Intro. Paul and Barnabas are in the Synagogue on the Sabbath day in Antioch of Pisidia. After the reading of the scriptures Paul has been invited to comment. He begins by rehearsing their common history, thus identifying himself with them and their Jewish heritage. He brings them up to King David so that he might then jump to the Messiah, for God had promised to David that the Messiah would come through his seed.
I. IN VERSE 26, HE NOW GETS INTO THE HEART OF HIS MESSAGE, WHICH IS JESUS.
A. Men and brothers, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you who fears God.
1. The Synagogue was made up of a mixed group. Those who were born Jews, and those Gentiles who had proselyted into the Jewish faith.
2. There were many people of that time who had tired of the pantheism of the Greeks and Romans, and the cavorting of the gods and goddesses and who were attracted to the true God, Judaism.
3. Paul declares that the gospel is for all men.
4. For to you is this salvation sent.
5. Salvation is the main message of the gospel.
a. I have been saved from the judgment of God for my sins.
b. I have been saved from the dire consequences of my sin.
c. I have been saved from eternal banishment from God because of my sin.
d. God has provided forgiveness, pardon, and justification through His Son Jesus Christ.
II. PAUL TAKES THEM BACK TO JERUSALEM AND THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS BY THE RULERS OF THE JEWS.
A. Why did they crucify Jesus?
1. Because they knew Him not.
a. John tells us that Jesus was in the world, and that the world was made by Him, but that the world knew Him not, that He came to His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God.
b. When Jesus was being nailed to the cross He prayed, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."
2. Because they did not know the prophets though they read them every Sabbath day, they actually fulfilled them in condemning Jesus.
a. The prophet Isaiah said of the Messiah,
Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, [and] His Holy One, to Him whom man despiseth, to Him whom the nation abhorreth.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
b. The prophet David said: "The stone which the builders set at naught had become the chief cornerstone." He also prophesied,
But I [am] a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, [saying],
He trusted on the LORD [that] he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
I may tell all my bones: they look [and] stare upon me.
They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I [was] the song of the drunkards.
Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries [are] all before thee.
Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked [for some] to take pity, but [there was] none; and for comforters, but I found none.
c. The prophet Micah had said:
Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.
d. God spoke through the prophet Zechariah saying:
And I said unto them, If ye think good, give [me] my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver.
And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty [pieces] of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
B. They found no cause of death in Him, yet they demanded that Pilate crucify Him.
1. They did not know that their actions were actually a fulfillment of the scriptures.
2. The New Testament scriptures are quite clear on the fact that Pilate did not want to crucify Jesus.
a. In Acts 3
, Peter said to the Jews, "The God of our fathers, has glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go."
Now at the feast the governor was required to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.
And they had a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Who do you want me to release to you, Jesus is called the Messiah or Barabbas?
For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.
When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them, Which of the two do you want me to release to you? they said, Barabbas.
Pilate said to them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called the Messiah? They all said unto him, Let him be crucified.
And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
When Pilate saw that he could not prevail but that a tumult was made, he took water, and washed [his] hands before the multitude, and said, I want you to know that I am innocent of the blood of this just person:
Then answered all the people, and said, His blood [be] on us, and on our children.
Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.
But they cried, Crucify [him], crucify him.
And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let [him] go.
And they instantly cried out with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.
Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation do you bring against this man?
They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to you.
Then Pilate said unto them, You take him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:
That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying what death he should die.
Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Are You the King of the Jews?
Jesus answered him, Are you asking for yourself, or did others tell it you about me?
Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You unto me: what have you done?
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from here.
Pilate said unto Him, Are You a king then? Jesus answered, You ask if I am a King, To this end was I born, and for this cause I came into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears My voice.
Pilate said unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and said unto them, I find no fault in Him at all.
But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged [him].
And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put [it] on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
Pilate therefore went forth again, and said unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.
Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And [Pilate] said unto them, Behold the man!
When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify [him], crucify [him]. Pilate said unto them, Take ye him, and crucify [him]: for I find no fault in him.
The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
When Pilate heard that saying, he was even more afraid;
And he went again into the judgment hall, and said unto Jesus, Where did you come from? But Jesus gave him no answer.
Then said Pilate unto him, do you not answer me? Do you not know that I have power to crucify You, and have power to release You?
Jesus answered, You could have no power [at all] against Me, except it was given to you from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee has the greater sin.
And from then on Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If you let this man go, you are not Caesar's friend: whosoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he said to the Jews, Behold your King!
But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led [him] away.
C."And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him."
1. The scriptures are careful to point out that though the Jews were the ones who were demanding that the Romans crucify Jesus, that behind it all was the eternal plan of God for the redemption of man.
2. It can be safely said that God is the One responsible for the death of Jesus.
a. Peter talking to the Jews concerning the death of Jesus said:
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
b. The very fact that it is prophesied in the scriptures shows that it was a part of God's plan.
c. When Jesus was in the Garden praying the night before the cross, He was saying: "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, nevertheless, not My will but Thy will be done.
D. They took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a sepulcher.
1. The Jehovah Witnesses seek to make a big issue over the shape of the cross. Whether it was as we normally picture it to be, or was it an upright pole, or a tree itself. Usually the prisoner only carried the cross beam, that was then nailed to a pole or a tree.
2. Of all of the nonsensical non-issues to make an issue over. What difference does it make to my salvation?
E."God raised Him from the dead."
1. This is the heart of the message, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
2. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "The gospel that I preach to you how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, was buried and rose again the third day according to the scriptures.
3. This is exactly what we see Paul preaching here. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.