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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Acts 10:39

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I. "AND WE ARE WITNESSES OF ALL OF THE THINGS THAT HE DID IN THE LAND OF THE JEWS AND IN JERUSALEM."
A. Back in chapter one as they were seeking to replace the empty place among the apostles left by the death of Judas, they said that they wanted someone who had been a companion with Jesus all of the time from His baptism to His ascension into heaven, to be a witness of His resurrection.
1. Peter is verifying his credentials to be listed among the Apostles.
II. SPEAKING OF THE JEWS HE SAID: "WHOM THEY SLEW AND HANGED ON A TREE."
A. Through the centuries there has been a debate between the Roman church and the Jews as to whom was responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.
1. Unfortunately the Roman church has used this as an excuse for the persecution of the Jews.
2. We had a Jewish friend who lived in South America who related to us how that every day as he was going home from school he had to dodge rocks thrown at him as the boys cried our, "Christ killer."
B. There is no doubt but that the Bible lays the blame on the Jews.
1. The gospels point out how that Pilate was determined to let Jesus go free, and did everything to placate the Jews in order to do so.
2. When Pilate publicly washed his hands of the matter, declaring that he was clean from this Man's innocent blood, they cried, "His blood be upon us and our children."
3. Speaking to the Jews Peter said:
Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Act 3:14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
Act 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
4. Speaking to the Jewish religious leaders Peter said:
Act 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
5. Speaking to the religious council Stephen asked:
Act 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
6. Paul speaking in a Jewish synagogue said:
Act 13:27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled [them] in condemning [him].
Act 13:28 And though they found no cause of death [in him], yet they insisted before Pilate that he should be slain.
Act 13:29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took [him] down from the tree, and laid [him] in a sepulchre.
C. The scriptures are also very plain in acknowledging that they did it out of ignorance.
1. As they were nailing Him to the cross Jesus prayed: "Father forgive them, they know not what they do."
2. Speaking to the Jewish crowd about they killed the Prince of Life Peter said,
Act 3:17 And now, brethren, I know that through ignorance ye did [it], as [did] also your rulers.
3. In Acts 13:37 as quoted earlier, Paul said the Jews in the synagogue in Antioch:
Act 13:27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled [them] in condemning [him].
D. In saying all of that it must be pointed out that the bottom line truth is this, the Jews were not really responsible for the death of Jesus, and if they were, Jesus asked the Father to forgive them surely it is wrong for the church not to forgive them.
1. In speaking of the death of Christ Peter declared that it was according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God that He was crucified.
2. In verse 13:27, Paul acknowledged that they in crucifying Jesus were only fulfilling all that the prophets had written of Him.
3. Over and over Jesus affirmed that His death was the will of the Father.
4. To place the blame for the death of Christ on the true culprit, you would have to go back to the Garden of Eden, and the sin of Adam and Eve, were the true cause why Jesus had to die
5. You would have to also look into the mirror, for Christ died for you and me the sins of the world.
III. "HIM GOD RAISED UP ON THE THIRD DAY, AND SHOWED HIM OPENLY."
A. Back at the beginning of this letter from Luke to Theophilus, he affirmed that Jesus was shown to be alive after His death by many infallible proofs.
1. The gospels give to us the account of how Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after His resurrection from the dead.
a. First to Mary Magdalene.
b. To the women who had gone to the tomb as they were returning from the empty tomb.
c. Sometime that first day to Peter.
d. In the afternoon to the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
e. That evening to the disciples without Thomas being present.
f. The following Sunday evening to the disciples Thomas present.
h. To seven of the disciples at the Sea of Galilee.
i. To over 500 at one time.
j. To the disciples at the time of His ascension.
k. And last of all to Paul.
2. The importance of the appearances to so many over a span of 40 days.
a. Today in our system of justice, truth is ascertained by sworn testimony of witnesses.
b. If you have credible people who will witness of their first hand experience of seeing a certain event, and their witness basically agrees, and it stands up under the scrutiny of the cross-examination, then it is deemed by the court to be considered a fact.
c. You may declare that the witnesses of the resurrection were not cross-examined.
d. Consider the severity of their cross-examination. Many of them gave their lives because of their witness and their refusal to recant that witness.
3. Consider and explain the changed lives after their seeing the risen Lord.
a. Peter's denial outside of the house of the High Priest.
b. Peter's bold proclamation when standing in the midst of the high court.
Act 4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set Peter, John, and the formerly lame man in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we are being examined today because of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
c. If these men were not thoroughly convinced that Jesus was risen how could you possibly explain the dramatic difference between the before and after?
IV. NOT TO ALL THE PEOPLE, BUT UNTO WITNESSES CHOSEN BEFORE OF GOD. [even] to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
A. Jesus did not make appearances to all of the people after His resurrection.
1. It was just to special ones chosen by God to bear witness to the fact of His resurrection.
2. You remember the first time that He showed Himself to His disciples Thomas was not present. When they told Him that the Lord was risen, he refused to believe their witness, He declared that he would have to witness it for himself before he would believe.
3. The following week when Jesus appeared to them again, and Jesus invited him to but his finger in the nail print in His hand and touch His side where the spear was thrust through, Thomas said, "My Lord and my God." Jesus responded you are blessed because you have seen and believed, but there is a greater blessing who believe without seeing.
B. Peter declared that they did eat and drink with Him after His resurrection.
LUK 24:41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, "Do you have any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took [it], and did eat before them.
1. When He met them at the Sea of Galilee after their fishing night without catching anything we read that when the disciples came to the shore, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. And Jesus said to them, "Come and dine."
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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