This week's sermon was actually the third preached in a series on Peter's Pentecost sermon in Acts 2. The first one was preached on Palm Sunday, the second on Good Friday, and the third today: Resurrection Sunday.
In introductory comments, our pastor reminded us that the final word in Peter's sermon is not death--it is the saving of man by God, which is tied to the resurrection. Peter points out that Christ's resurrection has overcome death; God raised Christ up because He overcame the power of death. The pain of death was loosed, which could also be translated dissolved, not binding, null and void. In Christ's resurrection, death was reversed, undone. Because of who Christ is and what He did, it was not possible for Him to be held by death. For three days there was the sleep of death but not the curse of death.
Peter quotes from Psalm 16, where David talks about Christ, the Holy One of Israel. Verse 27 says, "For You will not leave My soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption." This is not a reference to the resurrection; rather, it is in reference to the time after Christ says from the cross, "It is finished." This is a further statement that death can't hold Christ. Through the resurrection, Christ's body/soul relation was restored, and this verse in particular tells us that Christ's body did not see corruption. As part of the curse, when we die, our bodies turn to dust and decay. But even in the grave, Christ's body is called the Holy One of Israel; His personhood is identified with both His body and soul. Had Christ's body seen corruption, death would not have been defeated, and there would be no forgiveness of sins. Jesus rose from the dead--body and soul. And despite those who speculate about the nature of Christ's resurrection, we must believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ in order to be a Christian.
Resurrection power comes from God; everything happened according to God's preordained plan (v. 23), and God was the active agent of Christ's resurrection (v. 24a).
This resurrection power now gives us confidence. What has been accomplished by Christ will be experienced by His people. We can face life and death differently, because in Jesus Christ, our death has been loosed from the pains of death. We are not under the curse of God, and we have joy in the presence of God, both in life and death. Both present protection and future deliverance are ours in God.