“…..they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.”
The greatest tragedy in human history was the day Christ died. The true sinfulness of mankind was expressed as the world turned on Christ, as if to say, “We won’t have this man ruling over us.” In an attempt to rid the world of Him, they nailed Him to the cross and watched Him die. In contrast to the darkness of that hour, heaven’s great light shone forth as Jesus rose from the dead, gaining victory over death, hell, and sin. The Resurrection is heaven’s great triumph. The resurrection, proves the claims of Christ. When asked for a sign Jesus declared,
“ An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:39-40
Essentially, He was saying, “In addition to fulfilled prophecy, the miracles I performed, and the lives I have changed, the only sign I will give you, is that I will rise again.” Death could not hold Him down, the grave could not keep Him in. The Son of God rose from the dead triumphantly, assuring us all, His promises are true.
But the Resurrection proves something else. Not only are we guaranteed Jesus is who He said He was, but we are guaranteed there is more to life than this temporal existence. Paul declared,
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
The term “first-fruits” refers to the fruit on the tree that ripened first. When Israel gathered these fruits, they would celebrate, partly because they had a taste of the harvest, and partly because they knew a much greater harvest awaited them. The resurrection of Christ is like that. We celebrate that He conquered death and was raised in a glorified body, never to die again. We also rejoice in knowing, when this life comes to an end, as it will for each of us, we can be assured there is eternity.
One day, we will all breathe our last in these earthly tents. Those who have trusted Christ for salvation, will awaken in glory. The tent will be cast off, and replaced with a glorious body, designed never to wear out, but to last for all eternity. Rejoice today, as we look with anticipation to the great hope of the Resurrection.
Questions for Acts 4
- The Sadducees were “disturbed” that Peter and John were teaching the resurrection of Jesus and had them taken into custody until the next day. Yet how many believed in spite of the Sadducees actions?
- Again as with Jesus, the religious group of the day, the Sanhedrin, brought Peter in for questioning. Have you ever had to take a stand for Christ?
- Trials and struggles come our way always. We see 3 important disciplines that Peter and John practiced in verse 24-30, worship, prayer and scripture. Are you including these in your daily routine?
- Verse 32 through the end of the chapter show an interesting concept for the early church. In what ways is the Lord nudging you? Be obedient and see what blessing the Lord brings into your life!