Summary: The resurrection of Jesus Christ radically affects the world
Statistically, 3 out of 4 adults in the US believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to a study conducted by the Center for Missional Research, NAMB. The issue, then, is not the fact of proving to you that Jesus died and rose from the dead; rather, what difference does that make for you in 2007.
There are four truths in our text this morning that will deal with the issue at hand.
1. The Proclamation of the resurrection had repercussions
1 As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening.
Luke 21:17 says, “You will be hated by everyone because of My name, “
2. The Power of the resurrection brought results
4 But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
The numbers of people who believed the truth are astounding.
3. The Pride of the religious brought cross-examination
5 On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. 7 When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?"
Jesus predicted their persecutions:
Matt 10:16-20 says, 16 “Look, I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves. 17 Because people will hand you over to sanhedrins and flog you in their synagogues, beware of them. 18 You will even be brought before governors and kings because of Me, to bear witness to them and to the nations. 19 But when they hand you over, don’t worry about how or what you should speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour, 20 because you are not speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you.
Peter had a rebuttal, though…
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health.
The door was left wide open for him to respond.
4. The Purpose of the resurrection was to bring redemption
11 "He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. 12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
We need to feel the force of this universal claim in our pluralistic age. "There is salvation in no one else!" Do you really mean no one, Peter? Or are you just speaking in a limited Jewish context—only among the Jews there is no other way to heaven than their true Messiah? No, he says, the reason there is salvation in no one else is that there is no other name under heaven (not just no other name in Israel, but no other name under heaven, including the heaven over Iraq and the heaven over America) given among men (not just among Jews, but among humans) by which we must be saved."
But there is even more here that we need to see. Sometimes people will say, "Yes, Jesus is the only source of salvation, but you don’t have to know him in order to benefit from the salvation he offers. In other words, if you are a faithful Muslim or Hindu or Jew or animist, you will be saved by Jesus. There is salvation in no one else, but you don’t have to believe on him in order to be saved by him."
But that is not what Peter meant. Peter focused on the NAME of Jesus. "There is no other NAME under heaven by which we must be saved." He is saying something more than that there is no other source of saving power that you can be saved by under some OTHER name. The point of saying, "There is no other NAME," is that we are saved by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus. His name is our entrance into fellowship with God. The way of salvation by faith is a way that brings glory to the name of Jesus.