What does Christianity offer that no other religion of worldview does? The Resurrection - if Christ has not been raised your faith is meaningless, 4 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
The Resurrection of Christ Explains the Power Poured Upon the Church
What is this power? Remember the context:
Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.
Peter goes on to explain that what they are witnessing is the power of the Holy Spirit poured out upon the church, just as God promised it one day would be. In explaining the power being poured out upon the church, Peter points them to the resurrection of Christ:
2:32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
We don’t find opportunity to proclaim, because we are not filled with power. The same filling is available to us. The same Spirit is at work within us. The same power is available to us. The greatest testimony to the resurrection of Christ is the life of the believing church lived in power. why should we believe in your risen Lord when we’re not seeing your risen life?
The Resurrection of Christ is God’s Answer to the Sinfulness of Man
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up,
This verse could be it’s own sermon, for sure. But quickly, see the emphasis. God knows all, God plans all, and God, according to his definite plan and all-encompassing knowledge, sends Jesus into our world, into our humanity, into our sin. The phrase Peter uses here is not that God “sent” Jesus into the world - no, he “delivered Him up”. This was a suicide mission. Because that’s what unregenerate man does when we come into contact with the holiness and perfection of God. We kill and destroy, rather than allow the light to shine upon us. In our depravity and sinfulness, we murdered God’s own son just as God knew and planned that we would. Peter makes the point that this is not something done out of ignorance - God attested to Jesus through the mighty works that Jesus had done publicly in the sight of all - and we still killed him.
Don’t say you weren’t there, not my fault, if I were there I wouldn’t have done it. If you’ve ever shut down the voice of your conscience and did that which you know you should not do, you killed him. If you ever felt the tug of the Spirit of God in your life and ignored it, you killed Him. If you’ve ever heard the word of God preached and closed your ears, you killed Him.
And what is God’s answer to sinfulness of man? Well, our answer to to violence is violence, death is often death, wrath is wrath. But that’s not God’s answer. God’s answer is life and forgiveness of sins declared to humanity through the resurrection of Christ. God raised Him up, we are his witness, and forgiveness is offered in Christ.
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”
The Resurrection of Christ Is the Missing Puzzle Piece that All Spiritual Searches Seek
Peter then goes on to explain to His Jewish audience that the resurrection of Christ makes sense of the message of their own scriptures, like fitting in the final piece to the puzzle. See, if you read the psalms of David as simply as describing David’s own experience of his spiritual search, they make no sense.
2:24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
2:29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
If this psalm is merely about David’s spiritual search, that God would help him out of his troubles, well then David’s hope in God failed Him, because, as Peter says, “I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.” Spirituality without an objective basis in the resurrection of Christ, is ultimately unable to save, for all ends in death. If your faith is merely a “God helps me out of my troubles” faith, your faith ends in the grave. So, David is not speaking of His own experience, for He knew the power of God, as Peter continues:
30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.
The resurrection of Christ is the declaration, not only to the Jewish people, but to all spiritual seekers, that there is hope beyond the grave. David’s hope was not in a God who could help him through a hard season of life, but in a God who would send His Son to overpower death itself. Because Death could not hold Him down. Death could never hold Him down.
The Resurrection of Christ Establishes Christ’s Lordship as Fact
Not “alternative facts” or “post-truth facts” but good old-fashioned fact.
Acts 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Christianity the only religion with a falsifiable claim at its heart.
These guys weren’t dupes.
Try to explain Christianity without the resurrection.
Know for certain.
This is the message we proclaim. the Resurrection of Christ. Proclaim the Resurrection of Christ - God’s answer to Man’s sin, God end to Man’s search, God’s attestation of Christ’s Lordship.