The Resurrection of Christ the Great Promise
Acts 13:32-34
And we declare to you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made to the fathers,…


1. To Adam, as we read in Genesis 3. The whole four themes of revelation are contained in these words: the first coming of Christ in the flesh; "her seed." His death; "thou shalt bruise his heel." His resurrection, and the present state of the Church; "I will put enmity between thee and the woman." His coming in glory, when He shall bruise the serpent's head.

2. To Abraham (Genesis 22; cf. Hebrews 11:17-19). Isaac was dead, in design; and on the third morning he was raised up. In this transaction Abraham saw the day of Christ, and rejoiced. This would also be a promise to Isaac.

3. To Moses also. Let us examine some types.

(1) The manna represented Christ coming down from heaven, that the Church might feed on Him and live. We learn that a portion of manna was to be brought into the holy place, and there set before the testimony of the Lord. Which teaches us that He who came down from heaven was also to go up thither again, to appear in the presence of God for us.

(2) In Leviticus 14, we read of the law of cleansing the leper. There was a bird killed, and a bird flying away. The living bird was to be sprinkled with the blood; the resurrection of Christ is available through the atonement, and the atonement through the resurrection.

(3) So in the history of the two goats. One was to be slain; over the other the priest was to confess all the sins and trespasses of the people, and to send him away into the wilderness. So it is not on Jesus crucified merely that our sins are laid, or they would be there still. But the glory of the gospel is this: "He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification."(4) In Leviticus 23, we read of the waving of the sheaf. "Christ is raised from the dead, and is become the first fruits of them that slept." And as the first fruits were to be waved the morning after the Sabbath, which was the first day of the week, on which day Christ also rose.

4. To David. The second Psalm is immediately connected with our text. On the morning of the resurrection, God owned His beloved Son: then He said, "Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee." Again, in Psalm 16, "I have set the Lord always before me," etc. Then, again, in Psalm 118, "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner," etc. Which passage is also quoted by Peter, in Acts 4, when questioned as to the miracle performed on the impotent man.

5. To the prophets. In the context there is one remarkable quotation, from Isaiah 55:3. In that Christ is raised, never to die again; therefore He says, "I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."

6. We are taught this promise also by the history of Jonah. "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

II. HE PERFORMED THIS PROMISE. He did what He said. The day after the crucifixion of Christ the priests and Pharisees, who were His enemies, came to Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again," etc. On the day after the Sabbath "there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord came and rolled back the stone." What avails the vigilance of Roman soldiers against the angels of God! The Lord afterwards showed Himself alive, by many infallible proofs, to Mary, to two of His disciples on their way to Emmaus, to ten of His disciples when they were assembled with the door shut for fear of the Jews. To some of them at the sea of Tiberias, etc. But some will say, "Were the disciples proper witnesses?" In a court of justice, what are the requisites of a competent witness? He must have known the person of whom he speaks, so that he may know him again when he sees him. And also he must be trustworthy. Now the disciples were fully competent. They knew Christ. And that they knew themselves to be competent witnesses, and that they knew it was necessary that they should be so, is evident from the words of Peter (Acts 1:21). And they were trustworthy also. We know the nature of man too well not to know that he will say anything to gain favour. But what did they gain? Scourging, bonds, imprisonments, death.

III. THEREFORE WE DECLARE UNTO YOU GLAD TIDINGS. And how is the resurrection of Christ glad tidings? Because —

1. It has caused the gospel to be preached. It would not have been preached had it not been for this event.

2. It shows that the justice of God is fully satisfied, and sin fully expiated.

3. It directs our minds to our great Intercessor. "It is Christ that died; yea, rather, that is risen again; who has also appeared in the presence of God for us."

4. It excites and maintains a lively hope. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," etc.

5. Through this hope it draws up the affections of the soul, and mortifies the deeds of the body. The man who believes that Christ has died and rose again, and whose life is "hid with Christ in God," turns away with disgust from that which satisfies others.

6. It is the ground of our expectation of His second coming. If He be not risen, He cannot come again; but He is risen, and He will come again.

(H. McNeile, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,

WEB: We bring you good news of the promise made to the fathers,

The Resurrection of Christ Glad Tidings
Top of Page
Top of Page