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The Apostle Paul lays out the core message of good news for me. Jesus died for me and was raised from the dead. Jesus has defeated death. Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead only to die again.

Jesus was raised from the dead to an incorruptible body. He ascended to heaven and sits at the right hand of God. Jesus is in control, having defeated death. That makes me want to shout for joy. There we go. We have encountered the risen Master of the universe. His name is Jesus.

“After they had done everything the prophets said they would do, they took him down from the cross and buried him. And then God raised him from death. There is no disputing that—he appeared over and over again many times and places to those who had known him well in the Galilean years, and these same people continue to give witness that he is alive.

32-35 “And we’re here today bringing you good news: the Message that what God promised the fathers has come true for the children—for us! He raised Jesus, exactly as described in the second Psalm:

My Son! My very own Son!

Today I celebrate you!

“When he raised him from the dead, he did it for good—no going back to that rot and decay for him. That’s why Isaiah said, ‘I’ll give to all of you David’s guaranteed blessings.’ So also the psalmist’s prayer: ‘You’ll never let your Holy One see death’s rot and decay.’ | Acts 13:29-35

As Paul addressed both the Jews and the Gentile “God-fearers” in the congregation, he changed his approach from third person (“they”) to second person (“you”). He explained to them why their leaders in Jerusalem rejected and crucified the nation’s Messiah. It was not because they had not read or heard the message of the prophets, but because they did not understand the message. Furthermore, the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth was even promised in the prophets.

It was the resurrection of Jesus Christ that was the crucial event: “But God raised Him from the dead”. Paul has declared the good news to them, “the word of this salvation” and “the glad tidings”. The Messiah Jesus died, He was buried, and He arose again! Now that is very good news!

Since Paul was addressing a synagogue congregation, he used the Old Testament Scriptures to support his argument. Psalm 2:7 is quoted; and note that it refers to the resurrection of the Messiah, not to the birth of Jesus. The “virgin tomb” was like a “womb” that gave birth to Jesus the Messiah in resurrection glory.

Then he quoted Isaiah 55:3, referring to the covenant that God made with David, “the sure mercies of David.” God had promised David that from him the Messiah would come. This was an “everlasting covenant” with a throne to be established forever. If Jesus is the Messiah, and He died and remained dead, this covenant could never be fulfilled. Therefore, Jesus had to be raised from the dead or the covenant would prove false.

His third quotation was from Psalm 16:10, the same passage Peter quoted in his message at Pentecost. The Jews considered Psalm 16 to be a messianic psalm, and it was clear that this promise did not apply to David, who was dead, buried, and decayed. It had to apply to Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

Jesus is alive! Hallelujah! What an amazing God we serve.


The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, pp. 457–458). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.