Paul, with Barnabas as his companion, set sail on the first of several missionary journeys. After sailing on from Crete, they were at a synagogue in Pisidia when Paul was asked to give a word of encouragement and he stood up to preach his first recorded sermon. I love how God’s Story includes lots of “firsts.” Paul began with the deliverance of their forefathers from Egypt, and continued through the history of the Jewish nation, right up to David, and then from David to Jesus, his descendant. I picture Paul pausing at this point and turning to the area where the God-fearing Greeks where gathered. In a loud voice for all to hear, Paul went on to say that God’s promise to Abraham was to bless all nations, and that this promise is fulfilled through Jesus. Since He raised Him from the dead, never to return to decay, He has spoken in this way, I will grant you the faithful covenant blessings made to David.
Paul concluded his message of hope: it is through Jesus that the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed. God’s Holy One will not see decay. People knew of King David. His life story was passed down from generation to generation and his psalms of praise to God were still being sung from the synagogue’s hymnals. Yet David died and his body did decay. It was Jesus whom God raised from the dead, never to experience decay. Jesus is our sure blessing. When our future seems uncertain, hold on to the facts, and it is a fact that God raised Jesus from the dead. That changes everything!