But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him (Acts 2:24).
This turns the world’s way of thinking on its head. It’s the exact opposite of what the world says to us. The world tells us that people don’t return to life after they’ve died. It’s impossible. People die, and that’s it. There’s no coming back. What are we to say to this? Can we argue with this?
What is Peter saying to us here? He, also, speaks about an impossibility. He speaks about something else that’s impossible. He says that “it was impossible for death ot keep its hold on Jesus.” Notice that he’s not talking about people: do people who have died come back to life? He’s talking about Jesus.
There are people who will say, “I don’t believe in God, and I don’t believe there was anything special about Jesus.” They say, “Jesus died and that’s it, end of story, full stop.”
This is not what the New Testament tells us about Jesus. Here are some of the things the New Testament says about Jesus, who he is and what he has done for us.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them… God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5, verses 19 and 21).
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
These verses speak about Christ’s coming into the world, and they, also, speak about his death on the cross. The New Testament doesn’t stop there. It goes on to speak of his resurrection from the dead.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15, verses 3 and 4).
What are we to make of these verses from the New Testament? Are we to dismiss all this? Are we to say a resurrection is impossible? or Are we to look at what the New Testament says about Jesus, and say, “It was imopssibe for death to keep its hold on him”?
Each of us must make up our mind about Jesus. Was he one of a kind? Was there no one else like him? Was he unique: “God’s one and only Son”? If we believe this about Jesus, we will not speak about the impossibility of his resurrection from the dead. We will say that “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”
Each of us make up our mind about Jesus. Did he come into the world to save sinners? Did he come to this world to bring us to eternal life? If we believe this about Jesus, we will not speak about the impossibility of his resurrection. We will say that “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”
Some may tell us that believing in Jesus’ resurrection is believing in an impossibility. Is there a possibility that there’s another impossibility: “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Jesus, God’s one and only Son, who came into the world to save sinners”? Each of us make up our mind about Jesus. What will you do? Will you write off Jesus and his resurrection as unbelievable? or Will you come to him with an open mind, ready to learn from him, as you read what the New Testament says about him?