The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the work of the risen Jesus (33). In itself it points to the truth that Christ is alive. The emphasis throughout the New Testament is that God raised Jesus from the dead. Although the Lord had the power to lay down His own life and take it up again (John 10:18), the clear message is that God the Father ‘done it’. The resurrection is the divine seal of approval on all the claims of Jesus, and of His saving work on the cross.
Somebody said that the resurrection is God’s reversal of the human verdict on Jesus. Someone put it this way: people said, ‘He’s too bad to live; out of the world with Him.’ God said, ‘He’s too good to stay dead; back into the world with Him.’ Jesus took His case to a higher court, and that court reversed the conviction. Jesus won the appeal.
‘’God has raised this Jesus to life…’’ (32a). Yes, this Jesus I’ve been talking about, says Peter; this Jesus who was in the grave for a very short time; this Jesus you ‘’put…to death’’ (23); ‘’whom you crucified (36)”, this Jesus whose resurrection king David prophesied (and see a further prophecy here in 34, 35 – taken from Psalm 110:1; ‘’God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact’’ (32). When Peter ‘’stood up’’ to preach this sermon, it was ‘’with the Eleven’’ (14). Peter could point to others who had seen the risen Christ. He wasn’t some maverick, going out on his own on this point. He wasn’t a spiritual ‘lone ranger’. He was dealing with a verifiable ‘’fact’’. I once heard a lovely Greek evangelist speaking. Whenever he tried to say ‘the book of Acts’ it sounded like ‘the book of facts!’ I thought his repeated, charming mispronunciation was a proclamation of truth. I was hearing what he didn’t intend to say, but what I heard was true.
We don’t know what 2017 will hold for our world, our nation, or for ourselves. But step into it holding tightly to the fact that Jesus is alive: ‘’…be assured of this’’ (36). And know that even when men do their malevolent worst (and no one will commit a worse atrocity than crucifying Jesus) God has the final say. Man did not have the last word with Jesus; nor did death; Almighty God did. He always will. The resurrection of Jesus is the pledge of this. He turns the tables, and no-one will thwart His eternal purposes. He is on the throne. Our God reigns.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it is good to know that you live. Cause me to live with this assurance that death and evil and hell are defeated and you are ‘’both Lord and Christ.’’ Hallelujah.