had to be a Resurrection
Peter shocked the nation
of Israel when he preached the first Pentecostal message on the
Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). After reminding them they were responsible
for putting Jesus of Nazareth to death, Peter announced that Jesus
was no longer dead. He shocked them further by saying their God
raised Jesus to life “because it was not possible that He
should be held by it [death]” (Acts 2:24, NKJV).
Jesus could not be
held in the grip of death and the grave like all the other members
of Adam’s race. It was possible to put Jesus to death by
nailing Him to a cross, but it was impossible to hold Him in the
clutches of death. Peter pointed out a paradox: Israel had “killed
the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead” (Acts
The plan of the
Father required it.
said all this happened to Jesus “by the determined counsel
and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). The Father’s
plan of redemption from the foundation of the world included Christ’s
virgin birth, sinless life, miraculous ministry, crucifixion,
resurrection, ascension, exaltation, eventual return to the earth
The apostle reminded
his audience of God’s promise to their great patriarch King
David — from his lineage the Christ would be raised up to
sit on David’s throne. Peter quickly made the identification
that “he … spoke concerning the resurrection of the
Christ” and further added, “This Jesus God has raised
up, of which we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:31,32).
The person of the
Son required it.
unique personhood of Jesus required that He be raised from the
dead. Peter revealed something of this uniqueness: “His
soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption”
(Acts 2:31). Death could not hold Him, because death had nothing
to take hold of.
from sin. Sin was not found in Jesus. Had He been guilty of personal
sin, death would have had a way to fasten itself to Him. But,
where there is no sin, there is no sinner to have to reap the
wages of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23).
Hebrews assures us
“we have a great High Priest who … was in all points
tempted as we are, yet without sin” (4:14,15). John writes,
“He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there
is no sin” (1 John 3:5).
This unique Jesus was
a sin bearer and a sin offering fulfilling the Old Testament picture
of the Atonement, which required a slain goat and a scapegoat.
By His resurrection He appeared in heaven with the offering of
His own blood to secure eternal redemption for all who trust Him.
The prophecies inspired
by the Holy Spirit required it.
the apostles Peter and Paul used the prophecies of David to support
their claims regarding the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2:25; 13:33).
leaves no question that the prophecy of Psalm 16:8-11 had been
fulfilled in Jerusalem just a few weeks before. The offerings
and feasts of Judaism were to teach truths, but the nation had
not listened. On the Feast of Passover God had provided a Lamb
to be slain for the sins of the world. On the third day God raised
the slain Lamb from the dead, which was depicted in the Feast
of Firstfruits. Seven weeks later came the outpouring of the Holy
Spirit celebrated in the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). The Feast
of Trumpets is next to be fulfilled — Jesus is coming again.
Peter said what they
were observing there in Jerusalem was the result of Jesus’
resurrection: “Being exalted to the right hand of God, and
having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit,
He poured out this which you now see and hear” (Acts 2:33).
Jesus was alive.
And, because He lives,
we too shall live (John 14:19). Because He arose, we shall arise.
There had to be a Resurrection.
K. Bridges is general treasurer of the Assemblies of God.
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