Like so many chapters in this book, the fourth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles is filled with incredible acts of ministry. After the healing of a man in the previous chapter, the fellowship of believers has grown to 5,000. In the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter and John continue their preaching. And at the conclusion of the chapter, people are selling property and possessions so that people’s needs are met. And the thread that is intertwined in these stories and events is the good news of Christ’s resurrection.
While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. 4:1-2
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. Acts 4:8-10
With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33
It all seems to revolve around the fact that Jesus did not stay dead. He was alive — and He is alive. That’s where we get our hope for following in the footsteps of Christ.
Jesus promised us that He would be killed, and then rise again from the dead. He did. That is the good news of Easter. And Jesus promised us that if we believed in Him, we would be saved. We have, and we are. Jesus promised us that if we trusted in Him, we would live forever with Him. We have that hope beyond this life. And Jesus promised us that if we lived in Him, we would have an abundant life. As we do, we do indeed.
It is all true and all possible because our Lord is not now dead. Let’s live in this truth.
O God, who raised Jesus from the dead, help us to feel the newness of life that You give us each and every day, so that we may praise our risen Savior with our words and deeds. Amen.