It is amazing to sit down and reflect on the uniqueness of the Savior. He is simply different than anyone who has come before Him or after Him. Of course, there are similarities between Jesus and other men – after all, Jesus became a man. But He is, nevertheless, best referred to as unique and different. This is rather like the way that a man can say, “God is love, and I also love; therefore, I am like God.” While this may be true, the more accurate and fitting emphasis of man’s relationship to God is that God is unique, and we are not like Him.
He is the Almighty God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. This is the God Who commands armies of angels as the Lord of Hosts. He is the One Who cast out Satan from heaven along with a third of the angels without breaking a sweat. He is God and God alone. There have never been any other gods before Him, nor will there be any gods after Him.
He is the only One Who is truly self-sufficient, unchanging, immeasurable, infinite, majestic, holy, and righteous. This list could progress for quite some time, but the point may be clear. However, there is one other matter that must be discussed and which is the focus of this article.
There have been many religious figures in the past, and there will be many others who will come. But never has there been a man like Jesus. When Buddha came on the scene, he recognized that he was not the way but was himself in search of the way. Jesus says, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The prophet Muhammed also noticed that he was not able to give life. Yet Jesus said, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40). Jesus here declares that He has the power to raise the dead and give everlasting life. He also makes it clear that people need not look elsewhere but must fix their attention on Him.
While the many religious figures of the past have pointed elsewhere, to something outside of themselves, Jesus is unique in the sense that He pointed to Himself. He declared Himself to be the Door, the Good Shepherd, the Bread of Life, and more. This brings us to Acts 2:25-36.
David looks to the Lord
David was an amazing figure in Jewish history. He rivals none other than Abraham as the most beloved of all the Jewish forefathers. Nevertheless, despite David’s greatness, despite David’s fame, he did not look to himself. He looked off to the Lord, to the God Who put David on the throne. David’s ministry was also a prophetic one (although not predominantly). While not being labeled as a prophet, his writings are clearly of a prophetic nature at times.
He speaks of the crucifixion in Psalm 22, and in many of his Psalms, there are references to Christ. Acts 2 records the apostle Peter sharing from Psalm 16, and here we can see the prophetic nature of this psalm as it refers to Jesus Christ.
The reference that is recorded in the book of Acts is long; therefore, it will not be quoted at length, but in it, David speaks of the Lord ass always before him. Scripture goes on to say, “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Acts 2:27). David knew that when the Messiah died, He would die in hope. He knew that He would not descend into hell.
David anchored his hope in a simple fact that he spoke prophetically. He spoke of a Holy One Who would not see corruption. David looked forward to the life of Jesus, the death of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus. He knew by the revelation of the Spirit of God that God’s “Holy One” would not see corruption. In other words, the body of Jesus would not be met with decay and rot.
Peter looks to the Lord through the Word
After Peter quotes a small portion of Psalm 16, he then interprets this psalm for the people. He first points to David’s death and burial. He does this in such a way that he highlights the fact that David’s tomb still has David in it. This is the case for the greatest of people who have ever lived, whether in reality or in the eyes of the world.
In reality, there have been people down through the ages in church history and in the Bible who have been great. David is at the top of the list. But none of them have ever risen from the dead to never meet decay. None of them have ever pointed to themselves as the door to eternal life.
In the eyes of the world, the Prophet Muhammed might be labeled as “great,” or Buddha, or Charles Darwin. But if anyone wanted to visit Darwin’s grave, all he would need to do is hop on a plane; travel to London, England; pay a small fee to get into Westminster Abbey; travel down a guided path within the Abbey; and he may just walk right over the grave if he is not paying close enough attention. He could also find the graves of a large number of kings and even Isaac Newton. However, all of these people and more are still lying lifeless in a grave.
You see, Jesus wasn’t seeking to get the people of the earth to look somewhere else. Rather, He sought to gain the people’s attention.
Peter continues on in Acts 2:30 by highlighting the prophetic ministry of David. David knew that one day he would have a descendant sitting on his throne. Through the revelation of the Spirit, we can know that David saw the future fulfillment of what is commonly referred to as the Davidic Covenant when he wrote Psalm 16. Jesus is the One Who would be deemed the coming King, the One Who would forever sit on the throne of David.
In Acts 2:25-36, Peter’s focus is that of the resurrection. This was the message that was proclaimed from the beginning: “Jesus has risen!” It has always been the message, and there could have been no better place to proclaim it first than in Jerusalem itself.
Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. He was also buried in Jerusalem. A message such as, “Jesus has risen!”, would not have gotten very far in a place like that – unless it was true. The tomb was empty. Jesus was no longer in it. The disciples went to wait for the power of the Spirit to come from on high.
As they tarried in that upper room waiting for the promise of the Lord, the Spirit came. When the Spirit came, He came in power. The disciples were emboldened, and Peter once again stepped up to secure his spot as the chief of the twelve.
He proclaimed, with a new strength that he had not known before, that Christ has risen from the dead.
You need not look elsewhere for eternal life. The resurrection proclaims many things to us, much more than the simple fact that Jesus has risen. The resurrection tells us that there is life after death. We can see this because when Jesus died, He still lived. The resurrection tells us that God has accepted the sacrifice of Christ. We can see this because when Jesus died, He did not stay dead, and God did not abandon Jesus to hell. Rather, atonement was accomplished, and Christ was vindicated. God raised the Son and accepted His work.
Father, I thank You for the mercy that You have shown me through Christ. I pray that You would continually help me to trust in Christ more each day. Teach me Your Word, and show me Christ in it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.