24] “whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25] For David says concerning Him:
‘I foresaw the LORD always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
26] Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
27] For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will you allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
28] You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
29] “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30] Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God has sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31] he, foreseeing this, spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32] This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33] Therefore 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.
34] “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:
‘The LORD said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
35] Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’ “
36] “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (NKJV)
One of the Scriptures for our last post was Acts 2:23, where Peter has accused his audience that they “by lawless hands, [had] crucified, and put to death” the Lord Jesus, even though it had been evident that His was no ordinary life.
Perhaps the religious leaders who were behind the crucifixion of our Lord rubbed their hands in glee at the idea that finally they were rid of this One who had been a thorn in their sides for three or more years. Little did they know! John 11:48 reveals some of their reasoning; they were concerned for their own prestige and power in the nation. The “removal” of Jesus of Nazareth was considered necessary for the preservation of these things. And for a few days, it seemed they were right.
However, God’s purpose concerning Christ is an eternal purpose, Ephesians 1:4; 2:7; 3:11, spanning from eternity past, if we can put it like this, into eternity future. See also Ephesians 2:7. The events of a few days, months, or even years, are just threads in the eternal tapestry God is weaving.
In thinking of the death of Christ, Peter boldly proclaimed, “It was not possible that He should be held by it, v. 24. As proof, in vs. 25-28 he quotes Psalm 16:8-11, speaking in those verses of being in the Lord’s presence in heaven, v. 25, then that “his” soul would not be left in Hades, nor would “his” body see corruption, vs. 26, 27.
Just in passing, there are some who knock on your door who claim that “Hades” is merely the the physical grave. This really isn’t the place to get into that, except to say this. In Luke 12:4, 5, our Lord said, “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him.” It’s obvious from these verses that more than simple burying in the ground is in view.
Then, lest it should be thought that David was speaking merely of himself, Peter continues that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day, v. 29. Obviously, his body had seen corruption. In Psalm 16, Peter says, David wasn’t referring to his own body, but to the body of “the Christ,” the Messiah, who would indeed die and be buried, but not be there long enough for His body to begin to decay. Hence, the importance of “three days and three nights” in our Lord’s death and burial. Jewish tradition believed that the body didn’t begin to decay until the fourth day. So Psalm 16 refers to our Lord, whose soul was not left in Hades, not did his flesh see corruption, v, 31.
In addition, God had made some promises to David. We read of these in 2 Samuel, where God said to David,
“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever….And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever,” 2 Samuel 7:12, 13, 17, emphasis added.
While it could be said that some of this refers to Solomon – who did indeed build a “house” for God’s name – David himself seems to have recognized something more was involved. In v. 19, in praying to and thanking God for this overwhelming revelation, David said, “…and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come.”
There’s some discussion about the phrase, “according to the flesh,” in Acts 2:30, but I don’t think it makes any difference. According to Peter, David knew that the Messiah, a physical descendant of his – “the fruit of his body” – would one day sit on his throne.
Having been raise from the dead, Jesus ascended and, Peter says, “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.” v. 33.
Thus, the apostles weren’t drunk; they had been recipients of the promise made to them by the Lord Jesus even before He was crucified, John 14: 16-18, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” This last He did in the person and power of the Holy Spirit.
But Peter isn’t quite finished. As for the Lord Himself, He has been seated at the Father’s right hand, v. 34, “waiting expectantly” for the Father to put down His enemies, those, for example, who cried out for His crucifixion, whose spiritual descendants we see today all around us who demand the removal of any vestige of reference to Biblical truth. Those who heard Peter were reminded that even though they had crucified the Lord Jesus, God had made Him “both Lord and Christ.” One day, when He returns to this sin-ruined world, that will become obvious.
God is faithful to His promise.