The Good News About The Bad News: Acts 13:26-33
““26) Brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. 27) For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him. 28) And though they found no ground for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. 29) When they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. 30) But God raised Him from the dead; 31) and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. 32) And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, 33) that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten You.’” Acts‬ ‭13‬:‭26‬-‭33‬
After a brief survey of the Old Testament, Paul preaches the good news of the gospel to them. He proclaimed the fact of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He walked through the details of what had recently occurred in Jerusalem. The tragic story had spread far and wide.
At first hearing, it sounds like bad news. The Jewish leaders missed all the testimony of the Old Testament prophets about the Messiah and instead of welcoming Him, they had Him executed. How could that be good news? They killed the Messiah! (Vs 28)
The answer comes in the fact that Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29-34) They did not execute the Messiah, they unknowingly fulfilled the mission of the Messiah. (Read Isaiah 53) Every prophecy, image, type, shadow and picture of the Messiah in the Old Testament was exactly fulfilled. Notice verse 29; “And when they had carried out all that was written about Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb.”
The good news starts with the next verse; “30) But God raised Him from the dead.” He is alive!” The gospel is not about death, it’s about life. The Gospel is about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His death paid for the sins of humanity. His resurrection conquered the grave and paved the way for forgiveness and eternal life.
Jesus began a new system of salvation. It was no longer based on self goodness by keeping the Law. That system did not work. It failed Israel and it failed humanity. Why? Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The Law condemns every human to death and judgement. Jesus is the only one who was innocent according to the Law. He kept it without any violation. He had no sin.
That qualified Him to be our substitute payment. He was indeed the innocent lamb of God. The priests and religious leader didn’t recognize it, but the true Lamb they put to death on that Passover died on a cross and not on the altar in the temple. He was the Son of God.
The whole imagery of the Old Testament sacrificial system was fulfilled during that Passover. It included “God providing Himself as the lamb for the sacrifice” in place of Isaac. (Genesis 22) Salvation was now a free gift based on faith. The focus of the gospel was on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His giving the promise from the Father, being the Holy Spirit. (See Joel 2:28-29; Acts 1:3-5)
When fully understood and embraced, the gospel becomes “Good News!” That’s what Paul said in Acts 13:32; “And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers.” It was the promise of a new relationship with God and a new power for living.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global