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Dead Prophets or Living Saviour

Acts 2:29-32
'Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.' (NIVUK)

However great a person may be, everyone has a great weakness: they all die. So we may honour the memory of dead prophets but we cannot have any relationship with them. Great people have another weakness; they cannot see the future; they may guess, but cannot see. David was both a king and a prophet (speaking to the people about what God had said to him) and dead, but in these verses Peter says that David also saw Jesus, His death and resurrection, in the future.

Two logical questions are, "How did he 'see', and how do we know he 'saw'?" Taking the second, first. We know David 'saw' what happened to Jesus because he wrote down the passage from Psalm 16:8-11 (Acts 2:25-28). It fully described the confidence Jesus felt as He went to the cross, confidence that Father God would protect Him from being destroyed. We also know that is true because of the multiple eye witness accounts for post resurrection encounters.

David, like every good poet, wrote what he saw. But the image in his mind was given by the Holy Spirit who knows the future. He, the Spirit of God, knows everything and can share what He knows with God's servants. Even though David wrote this Psalm around 1000 years before Jesus, the picture he paints accurately depicts the Lord Jesus' heart as He approached death. It also accurately described the resurrection, which has so many witnesses it was incontrovertible.

Jesus is a living Saviour, revealed by the Living Spirit of God to prophets who are now dead, and revealed to us who are alive now by the same Spirit. The Bible's record is true; we can trust what it says about Jesus. His confirmation of the prophecy and its witnessed fulfilment should give us great confidence in what God is saying. We can be certain that the cross was no accident and the resurrection was no freak event. It was all planned by God for our salvation. And, because Jesus is alive, we can form a personal relationship with Him. That is very good news indeed. Let's share it (www.crosscheck.org.uk).

Father God. Thank You that nothing takes You by surprise, and that the death of Jesus, and His resurrection was according to Your plan for the salvation of all who will trust in Jesus. Forgive me for failing to be bold about this truth. Please give me fresh confidence in what You say in Your Word. May it spur me in my relationship with Jesus, and enable me to witness to others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams