Correction of the Resurrection (Acts 2:22-36)

The greatest event in the history of the universe is the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah!

Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we have hope and we have life, too. Eternal life that begins now, while we are on earth, and that continues into the future.

If it were not for the resurrection, there would not be a Church around the world.

Prior to the resurrection, the single greatest event to change the course of the world happened at the beginning of civilization, when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s command, and sin began to rule.

They had been warned that if they ate fruit of a specific tree, then they would die. Prior to this, they were destined to die, but once sin came into humanity, then we all are cursed with death.

The resurrection changed history and it changed the future, for it reversed the consequences of sin. The resurrection overcame the power of death.

Death is a natural event that takes place, daily, around us, whether we are seeing a dead animal on the side of the road, or we finally notice a house plant that we had forgotten to water, death comes and goes without too much notice.

Until we are the one who hits that squirrel, or wild Turkey (oh, I remember hitting a turkey once, and as I looked in my rear-view mirror, I saw nothing but feathers flying around).

When we are the cause of death, we feel it. I felt a slight sick feeling in my stomach.

When it is someone whom we know and love who died, we miss and mourn that person.

When it is someone with whom we had been close, we often truly miss the deceased and suffer.

Imagine how the disciples felt at the time of Jesus’ death. Though he had warned them, and prepared them for his death, they probably thought that nothing could take him down.

He seemed indestructible:

  • Diseases were no match for Him;
  • They had known of him to walk away from a crowd that was bent on killing him, once.
  • They knew that he could speak to a storm and it would stop.
  • In fact, they had seen him walk on water.

Death was not something that they were probably expecting…at least not while he was so popular.

And yet, he died.

But, Jesus didn’t die a sudden, accidental or quick death, he died a slow and grueling death.

Had Jesus died in a sudden event, people might not have believed that he died.

“Perhaps you were mistaken,” Peter might have said.

Or, “There’s no way Jesus could have died from drowning.”

It is a typical reaction to not believe news of a death, and to second guess.

I recall when a colleague of mine died in Kazakhstan from a disease, and I and four others found her body after she had been dead for over a day, and we were shocked at how she looked.

It was obvious that she was dead, and we all instinctively left the room where we found her.

Then out of my mouth I heard these words, “shouldn’t we check to see if she has a pulse?”

One of my friends said, “She is dead, Peyton, and no one who looked like that could be alive.”

He was right, but it was a typical reaction to think that my friend was not really dead.

Throughout the day, on that Friday when Jesus died, he was surrounded by death.

When he came out onto the road with his cross, there was no turning back.

His mockers were challenging him to come from the cross. Those mockers didn’t expect him to come down, because to them, he was already a dead man.

The followers of an executed revolutionary like Jesus would be in danger of arrest and execution, too.

Under normal circumstances, they would have left Jerusalem.

But, on the day of Pentecost, 50 days or so after the resurrection, several things happened:

  • The followers of Jesus were baptized in the Holy Spirit as Jesus had promised
  • The Church was born
  • The resurrection became the prominent teaching of the Church

Let’s look at Peter’s declaration on the day of Pentecost, and see the significance of the resurrection:

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 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.                                                                                     Acts 2:22-24

The title of my message today is

“The Correction of the Resurrection.”

Let’s pray

PRAY

  1. The Resurrection Corrected Perception of Jesus’ Conviction

Who was Jesus before the resurrection?

He was the same as he was after, in that the Scriptures teach that he is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8

How can that be said about anybody, really?

Are you the same yesterday as you are today?

Maybe if we mean just yesterday, you are about 99% the same as you are today, but what about yesterday meaning last year?

Even last week?

And can it be said of anyone else that they are the same tomorrow as they are today?

What does the Scripture mean to say that this man who was born in poor conditions and died as a revolutionary was the same one day from the next?

Without the resurrection of Jesus, such statements would be meaningless, but the resurrection of Jesus was a declaration of who Jesus truly is.

Jesus IS Divine. He IS the One through Whom all things have been created and all things have their purpose.

ILLUSTRATION

(Clover and I told this story on a Wednesday evening, once.)

Nine years ago, in the area of Sinjar, Iraq, a Yezidi man told his family,

“We need to follow Jesus.”

He had never read a Bible, and had never been to church.

All the family knew to do was to pray in Jesus’ Name.

So, that is what they did.

Soon after beginning this practice, the man’s wife had a dream in which Jesus met her and told her that it was right for the family to follow Him.

His rationale: he believed that the successes of Europe and America were due to Europeans and Americans believing in Jesus.

Everyday, his family prayed in Jesus’Name.

They still pray in Jesus’ Name. Something convinced them. It was the power of Jesus that they later understood.

On that day of Pentecost, people from around the Jewish world had come to worship.

Some had come at Passover, 50 days prior, some were new.

Many had probably heard about Jesus’ miracles, his teaching, his popularity, and his sudden unpopularity.

They heard of his execution, and they probably were just continuing on with life as usual.

So why was Jesus executed? Was he really a fake, or a criminal?

A strange thing happened on that day: Peter and the other followers of Jesus began to speak other languages, and those who were visiting from abroad recognized what was being said.

Peter began to preach, by explaining the strange phenomenon that was happening.

Peter explains that this occurrence is the fulfillment of prophecy.

But he doesn’t spend too much time explaining that miracle, instead he explains why the Holy Spirit was being poured out in this way. Because of the Resurrection of Jesus.

In order to explain the resurrection, Peter had to remind them of the work up to that point. Let’s look at the Scripture, again:

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 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.                                                                                     Acts 2:22-24

Now let’s look at it with the emphasis upon the audience:

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 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.                                                                                     Acts 2:22-24

Peter points the finger of guilt at the audience.

Yes, we know that God loved the world so much that He gave His One and Only Son, but Peter wants this audience to see their responsibility.

They had witnessed the miracles

Yet, they had handed Jesus over to be killed.

They were co-conspirators with the Priests, Pharisees and the Romans.

If it had not been for the resurrection and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Peter might have gone crazy and only rattled this accusation in a place outside the cities were the crazy people went.

The resurrection clarified that Jesus was not guilty.

Better than DNA evidence, the Resurrection was an immediate vindication and release from the prison of death for Jesus.

The Resurrection Corrected Jesus’ Sentence, and showed who was really guilty. The resurrection corrected the perception of Jesus’ conviction.

  1. The Resurrection Corrected Perception of the Messiah

The resurrection of Jesus makes perfect sense when we consider how the seasons are.

  • Summer is a time of flourishing life,
  • and Fall a time of harvest,
  • but Winter is a time of death,
  • and then Spring, a time of new life.

The resurrection of Jesus was a new life, newer than ever before experienced.

It clarified that He had a purpose that was greater than anyone else had imagined.

It clarified perception of who the savior would be, and how He would save.

Peter continued to correct the perception of the people by quoting from the Psalms:

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 rest in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    you will not 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.’

29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 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. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 

Acts 2:25-31

Jesus is to be the king who sits on David’s throne.

While the people who followed Jesus at one time tried to force him to become king, that would have been of a temporal kingdom, yet, Jesus knew that he was king of the Universe, already.

ILLUSTRATION

Remember my Yezidi friends from Iraq who now pray in Jesus’ Name?

In July, 2014 this man’s wife had a nightmare.

She saw a baby, whom she understood to be Jesus, speaking to her, and told her that the family is in danger, and they had to leave, immediately.

The family didn’t readily agree, but after much persuasion,

this family of 10 made their plans and rode in various busses to the Turkish border.

For almost an hour, during the 6 hours of riding, they had to duck their heads because ISIS was shooting at them.

Once in Turkey, they bought tourist visas and bus tickets to Ankara.

In the bus station in Ankara, they sat, not knowing what to do next.

A person came to them and asked if they needed help. He was a Turkish Christian. There are only about 5000 Turks who follow Jesus in Turkey, out of 75 million people.

That is a very small number.

And yet out of such a very small number, God arranged one of them to meet this family of 10 Yezidis who had been praying in Jesus’ Name.

The Resurrected Jesus is powerful, and to pray in His Name means we are praying correctly.

The resurrection showed that Jesus was the most powerful of all leaders, for not even death can overwhelm him.

  1. How does the resurrection correct our perception?

The Spirit of God raised Jesus from the dead.

The same Spirit was released upon the Church on this day of Pentecost.

The same Holy Spirit of God is released to us, and through Him we are able to receive power to not continue on in the destructive direction of sin, but to live by the Holiness of God.

11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

Romans 8:11

Let the resurrection change us, today.

Peter continued to speak to the crowd on that day:

32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet.”’

36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

Acts 2:32-36

“It was impossible for Death to keep its hold on Jesus.”

Because Jesus is Lord, meaning God, and Christ, meaning the One God has Anointed for the purpose of our salvation.

ILLUSTRATION

While my friends were in

Ankara, they received news that in Sinjar, ISIS came and began to kill the Yezidis.

About 25 family members were killed, and about 9 were received the same fate as John the Baptist (beheaded).

The story is sad, yet interesting.

The power of the Name of Jesus, being part of that family’s regular prayer life, made a change and brought them physical safety during an awful time.

This family saw that prayer in Jesus’ Name protected them from Evil.

Jesus was not just a character from history, because of the resurrection, He can be trusted, and He is savior.

That family is now in different places, as refugees are often divided by circumstances, by the UN and by Government dictates, but they continue to pray in the Name of Jesus.

The Resurrection Means that we can trust in Jesus.

He protected my friends from ISIS, but he offers greater protection than that. ISIS will be gone one day, but death and hell await all because sin leads to death and all have sinned.

But through Jesus we have the gift of eternal life.

The Resurrection Corrects Us, and when we submit to Jesus, we have His power in our lives.

  1. The Resurrection Reconnects Man with God

 Corrects the Disconnectedness between Man and God

The consequences of sin from the Garden of Eden are reversed in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and we become people who have a new life that is eternal and with Jesus.

The resurrections connects in these ways:

  • Connection with Jesus. Remember, Jesus said, remain in me as I remain in you. They were living on purpose because of Jesus. Not just living according to Jesus’ teaching, but according to Jesus’ presence
  • Connection with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that when he would ascend to heaven, that he would send another counselor…another who is like him…the same as him. On this day of Pentecost, the followers of Jesus were baptized in this Holy Spirit. The third member of the Trinity.
  • The connection of the Father. Jesus had said that no one can come to him in faith unless the Father were to draw him, or to connect them. Our Heavenly Father was drawing people to Him through the work of the Holy Spirit and the resurrection of Jesus.
  • The connection with others. Because of the resurrection, we are able to connect with others.

The enemies of life (the World, the Flesh and Satan himself) do not want us to connect in these ways.

But let’s connect, as the resurrection corrects any disconnectedness.

Let’s pray

 

 

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s