There’s a moment at the end of the Gospel of Luke that surprises me every time I read it.
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:44–47)
The resurrected Jesus speaks with his disciples and tells them that he fulfilled all that was written about him in the entire Old Testament. He says it is written that the Messiah should die and be raised, and that the gospel would be preached to the whole world.
Did you catch that? Jesus said his resurrection was predicted in the Old Testament. So…where was that again?
Many people rightly point to Psalm 22 or Isaiah 53 as places to turn for Old Testament teaching on resurrection. But today we’ll examine how the apostle Peter answered this question.
Peter began his Pentecost sermon by explaining that the early Christians had received the Holy Spirit. He then talks about Jesus—his arrest, death, and resurrection. In explaining that “it was not possible for [Jesus] to be held by [death],” Peter does a strange thing. He quotes David in Psalm 16:8–11.
For David says concerning him,
‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
my flesh also will dwell in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ (Acts 2:25–28)
Then Peter interprets for us.
Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. (Acts 2:29–31)
Peter says that David, believing God’s long-term promise, knew that the Messiah could not be abandoned in death. He would not decay in the tomb.
As with Jesus, so with Us
Knowing that David was speaking about the Messiah in Psalm 16, what can we now learn from that text?
Because Psalm 16 is written in the first person, we should read David’s words—at least in part—as speaking prophetically not just about Christ but for Christ. After expressing confidence in the resurrection from the dead (v.10), we read this.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
Though we may be eager to apply these verses to ourselves, let’s slow down.
Jesus had enormous, painful, tortuous work to accomplish. He bore a weight of sin we cannot imagine, and in his death on the cross he suffered an agony of soul far beyond the bodily pain he endured. His eternal Father turned away, and the Son felt the wrath of God against sin. On the cross there was no presence of the Father, no joy, no pleasures.
But the resurrection (and ascension) turned this story around. Jesus was vindicated by his resurrection and was welcomed back into perfect communion with his Father. In place of the wrath, loneliness, and fury he felt in his crucifixion, Jesus would now have “pleasures forevermore.”
These delights await us too. We can gain nothing greater in the new heavens and earth than God himself and the full joy that comes from his presence. But that fellowship was bought for us at a great cost. The promise is first for Jesus—who died for us but over whom death could never be a victor. And then it’s for us, because we follow our elder brother in his resurrection.
Photo Credit: James Emery (2007, Creative Commons License
5 thoughts on “King David on the Resurrection”
i learnt something today 😉
Your post made my breakfast much more enjoyable! And, as a preacher approaching Easter Sunday, you helped put some additional fuel in my tank. “As with Jesus, so with us”. Yes! (reminds me of the hymn, “Jesus Lives, and So Shall I”)
Thanks, Don! I’m glad it was helpful. I love that hymn!
its awesome to know that Christ conquered death, whats even amazing is Man of God in the OT knew that God was going to do something amazing in the future, Christ die and freed us from death. eternal life.Praise be to him
The Old Testament scriptures you reference in regards to the subject matter of Resurrection all the same scriptures Nicodemus should have been aware of when Jesus told him, you and master of Israel and you do not know these things. The conversation with Nicodemus is not about baptism it is not about conversion it is about the resurrection from the dead. The two bodies found in 1st Corinthians 15 natural and spiritual are indeed the product of the two births mentioned in John 3 flesh and spirit. Those that do not understand this when they get over the first John 5:18 1st John 3 verse 9 that’s not going to make sense to them, they will not understand how those born of God cannot sin, so they’re going to take out their little pencils and they’re going to write in their own understanding, those born of God do not practice sin, not continue in sin. A little leaven leavens the whole lump over time. Original Greek, tyndale’s word for word, King James Version oh, we find the word begotten 1st John 5:18, notice only the begotten are given a warning to keep themselves because they are still in the flesh, they are still in the body they got from their mother but they have received the Sun and when you have the son you also have the father, at this moment you have been begotten of God yet Unborn, we are begotten of the Father by the very same Holy Spirit to come up on Mary. Paul was still in his flesh body when he said, I keep my body in subjection so I don’t run around committing adultery and the wicked One Touch Me. Paul heeded that warning given to the begotten in 1st John 5:18, notice those born of God we’re not given the same warning instead they were given us seed 1st John 3 verse 9 you can find that very same seed being given a Believer who is in the process of being born of God 1st Corinthians 15 verse 37 notice the body and the seed come from above, born from above oh, they come from God, born of God oh, God is a spirit unlike your mother who is flesh, and according to John 3 whatever is born of spirit is Spirit. And notice right after this believer who is born of God received this seed he is maybe incorruptible just a few verses after he received the seed, he is now incorruptible he cannot sin so immediately after death itself is done away with now we’re at o s a s, how can you lose your salvation your inheritance if you cannot sin and death itself is done away with? That’s what that little word, but is doing in between the begotten and the born. It’s drawing a distinction between what was just said and what is about to be said. The misinterpretation of John 3 surely has done its damage to other scripture oh, some newer translations have even removed begotten from 1st John 5:18. Sad that’s so many people do not understand the most amazing mind boggling event in human history. Satan shurly has done his work. God bless