Key Scripture: Acts 2:22-32
As he grew up, Jesus was a normal boy in many ways. He learned to walk and talk and read. He slept, ate, laughed, and cried like every other child. He had parents, brothers, and sisters. But Jesus was different from other children in many ways too. From a young age, he understood God’s Word in a way that amazed others. And Jesus never sinned—ever. He obeyed his parents and loved others perfectly. Most of all, he loved God perfectly. His one purpose was to please God by doing his will.
When he grew up, Jesus began to announce the good news that God’s kingdom was coming on Earth. The kingdom God had promised–the one where the Shepherd King and Savior from David’s family would rule forever–was finally coming true. Jesus called people to turn away from their sin and believe the good news that he was the promised one from God who would save them! He healed the sick, made the blind see, made the crippled walk, and forgave sins. Jesus was showing the world that he had the power to heal sinful hearts and everything else sin had broken.
But God’s own people, who knew his promises to them, did not believe Jesus. They did not recognize him as the Messiah sent from God. In fact, the religious leaders were filled with hatred toward Jesus. They felt threatened by him and decided to have him killed. Although he had done nothing wrong, Jesus was arrested like a criminal. He was whipped and beaten until he bled. He was spit on and mocked by those he had created. Then, he was nailed to a cross where he died between two criminals.
How could Jesus save God’s people and rule forever as Shepherd King if he wasn’t alive? Once again, it looked as if God might not keep his promises to Abraham and David. But God was not surprised by Jesus’s death. It was his perfect plan to use this evil for good. Jesus could have saved himself from death if he’d wanted, but he wanted to glorify God by saving others. So, he offered himself to God as the final Lamb– the perfect human sacrifice for sinners. When Jesus died, he took God’s full punishment for sin on himself, so God’s people could be forgiven and live with him again. But Jesus didn’t stay dead! Three days later, God raised him from death to rule forever! Through Jesus Christ, God has kept every promise he’s ever made.
Main Point: Jesus was born to die a terrible death on a cross. He took God’s punishment for sinners on himself, so sinful people could be forgiven and live with God again. After three days, God raised Jesus from the dead to rule forever.
Christ Connection: Jesus is the “Yes!” answer to all of God’s promises (2 Corinthians 1:20; Hebrews 9:26b-28).