Men and brothers, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried…
Peter avers —
I. THAT DAVID COULD NOT HAVE SAID OF HIMSELF THE WORDS HERE QUOTED, For this he states the threefold reason, that David had died, that he had been buried, and that his tomb was still shown. No one had ever heard of his returning to life; his soul was still in the kingdom of the dead, and his flesh must long since have returned to dust. Yet he had spoken the truth in the words quoted. Then those words must refer to some other than himself. To whom could they refer? For an answer to this question Peter asks his hearers to consider —
II. THAT DAVID WAS WONT TO THINK AND SPEAK OF THE MESSIAH. God had sworn to David, and told him concerning the Messiah —
1. That He would be His descendant. The descent could be traced to the Lord's mother, who was now present.
2. That He would succeed him on the throne of Israel. David's line was to be restored and completed in Christ, though the disobedience of his posterity caused the kingdom to pass to another family for a time.
3. That He would die. This is assumed in the apostle's quotation, and must be included in the meaning of David's words. And therefore —
4. That He would rise from the dead. For the prophecy points to a sitting on the throne of David which should follow the death and the resurrection of the Messiah. All these things had been foretold by David, with conscious reference to the promises of the covenant. We need not suppose that he saw the full meaning of what he said; but that which he said of himself, and which exceeded what was true concerning himself, was proper in allusion to Christ, and ultimately found its explanation in the events of His course. And Peter takes this position without apology. What is his reason for so acting? It is —
III. THAT EVENTS WELL KNOWN HAD FULFILLED THE PROPHECY OF DAVID. The most striking event of the series is put forward in confirmation of the whole, and the vouchers for it are produced. "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses." They knew who "this Jesus" was, and what was His descent. They knew that He had died but a few weeks before at Jerusalem, and had been buried. Probably all the disciples now present had seen Him after His resurrection. All the mixed multitude now present were witnesses that His resurrection was affirmed by His friends, and that His enemies could not otherwise account for the disappearance of His body. They were all, therefore, God's witnesses. The inevitable conclusion was that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah; and this conclusion involved His kingship and His succession to David. This last was the only point yet remaining to be proved. We admire the precision and steady progress of this argument. Conclusion: Let us pause here and reflect on Peter's way of disposing of rationalism. Those whom he addressed followed reason and judged by appearances. He met them by an appeal to facts. Whatever reason might have said beforehand, David, under Divine direction, had recorded certain predictions, and those predictions had been fulfilled. "Let God be true, and every man a liar." How else can the rationalism of this day be dealt with?
1. The character of Christ as sketched beforehand in prophecy is presented in the Gospels.
2. The course of Christianity as foretold by the Lord and His apostles has been witnessed thus far through the ages.
3. The promises made to those who repent and believe are clearly fulfilled from day to day. And in the character of Christ, the fulfilment of prophecy, and the Christian life, with its blessed fellowship with God and power of virtuous conduct, there are unanswerable "evidences" for Christianity.
Parallel VersesKJV: Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.