“The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead
–whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Saviour ..
We are witnesses of these things”
The religious leaders had rejected Jesus and plotted to kill Him. The crowds had joined in and together they had pressurised Pilate into sentencing Jesus to death. The soldiers had crucified Him and His body had been sealed inside a tomb. Human hope had been shattered by human rejection and action. Jesus had been taken from His followers by death.
Then God intervened in the only way that could save the situation. He decisively reversed the verdict passed on Jesus by humanity and validated Him as truly His Son – as He had done at His baptism. In doing so He endorsed Him forever as the Lord and Saviour of all creation.
Thereafter the proclamation in the early sermons followed a similar pattern – “You killed Him.” “God raised Him” “We are witnesses”
This resurrection of Jesus would also give great assurance to His followers both then and in the times to come. It is meant to give us great assurance today. Death in itself is not to be feared for God has clearly demonstrated that His invincible power and unfailing love is more than sufficient to look after each one of us. And Christ – who said that “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God” (Luke 12:6) – will ensure that He is there for each and every one who believes in Him, to shepherd then safely home. We know where we are going.
Jesus Christ is my Saviour now and when I die.
Lord Jesus you are my Saviour and my Shepherd. Please help me to trust You completely and to stay very close to You. Amen.