jesus in a grave, but three days later He got up from that tomb and conquered death.
3. Jesus' magnificent resurrection. Peter took one verse to speak about Jesus' life and one verse to speak about His death, but nine whole verses to speak about His resurrection (see vv. 24-32). Why? Because it's that important. Without the resurrection, we're hopeless, dead in our sins (see 1 Corinthians 15:19).
When Peter was preaching this sermon, Jesus was alive at that moment, raised from the dead in power. But there were thousands of people in the crowd Peter was speaking to who were dead spiritually, who needed to, as Jesus said, be born again (see John 3:3).
In the same way, Jesus wants to touch the deadness of your life today. Could it be that you've become a little stale and stagnant, even as a follower of Christ? Maybe you've come to believe that your best days are in the past rather than ahead of you, so you've put your life into cruise control until you die and go to heaven. That's not a good plan. You need a touch from God.
So come to Him just as you are today and admit that you need Him, asking Him to help you live out the victory of Jesus' resurrection in your everyday life.