"Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.Acts 2:29(NASB)
When the Christian Church was birthed at Pentecost, Peter stood up and addressed the men of Israel and Jewish converts. He told them that Jesus of Nazareth, Whom they all witnessed performing many mighty miracles through the power of God, was the promised descendent of king David, and that He was to sit on the throne of His father, forever. But what was the significance of Paul's confident statement regarding the patriarch David: "That he both died and was buried and his tomb is with us to this day?"
David, the great patriarch and renowned king of Israel, was also a prophet who himself foretold that one of his descendants would sit on his royal throne, forever. He prophesied that this coming Son would receive an eternal kingship through the power of a deathless life, and Paul explained that Jesus, the One Whom they crucified, was the One about Whom David spoke.
God swore to David that his coming Seed would be greater than he was. The One that was to come would not be abandoned in Hades nor would His body decay in the ground. Paul quoted David's exultant prophetic utterance from Psalm 16, which caused his heart to be glad, his tongue to rejoice, and his flesh to rest in hope – for David wrote, "You will not leave my soul in Hades, or allow Your Holy One to see decay."
God had revealed 'the path of life' to His servant. The Lord had shown David the way to eternal life which filled him with great gladness in God's holy presence. A first reading of this beautiful prophecy from Psalm 16, gives the impression that David was speaking about himself, when He wrote, "You will not leave My soul in Hades, nor allow Your Holy One to see decay."
However, as Paul rightly points out to these men of Israel, king David died and was buried, and the decaying remains of his decomposing body were still rotting in a great tomb in the city of Jerusalem. David was not speaking about himself but of the coming Messiah, Whom God Almighty called "MY beloved Son," and to Whom David also referred in a later Psalm as "MY Lord."
Paul confidently pointed out: "Brethren, fellow Israelites, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day." Paul wanted to make it clear that this prophecy did not refer to David as the Psalm implied, but to Jesus – Whom they crucified.
Because David was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn an oath to Him that one of his descendants would be seated forever on his royal throne. And since Paul was an apostle of God, he proclaimed this wonderful truth to the men of Israel.
He opened the prophetic Scriptures to their understanding so that they might believe that Jesus, the Nazarene Who was accredited by God with miracles, signs, and wonders and was delivered up according to God's determined plan and foreknowledge to be nailed to a Cross, crucified, and killed by lawless men, was the One to which David's prophecy pointed.
As the eternal Son of God, Christ Jesus possessed immortality. And as the sinless Son of Man, death had no moral hold over Him. Having willingly paid the price for our sin by giving His life as the ransom for all who would believe on His name, the indestructible Son of God was raised from the dead. As the perfect Person, death had no hold on the sinless Son of Man, for death is the penalty for sin and there was found no sin in Him.
No one but the Lord Jesus Christ, fully God yet fully Man, qualified to be our deathless Redeemer. Only the eternal Son of God and sinless Son of David, fulfilled the criteria that was carried out through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ the Righteous.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful way that Your Word unveils Your perfect plan of redemption. Thank You that You showed the future to prophets like king David and apostles like Paul so that those who trust in Christ have an understanding of Your unfolding plan to save Your people from their sin. Thank You that Your beloved Son was born into the human race so that He could live a sinless life, be raised from the dead, and break the power of death in the lives of all who trust in Him. Thank You that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal Son of the deathless God Who made heaven and earth and Whose perfect plan can never be hindered. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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