SERIES: Against All Odds
MESSAGE: An Empty Tomb; A Full Life
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:22-32

We have spent twelve weeks examining the remarkable nature of predictive prophecy. We’ve considered the chances of one person in history fulfilling the precise forecasts about the then-coming-Messiah made by the Old Testament prophets. The chances of over 300 predictions all coming true in one individual defies all the odds and challenges the willful unbelief of any detractor. Today, on this Easter Sunday, we especially rejoice that death has been conquered by the same predicted One whose life, death, and resurrection set Him apart from anyone else.

Connect Recap Notes: April 16, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "An Empty Tomb; A Full Life"
Text: Acts 2:22-32


We have spent twelve weeks examining the remarkable nature of predictive prophecy. We've considered the chances of one person in history fulfilling the precise forecasts about the coming Messiah made by the Old Testament prophets. The chances of over 300 predictions all coming true in one individual defies all the odds and challenges the willful unbelief of any detractor. On this Easter Sunday, Pastor Skip taught about the One to whom the prophecies point: the predicted life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  1. His Miraculous Life (v. 22)
  2. His Meaningful Death (v. 23)
  3. His Magnificent Resurrection (vv. 24-32)

His Miraculous Life
  1. It Was Evidence
  2. It Was Eminent
His Meaningful Death
  1. Human Plot: Jesus' death was different than anyone else's.
  2. Divine Plan: The resurrection was part of God's plan, a plot hatched in heaven.
His Magnificent Resurrection
  1. Predicted by David
  2. Fulfilled by Christ

Connect Up: Review the topics and prophecies discussed throughout this series. What do they tell you about the importance of prophecy as a means of pointing us to Christ? How does prophecy indicate that God has a plan for people?

Connect In: Jesus fulfilled these various prophecies: He was born of a virgin. He was born in Bethlehem. He was from the tribe of Judah. His ministry began in Galilee. He worked miracles. He entered Jerusalem on a donkey. He was betrayed by a friend. He was sold for thirty pieces of silver. He was wounded and bruised. His hands and feet were pierced. He was crucified with thieves. His garments were torn and lots were cast for them. His bones were not broken. His side was pierced. He was buried in a rich man's tomb. He rose from the dead.
Of all the predictive prophecies, how does the resurrection put a cap on all of them? To help you internalize the various Old Testament prophecies surrounding Christ's resurrection, commit at least three prophecies to memory (see Psalm 16:9-11; 110:1; Isaiah 53:10). Take a moment to discuss these.

Connect Out: As you tell others about Christ's resurrection, you'll find that people will come to Christ. Remember these steps in your outreach and evangelism:
Pray for family and friends who don't know Christ.


  1. Introduction
    1. Jesus was only in the grave for part of three days before He rose from the dead
    2. In Acts 2, Peter gave his first recorded sermon
      1. 3,000 people were saved that day
      2. Message filled with hope
    3. Peter was a fisherman by trade
      1. One day, Jesus stepped into his life (see Matthew4:19; Mark 1:17)
      2. In hanging around Jesus, Peter's heart was filledwith hope
    4. Peter's hope was shattered when Jesus died on the cross
      1. Luke 24:21
      2. Peter went from an all-time high to an all-time low
    5. The resurrection moved Peter's life from hopeless living into a living hope (see 1 Peter 1:3)
    6. The subject of Peter's sermon in Acts 2 is Jesus
      1. He wanted to show that Jesus was no ordinary man
      2. Jesus was God's predicted Messiah
      3. Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies
  2. His Miraculous Life (v. 22)
    1. It Was Evidence
      1. Jesus' miracles got people's attention
      2. The New Testament records over thirty miracles Jesusperformed, suspending natural law and enacting supernatural force
        1. Jesus appealed to His own power (see John 3:2; 10:25; 14:11)
        2. The most bitter enemies Jesus had were forced to admit He had power (see John 11:47)
    2. It Was Eminent
      1. If Jesus could do those miracles, He could performthe greatest miracle of all: saving someone from their sin
      2. What greater miracle could there be than getting aperson from earth into heaven?
  3. His Meaningful Death (v. 23)
    1. It seems unimaginable that a Man like Jesus could even die
    2. Human Plot
      1. On one hand, the cross was a vicious plot
      2. Human responsibility
      3. Every person who has ever and will ever live isresponsible for Jesus' death
    3. Divine Plan
      1. On the other hand, the cross was a victorious plan
      2. Divine sovereignty—God purposed it
      3. God is also responsible for Jesus' death
        1. God predetermined this event
        2. It was part of His plan all along
      4. The Passover Plot
        1. States that Jesus' death and resurrection were staged
        2. States that Jesus did not die, but was placed in the tomb and Joseph of Arimathea nursed Him back to health
      5. Rather, it was a plot hatched in heaven by God
    4. Thoughts on Jesus' death
      1. It was a divine strategy (see Revelation 13:8)
      2. It was voluntary; Jesus chose to do it (see John10:11, 18)
      3. It was substitutionary; Jesus didn't die for His ownsin, but He died as a substitution for others (see Isaiah 53:6)
      4. It was necessary; it had to happen if the separationbetween man and God was to be removed (see Romans 5:10)
      5. Although it was God's plan from the very beginning,it does not make those who put Jesus on the cross less guilty
        1. They chose to shout, "Crucify Him!"
        2. Pilate chose to be persuaded by the crowds
        3. Everyone today has a choice of what to do with Jesus Christ
        4. If you are not for Jesus, you are against Him (see Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23)
      6. It was a victory; Jesus didn't stay dead
  4. His Magnificent Resurrection (vv. 24-32)
    1. Peter spoke about the resurrection for nine verses
      1. One verse about His life
      2. One verse about His death
      3. The resurrection is that important; it was the themeof Peter's sermon
      4. We celebrate Easter because without the resurrection,we are hopeless (see 1 Corinthians 15:19)
    2. Jesus could not be held by death
      1. The One who caused all things to exist cannot Himselfcease to exist
      2. Death cannot hold the Author of life
    3. Peter knew the Jews would reject Jesus as their Messiah because He died on the cross, so he demonstrated that Jesus rose from the dead as predicted by the prophets
    4. Predicted by David
      1. Psalm 16:8-11
      2. Peter didn't understand the meaning of this psalmuntil the resurrection
      3. David spoke as a prophet about the Messiah who wouldcome; not a personal story—a prophetic statement
    5. Fulfilled by Christ
      1. If Jesus' death was enough to save us from our sins,why did He need to rise again?
      2. There are only two ways for your body to not decay
        1. You never die
        2. You get raised from the dead
      3. If you can get resurrected, that means death has died
        1. When Jesus died, He conquered sin
        2. When Jesus rose, He conquered death
  5. Closing
    1. We have considered the odds of one man fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah
      1. The Bible prophesied hundreds of years in advanceabout the life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah
      2. Other predictions
        1. He would be born of a virgin
        2. He would be born in Bethlehem
        3. He would come from the tribe of Judah
        4. His ministry would begin in Galilee
        5. He would work miracles
        6. He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey
        7. He would be betrayed by a friend
        8. He would be sold for thirty pieces of silver
        9. He would be wounded and bruised
        10. His hands and feet would be pierced
        11. He would be crucified next to thieves
        12. His garments would be torn and lots cast for them
        13. His bones would not be broken
        14. His side would be pierced
        15. He would be buried in a rich man's tomb
        16. He would rise from the dead
    2. We have discovered that it is impossible for those things to be humanly arranged
      1. In 100 billion years, there would be no chance forone person in history to fulfill all of those predictions apart from God
      2. There is no other way to explain the Bible's abilityto predict the future
    3. When Peter preached this sermon, Jesus was alive
      1. Many in the crowd were dead in their sin (seeEphesians 2:1)
      2. Peter and the other disciples were born again (seeJohn 3:3-8)
    4. Jesus wants to touch the deadness of our lives
      1. Even believers can get stale and stagnant over theyears
      2. God accepts us as we are
        1. We have to realize we are sinners (see Romans 3:23)
        2. We have to recognize that Jesus died for us in order to bridge the gap
        3. We have to repent of our sin
          1. Repent means to turn around
          2. Repentance is not just being sorry; it is being sorry enough to change
        4. We have to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior (see John 1:12)
        5. We should do it publically because Jesus called people publically (see Matthew 9:9; 10:32-33)
Figures referenced: Simon Greenleaf, Harry Houdini

Works referenced: The Passover Plot

Cross references: Psalm 16:8-11; Isaiah 53:6; Matthew 4:19; 9:9; 10:32-33; 12:30; Mark 1:17; Luke 11:23; 24:21; John 1:12; 3:2-8; 10:11, 18, 25; 11:47; 14:11; Acts 2; Romans 3:23; 5:10; 1 Corinthians 15:19; Ephesians 2:1; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 13:8

Topic: Resurrection

Keywords: Good Friday, Passover, crucifixion, cross, scourge, sin, death, wrath of God, good, substitution, remission, sacrifice, forgiveness, imprecatory psalms, Communion

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