Online Bible Commentary
The Ways of Life
Acts 2:22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know--23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25 For David says concerning Him: 'I foresaw the Lord always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. 27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.' 29 "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. (NKJV)
It is the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. The disciples have just received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They are now empowered to spread the Gospel.
Multitudes of Jews have gathered in Jerusalem from all over the known world for the Feast of Pentecost. Peter is now addressing them, speaking of Jesus (v. 22a). He reminds them of the “miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst” (v. 22b).
Peter informs the crowd that Jesus was “delivered” to the Jews “by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God” (v. 23a). Jesus was then “taken by lawless hands”, those without the law, the gentiles, and was “crucified, and put to death” (v. 23b). He then was “raised up”, resurrected, by God who “loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it”, by death (v. 24).
In this way Peter has explained the sovereignty of God. It was God’s plan for Jesus to be crucified even though he used men, who acted of their own free will, to do the job. God then showed that He was still in control by resurrecting Jesus, showing that death could not hold him.
Peter then cites the words of David from Psalm 16:8-11 as prophecy that this would happen (v. 25a). David rejoiced that the Lord was always with him so that he would “not be shaken” (v. 25b).
David “rejoiced” and was “glad” that he could “rest in hope”, knowing that when he died his “soul” would not be left in the disembodied state of “Hades” (v. 26-27a). Nor would the coming Messiah “see corruption”, be left in Hades (v. 27b). God has “made known” to David “the ways of life” and will be made “full of joy” in God’s “presence”, in Heaven (v. 28).
Peter then reminds the crowd that David is “both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day” (v. 29). But David was a “prophet”, who knew “that God had sworn with an oath to him” that God “would raise up” a descendant of David’s, Christ, “to sit on his (David’s) throne” (v. 30).
The prophet David then “foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption” (v. 31). This is a picture of bodily resurrection.
So God made known to David “the ways of life”, including that Christ would be resurrected, and that he too, David, would be resurrected and would join Christ in Heaven. Could he have hoped for anymore?
This is the value of the Christian life. We are given the secret of living life on this earth and the assurance of bodily resurrection and eternal life in Heaven. God has revealed this to us through His word, the Bible. It is ours for the taking. What a privilege it is, to read the word of God. It reveals to us “the ways of life.”