Does anyone know what this picture represents?
This might be the most amazing data picture you see in a lifetime!
It shows the 63,779 cross-references in the Bible.
The white bars along the bottom represent each Bible chapter, Gen. 1 - Rev. 22.
The line’s color shows the reference’s distance from the other.
A cross-reference is a scripture that references another scripture.
Had the Bible been written by one person or at one time this would still be amazing; however, the Bible was written by 40 authors over the span of 1500 years on 3 different continents.
The Bible is complex, diverse, and intricate, and yet it has one unified message: God lovingly is redeeming all who believe!
The Bible tells a unified story.
And center to the story is Jesus Christ.
A vast majority of those cross-references point to one person- the Lord Jesus Christ.
And this morning we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Much of God’s story for this universe points towards and flows out of this monuments event- that Jesus Christ is RISEN, He is risen indeed!
Last year on Easter Sunday we examined the a sermon preached by the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost from Acts 2. And Peter’s sermon centered on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
This year we are going to look at a sermon from the Apostle Paul and Paul’s sermon will again center on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
In Acts 13, beginning at v. 13 the Apostle Paul preaches a sermon to the Jews and to those who feared God.
Paul is in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia.
It is the Sabbath day, the rulers of the synagogue have just finished reading from the Law and the Prophets, and after they finish they invite Paul to come forward to speak a word of encouragement to the people.
And from v. 16-41 we have recorded for us the sermon that the Apostle Paul gave in the synagogue in Antioch in Pisidia.
The goal of Paul’s message was to convince the Jews and the God fearing Gentiles to believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and that through Jesus they could find forgiveness of their sins.
Friends, you must believe in Jesus Christ in order for your sins to be forgiven and for you to be freed/justified before God.
Why should you believe in Jesus?
God does not require of you blind faith, God expects of you a well thought out faith.
Paul gives us three reasons for why you should believe in Jesus Christ.
Why should you believe in Jesus?
Because Jesus Christ is the pinnacle of the entire story of the Bible (vv.
The Bible tells one cohesive story and at the center and most important to that story is Jesus Christ.
17-25 Paul recounts the history of the nation of Israel.
And at first glace it may appear that all Paul is doing is giving a history lesson.
But, Paul is doing something much more important that merely recounting the history of the Jewish nation.
Paul is giving us the major story line of the Bible.
Remember 63,779 cross-references, written by 40 authors over the span of 1500 years on 3 different continents, the Bible is complex, diverse, and intricate, and yet it has one unified message- and at the center of that message is Jesus.
Paul is going to overview for us over 2000 years of history showing how Jesus is at the center of God’s story.
Essentially, Paul traces the promises or the covenants that God made with Israel.
And he shows how Jesus is central to the fulfillment of those covenants.
He starts with the Abrahamic covenant.
Paul skips over quite a lot of human history.
He skips the Creation account, Noah, the tower of Babel, and other accounts.
Because Paul is speaking to a primarily Jewish audience and being good Jews they would have already known those events.
Let me back up and mention just one promise from Genesis that will help us see the overall story of God.
Explain God’s original intent for His Creation (Fellowship/Relationship), Satan tempted Adam and Eve, sin entered the picture, and even since there has been a separation between God and His Creation.
The rest of the story of the Bible is God fixing what sin has tainted.
God is working to get back to a perfect creation, free from the absence of sin, and He wants us to have restored fellowship and relationship with Himself.
How is God going to do that?
Gen. 3:15 gives us the beginnings of God’s plan.
Here we find that the offspring promised to Eve in Gen. 3:15 will now come through the line of Abraham.
God is going to make a great nation out of Abraham (the nation of Israel), and from that nation the promised offspring of Gen. 3:15 would come and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through Him.
One day many years later God brings the line of Abraham, that will become the nation of Israel in seed form, to Egypt.
God uses Joseph to bring Jacob and his family to Egypt to protect them from famine.
Over the next 400 years God keeps Israel in Egypt and causes them to grow into a great nation.
Until one day God led them out of Egypt by means of Moses.
We have finally overview v. 17 in Acts!
After God led the people out of Egypt they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.
During those 40 years God made another covenant with His people- the Mosaic Covenant.
Basically, if God’s people perfectly obeyed God’s laws God would bless them, and if they rebelled and did not obey then God would curse them.
There was a major problem with this covenant.
SIN! Israel could not keep God’s law.
Yet God was faithful to His people, and He was faithful to the promises He had made to Abraham.
Eventually, God gave the people the promised land the land of Canaan.
But the people still did not obey God!
Over hundreds of years, multiple different judges and prophets God’s people still could not obey.
Then, they tried for a king to be like the other nations and that didn’t work out either.
But God still remained faithful to his people.
And we get to v. 22 which is a key verse!
David was a man after God’s own heart (though he still had plenty of problems of his own).
And through David God made another significant covenant with Israel- the Davidic covenant.
So now the promised offspring in Gen 3:15 that God will use to rid the creation of the curse of sin, who will come from the line of Abraham, now is promised to come from the line of David.
Jesus is the pinnacle of all of the promises of God that He has made to His people.
Thousands of years of human history and the central story of the Bible all converge in the person of Jesus Christ!
And look at what Paul calls Jesus- He is a Savior!
Paul even includes the recent activity of the story of God in his sermon.
Who was John the Baptist?
After a period of silence for hundreds of years John the Baptist was the an Elijah like prophet of God.
He had a significant ministry in Israel.
And what did John the Baptist think about Jesus? “the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.”
He exalted Jesus, proclaimed him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
He pointed to Jesus too!
The Bible is one unified story and it all points to Jesus!
Illustration: Telephone the game.
How likely would it be for a message to start on one side of the church and make it to the other side without changing its message?
And yet the Bible has 63,779 cross-references, written by 40 authors over the span of 1500 years on 3 different continents, the Bible is complex, diverse, and intricate, and yet it has one unified message- and at the center of that message is Jesus.
Folks is this enough evidence for you to believe that Jesus is who He says He is?
Will you believe in Jesus in order for your sins to be forgiven?
Will you trust Him as your Savior?
Why should you believe in Jesus?
Because of the firsthand account of the witnesses of Jesus (vv.
Again, God does not require of you blind faith.
He wants you to have a well thought out faith.
A faith based on truth.
So God records for us in His Word the eye witness, firsthand account of witness to the life of Jesus.
This is very important!
What message is Paul about to share?
The message of salvation.
Do you want to know how to be saved?
Do you want to know what the Bible says about salvation?