"THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST:  For some a victory, for others a defeat"

Isaiah 53 & Acts 2.22-40



1.         Last night we saw a video that dealt with the last 18 hours before Jesus Christ gave up the ghost on the cruel cross of Calvary .  We saw experts describe the Savior's great physical suffering at the hands of sinful men.

2.         And we asked some basic questions about His crucifixion; What happened to Jesus on the cross?  Why did those things happen to Him?  And who did those things to Him?

3.         That Jesus died is beyond dispute.  That He was buried is also simple fact.  But anyone can die and anyone can be buried.  The possible reasons why someone died and was buried are limited only by the imagination.

4.         What great proof we have that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was not an ignominious defeat, what testimonial there is to the significance of His burial, that which cannot be denied even by those who deny the Word of God, is the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days and three nights later.

5.         If God's creation of the heaven and the earth is the beginning of history, and if the Great White Throne judgment of Jesus Christ is the end of history, then the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, in power and great glory, is the pivotal hinge of history.

6.         The resurrection, you see, is God's great proof, is the Lord Jesus Christ's great proof, and is our great proof, that the cross of Christ was a great victory and not an ignominious defeat.

7.         Turn in your Bible to Isaiah 53.  When you find that chapter in the Bible, please stand for the reading of God's Word:

1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


8.         Allow me, before brother Isenberger comes to lead us in song before this morning's sermon, to state for your edification three accomplishments attested to by Christ's resurrection from the dead; three things that are verified, if you will, by the empty tomb and a Savior Who "shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs," Acts 1.3.



            1B.       We read about it in Isaiah 53.4:  "he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows."  And again in verse 5:  "he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him."  And again in verse 6:  "the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

2B.       But that's not all.  Look down to Isaiah 53.11:  "he shall bear their iniquities."  And, finally, in verse 12:  "he bare the sin of many."

3B.       What do these verses, written some 7 centuries before the crucifixion, mean?  They mean that God's plan all along was for His Son to be a Substitute for you and for me, to take upon Himself all our sins, and to suffer the punishment called for by a holy God in our stead.

4B.       Paul wrote it thusly in Second Corinthians 5.21:  "For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin."  And in First Peter 3.18 Simon Peter wrote, "For Christ also hath once

            suffered for sins, the just for the unjust."

5B.       His goal was to take your place on the cross and to take mine as well, to suffer God's wrath on your behalf and on mine.  Did He succeed in His attempt to be your Substitute and mine?  He rose from the dead, did He not?

6B.       Imagine, my friend, the sinless Son of the living God choosing to trade places with a convicted and condemned criminal, walking down death row to your cell, unlocking the door and stepping into your place of execution.  That is precisely what Jesus did when He, the Just, died for you, the unjust.



1B.       In Isaiah 53.10 the prophet says to God, "when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin."  He refers, here, to the Father giving up His Own Son as an offering for sin.  And, of course, this reminds us of Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah 2000 years before.

2B.       But what is a sacrifice?  A sacrifice is that which must die and shed blood in punishment for sins and offenses.  It wasn't enough for the Lord Jesus Christ to take your place and to take my place.  Oh, it was wonderful that He was the divine Substitute.  But it was also needful that the divine Substitute die a sacrificial death.

3B.       God has been sinned against.  Crimes have been perpetrated against His august and holy majesty.  These are crimes of infinite magnitude and heinousness.  And because God is Who He is it is right and proper and absolutely necessary that the sins committed against Him be punished, that His grievances be redressed.  In short, someone has to pay.

4B.       But who is to pay?  To pay the penalty for you your Substitute must be of near kin (the reason Jesus became a man), must be able (an ability only the Son of God possesses) and must be willing (what great love).  So He paid what no other could pay for you.  He paid what not even you could pay for yourself, since if you die without a Savior and are held accountable to pay for your own sins you will spend an eternity paying the penalty for your sins, and will not even begin satisfying the penalties levied against you.

5B.       "Brought as a lamb to the slaughter," Isaiah 53.7 tells us.  And that's just what happened, isn't it?  He had done no violence.  There was no deceit in His mouth, verse 9.  But still they came, brutally they came, viciously they came, wickedly they came, malignantly they came, stupidly they came, foolishly they came, unjustly they came, cruelly they came, and took the Lamb of God to the slaughter where He was offered as a sacrifice for sin.

6B.       Did He succeed?  Did it work?  Was God pleased with the offering of Jesus' Own blood as a sacrifice sufficient payment for your sins?  He rose from the dead, didn't He?  Listen to what the apostle John wrote 60 years after the resurrection of His master from the dead, in First John 2.2:  "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

7B.       That word "propitiation" is a bit long, but its meaning is simple.  It means Jesus satisfied God's demands for a payment for sins.  It means the Father was pleased with what Jesus did.  It made Him happy, it fulfilled the demands of righteousness.  So, "Yes," Jesus succeeded in His sacrifice for sins.



1B.       Look back to Isaiah 53.11:  "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied."  Oh, my friends, if we but comprehended in just a small way the travail of the Savior's soul.  If we had only an inkling of what He endured to save sinners from their sins, how it would change the life of even the most hardened sinner.

2B.       But what He purposed to accomplish in His substitutionary sacrifice for our sins, we see by prophetic revelation, He also purposed would satisfy Him.  In other words, He planned to be satisfied with a job well done, with a task accomplished, with a salvation purchased.

3B.       And what, specifically, satisfies the soul of the Savior?  What was He willing to see the travail of His soul to do?  To "justify many."  But who many?  Who, of all the sinners that have lived and died and yet shall live and die, will be justified?  Whose salvation was wrought by the travail of His soul?  Those who know Him.  "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many."

4B.       And again, how do we know that Jesus is satisfied with what His soul's travail accomplished?  What proves to the doubter that He actually succeeded in what He set out to do?  The resurrection!  The resurrection!  The resurrection!



1.         The Lord Jesus Christ's saving work was not only His resurrection from the dead.  He obviously did much when He suffered and bled and died a ransom for sin, the substitutionary Lamb slain from the foundation of the World.

2.         But, don't you see, all the suffering, and all the bleeding, and all the taking upon Himself of our sins, and all the dying, could not have accomplished anything apart from the resurrection.

3.         So, the resurrection was a great and glorious victory wrought by our great and glorious Savior.  And nothing less than an astounding victory over sin, death, Hell and the grave would do, because it was not possible for death to hold Him.

4.         So, while one day, long ago, ended in what seemed to be the dark despair of the defeat of the Son of God, three days and three nights later a new day dawned.  It was a day that began with an empty tomb, and the world has never been the same because of that empty tomb.

5.         Stand, won't you, as brother Isenberger comes to lead us as we sing together hymn #33, Christ the Lord is risen today.



1.         Turn in your Bible to Acts chapter 2.  When you find Acts chapter 2 please stand as we read our second text for today, Acts 2.22-40:

22 Ye men of Israel , hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.


2.         This, of course, is Peter's great Pentecostal sermon, preached at the time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God and culminating in the conversion of 3000 men.

3.         But imbedded in this sermon is a sometimes overlooked and an even more frequently misunderstood portion of Scripture that deals with our theme for today, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

4.         As the title of this sermon suggests, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not a victory for everyone.  It is certainly a victory for God.  Most assuredly is it a victory for the Lord Jesus Christ and for the Christian.  But in our text we find that the resurrection also involves a great warning of doom from Christ for you who are unbelievers.

5.         Three very simple considerations for you to address:



1B.       In Verses 22-24 Simon Peter Shows The Close Connection Between God And Jesus

1C.      Verse 22, Jesus was approved of God and validated by God in their midst.

2C.      Verse 23, though slain by a Jewish-Gentile conspiracy the crucifixion of Jesus Christ fulfilled the plan and purpose of God.

3C.      Verse 24, but God raised this Jesus because it was not possible for death to hold Him.

2B.       In Verses 25-28 Simon Peter Makes Reference To Predictions Made By Israel 's King David

1C.      This passage refers to Psalm 16.8-11, long acknowledged a Messianic Psalm.  In that psalm David speaks of things that could not possibly refer to himself.

2C.      The point that Simon Peter is seeking to make?  In part, it is that what those men in Jerusalem saw unfolding before their very eyes in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, was something predicted by that nation's most significant king 1000 years earlier!



This comes about as Simon Peter explains the meaning and the implications of this very familiar Psalm to the men standing on the steps of the Temple below him.

1B.       First, Simon points out that David is dead and buried and we all know where he is buried, verse 29.  Implication?  David did see corruption, so this psalm is referring to someone other than David.

2B.       Second, verses 30-32, since David was not referring to himself we know that he was as prophet who was referring to the Messiah, the Christ, Who is a physical descendant of David.  Therefore, this psalm refers to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, whose resurrection we who stand before you are all witness to.

3B.       Third, the cloven tongues as of fire, the tongues that they heard along with the sound of the mighty rushing wind, that's all the result of the Lord Jesus Christ being exalted to God's right hand (the place of favor) and the giving to Jesus of the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who is responsible for what has been seen and heard.

4B.       Fourth, this brings us to verse 34, where Simon Peter definitively points out to his audience the place where Jesus now is:  "For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand."  It is not David who is in heaven.  It is Jesus Who is in heaven at the Father's right hand.  And Peter uses the same Greek word, "kurios," to describe both Jehovah and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Very significant.

5B.       So, where is Jesus at the time of Peter's sermon?  Where is Jesus at the time of my sermon?  He is not rotting in some grave somewhere.  Oh, no.  He is risen, you see, and is even now seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

6B.       Is it good so far?  It sounds good.  It is portrayed by all the compromising pastors to be good for everyone everywhere.  But are these developments that Peter speaks of good news?  It wasn't taken to be good news by his hearers.

7B.       Why did Peter's hearers suddenly become concerned, suddenly become frightened?  Listen to verse 37:  "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?"


1B.       The resurrection proved to Peter's audience, along with the authenticating ministry of the Holy Spirit, that Psalm 16 really was a prediction of Christ's resurrection and not David's.  Thus, the other thing David referred to had connection to Jesus Christ, as well.

2B.       What other thing?  Look at verses 35-36 and let me explain why those thousands of men were not real happy to find out that Jesus had risen from the dead.  Jesus is in heaven, at the Father's right hand, "Until I make thy foes thy footstool.  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ."

Let me deal with verse 36 and then we'll look at verse 35:

1C.      God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ.  In other words, Jesus is both Lord and the long awaited Messiah.  But wait!  That means the man Who was crucified was the Son of God.  Now do you begin to see why they were afraid?  They had taken part in the greatest crime ever committed by mankind.  They had crucified their Messiah, their hope, their promised One.

2C.      Now let me explain verse 35.  To make a foe a footstool is to subjugate one's enemy to such a degree, to so humiliate and degrade him, that you can literally place your feet on the back of his neck like a footstool . . . before his execution takes place.  That's the way the Romans did it.  That's the way king David had done it during his own reign.  And that is what God is going to do to those who are Jesus Christ's enemies.



1.         So you see, Simon Peter did not preach some sweet sounding sermon about heaven being your home if you will only accept Jesus to be your Savior.  And those people were not wonderfully comforted by the fact that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.

2.         Neither should you be comforted by the resurrection of Jesus Christ if you are not converted, because it should be no comfort to you that God will make you Christ's footstool.  What optimism should you have upon hearing the news that God will subjugate you, O proud one, will humiliate you, O stubborn one, will condemn you, O Christ rejecter?

3.         My prayer is that you will be pricked in your heart and ask me, as they asked Peter and the others, "What shall we do?"

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