When Jesus died on the cross, He conquered sin. When Jesus rose from the grave, He conquered death. And He appeared to His disciples. I mean, He showed up after He didn't just rise and be like, let's spread that rumor.
He actually like for 40 days showed up with them, hung out with them, and even ate food with them. This is Connect with Skip Heitzig. And today Pastor Skip concludes his series, Against All Odds, with a teaching that shows you what Christ's death and resurrection means for your life now and in the future. But first, here's a resource bundle that'll give you a glimpse of what awaits you in eternity. Skip Heitzig has some straight talk about hell. The lake of fire is name of a place of eternal torment. You might call it the final hell.
The Bible calls it the second death. So hell is an actual place. There's a second fact I want you to notice, and that is hell is an intentional place. This is critical information about the future of those who reject salvation through Jesus.
But that does not need to be the destiny of any man or woman on earth. That's why we've assembled a special resource called the eternity package to give you confidence in your eternal home and an urgency to share Christ with those who don't believe. God created hell for a very specific reason. Verse 41, He will say to those on the left hand, depart from me, you cursed into the everlasting fire. Here it is, prepared for the devil and his angels.
God did not create hell as a place to punish people. The eternity package comes with seven of Pastor Skip's most powerful messages about eternity, covering topics like the truth about hell, what most people don't know about heaven, the second coming of Christ, and much more. You'll also receive his booklet, Hell No, Don't Go, about the glory of heaven and the torment of hell. This powerful new resource is our thanks for your gift of $50 or more to support the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig. So get your copy of the eternity package on CD or as a digital download today when you give a gift of $50 or more.
Give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. All right, we're in Acts 2 as we go to Skip for his message, Empty Tomb, Full Life. Jesus didn't die for his own sin because he didn't have any sin. He was the only one that lived a perfect life from beginning to end, never committed a single sin in his life. No, he died as a substitution for others.
Isaiah the prophet put it this way, all we like sheep have gone astray, but God laid on him the iniquity of us all. So his death was a strategy, it was voluntary, and it was substitutionary. Another statement I don't want to make about it is that Jesus' death was necessary, had to happen if the obstacle between us and God was going to be removed.
It was absolutely necessary. There's a separation that mankind has from God. You may not know about it, you may not feel it, but it's there. It's called your sin and my sin. And that roadblock can only be removed by that atoning death on the cross. Romans chapter 5, Paul says, we were reconciled to him through the death of his son. That is, we're reconciled. The roadblock, the obstacle was removed so that one party and the other party can be reconciled or brought together.
They're brought together by the removal of an obstacle. That's what the word reconciliation means. So his death was necessary. Now, although it was God's plan from the very beginning, as stated here by Peter, it doesn't make the ones who put Jesus on the cross any less guilty because it was their choice. They chose to be in that crowd and shout, crucify him.
Pilate chose to listen to the persuasive voices of the crowd and say, okay, take him to the place of execution. Everybody that day made a choice and today you have a choice to make. What are you going to do with Jesus Christ? You can say, well, I don't plan on really doing anything with Jesus Christ, thank you. I'm just going to wait and see what happens. I'm just going to live my life as I live my life.
I'm not going to do anything. I'm not going to accept him. I'm not going to reject him. But you know what Jesus said? That if you don't receive him, you've rejected him. If you don't receive him, you've rejected him. You are either for me, he said, or you are against me. So if you say, well, I'm not for Jesus, then in Jesus' view, you're already against him.
You have a choice to make. And then I want to make one final statement before we get into the third vital point of Peter and his line of evidence, and that is Jesus' death was a victory. You know why it was a victory? Because he didn't stay dead.
It's pretty simple, right? He didn't stay dead. Remember the old saying, you can't keep a good man down?
Well, you can't keep the God-man down. They put him in a grave, but three days later, he got up from that tomb. His resurrection conquered death.
It was a victory. So that's Peter's line of evidence in two short verses to them, his miraculous life, his meaningful death. Now, he goes to the third line of evidence, that Jesus is different than anyone else, and that is his resurrection, his miraculous resurrection. Now, I want you to notice how important the resurrection is. There are nine verses that Peter uses to speak about the resurrection. Now, think of it. He has used one verse to speak about Jesus' whole life, one verse to speak about Jesus' atoning death, and nine verses to speak about his resurrection.
Why? Because it's that important. Because that's the theme of his sermon. That's the theme of every sermon in the book of Acts. That is really essentially the theme of the New Testament, the culmination of all redemptive history, is the resurrection. So Peter says, verse 24, after speaking of his life and his death, whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it.
For David said concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken. Therefore, my heart rejoiced, my tongue was glad. Moreover, my flesh will also rest in hope, for you will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life.
You will make me full of joy in your presence. That's the quote. Peter is quoting a psalm, Psalm 16. He, in his sermon, is preaching from the Bible. In this case, Psalm 16.
Now look at his application. Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David. That is the one who wrote the psalm. That he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet and knowing that God has sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on the throne. He, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, or the Messiah. That his soul was not left in Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus, God, has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
You know, the world has noticed that we make a big deal out of Easter. I was walking my dogs yesterday, and somebody recognized me, and he said, well, tomorrow's your big day. I smiled, and I thought, well, you know, I'm not really doing much.
I'm just showing up. It's already been done, but thank you. Yeah, it's your big day tomorrow, and good luck, he said.
Good luck. You want to know why we make such a big deal out of Easter? By the way, we do.
We make a huge deal out of it. We like to party hardy on Easter. We like to have the stadium fulfilled and have joyous music, because to us, Easter is like the World Series and the Super Bowl and the balloon fiesta all rolled up into one, and it's simple.
Why? It's because, as Paul said, without the resurrection, we're hopeless. Without the resurrection, we're dead in our sins. Without the resurrection, we just die, and it's over, period. We're like everybody else that lives without hope, and he said in 1 Corinthians 15, if in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable.
His point is that our hope goes way beyond it. That's why we celebrate it. We don't just celebrate it once a year, by the way. We celebrate it every Sunday. The whole reason the church doesn't meet on Saturday, the Sabbath, but on Sunday is because of the resurrection.
It's a weekly celebration. Look at verse 24 for just a moment. Look at how Peter phrases it. I love this fisherman's sermon. Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death.
Now look at this. Because it was not possible that he should be held by it. You know, that makes perfect sense. That is pure logic. The one who said, I am the resurrection and the life, can't be held by death. The one who had no beginning, can't have an end. The one who caused all things to exist, cannot himself cease to exist. Perfect logic. It's impossible. Death cannot hold the author of life.
It's not possible that he could be held by it. Now, when Peter was preaching, he was aware that he had a Jewish audience. He was also aware that they knew and had seen the miracles of Jesus. He did it in their town.
They saw them. But he also knew that as a Jewish audience, because Jesus had died on a cross, that Jewish audience would reject Jesus as being their Messiah, because he died on that cross. Their Messiah and their view, that would never happen. So that's why Peter says, it doesn't end there. He died for a purpose, but then God raised him to life. So he demonstrates that not only did he rise from the dead, but he rose from the dead, listen, as predicted by the prophets. In this case, David, he said him being a prophet, foresaw what was going to happen. And he quotes Psalm 16. Now, Psalm 16, most of us have read it, we're familiar with it. Peter was Jewish, as were all the apostles. They grew up on Psalms like Psalm 16. They heard it all their lives. They heard it in synagogues.
But Peter never understood its meaning till the resurrection. Have you ever been around something familiar, but you were oblivious to a lot of what's going on? I know some of you gals are going, you just described my husband.
Sorry, couldn't resist. But I'm going to use myself as the illustration husband, so relax a little bit. So my wife will frequently, when I come home, she'll bring me into a room of our house, and she'll go, now stop, look around, do you notice anything different?
So now I'm on high alert. And it's usually a plant. She bought a plant and she placed it in a certain place. I go, oh yeah, it's a perfect plant for there.
So she did this not long ago. She took me in a room, she goes, do you notice anything different? So I start looking around and go, oh, I see that vase is gorgeous. I start talking about it. She goes, that vase has been there for 10 years, honey.
She wanted me to see the plant that she got. So Psalm 16 to Peter and the apostles was like that vase to me. Been there all along, but now for the first time they're understanding really what it's all about. And here's Peter's premise. He's saying Psalm 16 speaks of a resurrection, but since David died and didn't get resurrected, it can't be speaking of him. So therefore, David was speaking as a prophet that the Messiah who was to come, namely Jesus, would rise from the dead. That's his premise. He sums it up in verse 32, this Jesus, God raised up, of whom we are all witnesses.
Premise is simple. When David wrote this, he wasn't writing it as a personal story, but rather a prophetic statement, statement of Jesus. Now why is the resurrection such a big deal?
Why do we make such a big deal out of it? Why is it the center point of the whole New Testament? Why is it the heart and theme of every sermon in the book of Acts? Because after all, if Jesus' death on the cross was enough for our salvation, why did he need to rise from the dead?
Well, one of the reasons is that this psalm predicts a resurrection. It says, you will not leave my soul in Hades, that is the grave, nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption or literally decay. Now there's only two ways for your body not to decay. Number one, never die. Never die. And I know some people that are working real hard on that.
They'll stretch their face, they'll put creams on their face, they'll try to look like they're 40 years younger. It only works, well, barely. Never die. If you never die, your body will never decay.
Okay, so that's out. Second option, as soon as you die, get raised from the dead shortly thereafter. Resurrection is the only cure. And if you can get resurrected, it means that death has died.
Death has died. You see, when Jesus died on the cross, he conquered sin. When Jesus rose from the grave, he conquered death. And he appeared to his disciples. I mean, he showed up after, he didn't just rise and people said, let's spread that rumor.
He actually like for 40 days showed up with them, hung out with them, and even ate food with them. You see, he wasn't like some little like translucent being. When he ate fish, you could like see the fish like going down. Wow, check that out.
He didn't like hover over the ground. He was a real human, God in human flesh, raised back from the grave. For the last 12 weeks, we have been looking at a series, a series against all odds. We've considered the odds of one man fulfilling those prophecies the Old Testament has spoken about. We've gone into great detail, mathematical detail, and we have discovered that in all three of these categories, life, death, and resurrection, the Bible prophesies in advance hundreds of years before. We have considered that the Bible predicts hundreds of years before he would be born of a virgin. He would be born in Bethlehem. He would come from the tribe of Judah. His ministry would begin in Galilee.
His work would be working miracles. He would enter Jerusalem one day on a donkey. He would be betrayed by a friend. He would be sold for 30 pieces of silver. He would be wounded and bruised. His hands and his feet would be pierced. He would be crucified next to thieves. His garments would be torn and lots cast for them, that his bones would not be broken at his death, that his side would be pierced, that he would be buried in a rich man's tomb, and finally, that he would rise again from the dead.
We've been considering that the last 12 weeks. And we have made known the fact, and we have discovered the fact, and today we just sort of affirmed the fact, that it is impossible for those things to be humanly arranged. You can't decide what tribe you're going to be born in.
You can't decide or arrange what place you're going to be born at or what mother you're going to be born to. And we have looked at the mathematical probabilities of one man fulfilling eight, then 16, then 48 prophecies, et cetera. And let me just remind you that in 100 billion years, there would be no chance for one person in history to fulfill all of those predictions apart from God, apart from God. There's just no other way to explain the Bible's ability to predict the future. And every time a prophecy is given and it is fulfilled, it's as if God is saying, ta-da.
I love it. Most of you have heard of the name Harry Houdini. His name is synonymous with magic or escaping. He was an escape artist. His friends said he could escape from anything and people tried everything.
They said he had the flexibility of an eel and the lives of a cat. They would place him in a casket, lock it up, he'd escape. They put him in a box, put the box wrapped with chains in a river, he'd escape. They would put him in a canvas bag and rivet him to the side of a big boiler, boiler, he'd escape. They'd put him in water upside down in a straight jacket, he'd escape.
But in 1926, in October, death got a hold of Harry Houdini and took him to the grave. Before he died, he said to his wife, if there's a way out, I'll find it. He never found it. But he said, if there's a way out, I'll find it.
I'm here to tell you, there's a way out. It's called a resurrection and Jesus found it. And when Jesus, or when Peter was preaching this sermon, Jesus was alive at that moment. Raised from the dead in power, he was alive when Peter was preaching that. But there were hundreds, thousands of people in that crowd who were dead, living physically, dead spiritually. Peter himself was alive, he was born again.
John, 120 other disciples, they were alive spiritually. But when Peter was preaching, there were many in that crowd who were dead, the Bible says, in trespasses and sins, and needed, as Jesus said, to be born again. Oh, how Jesus wants to touch the deadness of your life today.
I just want to take it a step further. Some of you believers need a resurrection. Some of us followers of Christ have gotten a little stale over the years, a little stagnant over the years. Some of you believers in Jesus have come to believe that your best days are in the past rather than ahead of you. And so you have sort of put your life into cruise control. You've resigned to barely making it through life and then, I'm going to die and go to heaven.
That's not a good plan. We need a touch from God. Maybe it has to do with the relationship you're struggling with.
Maybe it has to do with an addiction that's got a hold of you or a practice, a sin, a pattern that you need to break. Or maybe it has to do with the first step the first step of coming to Jesus Christ. You know, it's quite simple really. You just come. You come as you are. You know, say, okay, I'm going to do something first, and then I'm going to come. I'm going to fix this first, and then I'm going to come. I'm going to get my act together first, then I'm going to come.
You just come as you are and admit that you need Him. You have to first realize that you're a sinner. The Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All of us have sinned. You have to realize that you are a sinner. Now, some are better sinners than others.
I'll grant you that. I'm not as bad as so and so great. He's a better sinner than you are. He sins much better than you do, but you're still a sinner. And I've got to tell you something, God does not grate on a curve.
It's the same. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory. You have to realize that. Next, you have to recognize Jesus died for you, that He loves you, to bridge that gap. If you have ever wondered about how much God loves you, just look at the cross.
That'll tell you. Then, number three, you have to repent of your sin. You say, what does repent mean?
It means to turn around. You make a U-turn on the road of life. You change your mind about the direction you're going, and you say, I'm going to go His way. You say, well, I feel really bad for things that I've done. Repentance isn't just being sorry.
Repentance is being sorry enough to quit what you're doing and go His way. He'll give you the power to do that. And then, you must receive Jesus as your Savior and your Lord. You can't do this on your own.
You can't do it by your own works. The Bible says, as many as received Him, He gave them the power to become His children. And let me just add one other thing. I think you should do it publicly. Because when Jesus called people, He didn't say, hey, you, well, nobody's listening. Meet me over here.
We'll have a private conversation. He just would walk right up to Matthew's tax station and in public say, get up, follow me. Follow me. And He got right up right there and publicly followed Jesus. And Jesus even said, if you acknowledge Me before people, I will acknowledge you before My Father in heaven. If you deny Me before people, I'll deny you before My Father in heaven. Hey, why not make a public stand for Jesus? He made a public stand for you on that cross.
Make a public stand for Him in your life. And you don't want to wait another day. You want to settle this now. You can leave this room, this building, or this amphitheater, or this overflow room, wherever you're at, a changed human being from this day forward. You go, well, how can I be sure? You'll never know unless you receive Him. You take that step and you see if Jesus doesn't change your life completely. Keep following Him.
And our goal through these teachings is to help you know God even more and encourage you as you live for Him. And when you give a gift today, you'll help encourage others in the same way as you help connect even more people with the truths of God's Word. Here's how you can do that. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate, or call 800-922-1888. 800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Come back tomorrow as Skip begins his series, Darkroom, and shares a message about how to suffer the right way. . Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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