Lesson 22 | Sabbath, 28 May 2022
“Christ’s favorite theme was the paternal tenderness and abundant grace of God; He dwelt much upon the holiness of His character and His law; He presented Himself to the people as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let these be the themes of Christ’s ministers. Present the truth as it is in Jesus. Make plain the requirements of the law and the gospel. Tell the people of Christ’s life of self-denial and sacrifice; of His humiliation and death; of His resurrection and ascension; of His intercession for them in the courts of God; of His promise, ‘I will come again, and receive you unto Myself.’ John 14:3.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 40.
“We have a living, risen Saviour. He burst the fetters of the tomb after He had lain there three days, and in triumph He proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life.’ And He is coming. Are we getting ready for Him? Are we ready so that if we shall fall asleep, we can do so with hope in Jesus Christ?…” –My Life Today, p. 349.
THE MOST POSITIVE VIEW
1. Although it is possible that the psalmist wondered if everything would end in the grave, what beautiful hope did he express?
Psalm 16:8, 9 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
“… He who was to suffer death at the hands of evil men was to rise again as a conqueror over sin and the grave. Under the inspiration of the Almighty the Sweet Singer of Israel had testified of the glories of the resurrection morn. ‘My flesh also,’ he joyously proclaimed, ‘shall rest in hope. For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell [the grave]; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.’ Psalm 16:9, 10.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 227.
2. How did David express his assurance? What did he mean when he wrote that the body of the Holy One would not see corruption?
Psalm 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Acts 2:25-27 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
“The early disciples prayed for the Holy Spirit, and they received It; and then what did they do? They preached the word. ‘Ye men of Israel, hear these words,’ Peter declared, ‘Jesus of Nazareth,… whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning Him, I foresaw the Lord always before My face, for He is on My right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did My heart rejoice, and My tongue was glad; moreover also My flesh shall rest in hope: because Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to Me the ways of life; Thou shalt make Me full of joy with Thy countenance.’” –Review and Herald, April 1, 1909.
AFTER THE GRAVE, THE PATH OF LIFE
3. What did he see beyond death and the grave? What made him so certain?
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
“Do not think that when you walk with Jesus you must walk in the shadow. The happiest people in the world are those who trust in Jesus and gladly do His bidding. From the lives of those who follow Him, unrest and discontent are banished…. They may meet with trial and difficulty, but their lives are full of joy; for Christ walks beside them, and His presence makes the pathway bright….
“When you arise in the morning, rise with the praise of God on your lips, and when you go out to work, go with a prayer to God for help…. Wait for a leaf from the tree of life. This will soothe and refresh you, filling your heart with peace and joy. Fix your thoughts upon the Saviour… Having gained renewal of strength by communion with God, we may go on our way rejoicing, praising Him for the privilege of bringing the sunshine of Christ’s love into the lives of those we meet….” –In Heavenly Places, p. 62.
4. What explanation is given of the words that David wrote, “neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption”? To whom do these wonderful words refer?
Acts 2:27, 28, 31 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance…. 31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
“Peter here shows that David could not have spoken in reference to himself, but definitely of Jesus Christ. David died a natural death like other men; his sepulcher, with the honored dust it contained, had been preserved with great care until that time. David, as king of Israel, and also as a prophet, had been specially honored by God. In prophetic vision he was shown the future life and ministry of Christ. He saw His rejection, His trial, crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension.
“David testified that the soul of Christ was not to be left in hell (the grave), nor was His flesh to see corruption. Peter shows the fulfillment of this prophecy in Jesus of Nazareth. God had actually raised Him up from the tomb before His body saw corruption. He was now the exalted One in the heaven of heavens.” –The Story of Redemption, pp. 244, 245.
TESTIMONIES OF THE RESURRECTION
5. What is written about Jesus’ resurrection? What great event followed it?
Acts 2:32-34 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are wit- nesses. 33Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand.
“Peter on the Day of Pentecost declared that the patriarch David ‘is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.’ ‘For David is not ascended into the heavens.’ Acts 2:29, 34. The fact that David remains in the grave until the resurrection proves that the righteous do not go to heaven at death. It is only through the resurrection, and by virtue of the fact that Christ has risen, that David can at last sit at the right hand of God.
“And said Paul: ‘If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.’ 1 Corinthians 15:16-18. If for four thousand years the righteous had gone directly to heaven at death, how could Paul have said that if there is no resurrection, ‘they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished’?” –The Great Controversy, pp. 546, 547.
6. Where did the triumphant King of glory go after His resurrection and ascension?
Psalm 24:7-10 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
“The disciples no longer had any distrust of the future. They knew that Jesus was in heaven, and that His sympathies were with them still. They knew that they had a friend at the throne of God, and they were eager to present their requests to the Father in the name of Jesus. In solemn awe they bowed in prayer, repeating the assurance, ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ John 16:23, 24. They extended the hand of faith higher and higher, with the mighty argument, ‘It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.’ Romans 8:34. And Pentecost brought them fullness of joy in the presence of the Comforter, even as Christ had promised.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 833.
FIRST FRUITS OF HIS VICTORY
7. What did the prophecy relate about whom Jesus would take with Him to the heavenly courts? Who accompanied Him on His triumphal entry into the Holy City?
Psalm 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.
Ephesians 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
“All heaven was waiting the hour of triumph when Jesus should ascend to His Father. Angels came to receive the King of glory and to escort Him triumphantly to heaven. After Jesus had blessed His disciples, He was parted from them and taken up. And as He led the way upward, the multitude of captives who were raised at His resurrection followed. A multitude of the heavenly host were in attendance, while in heaven an innumerable company of angels awaited His coming.… Then all the heavenly host surrounded their majestic Commander, and with the deepest adoration bowed before Him and cast their glittering crowns at His feet. And then they touched their golden harps, and in sweet, melodious strains filled all heaven with rich music and songs to the Lamb who was slain, yet lives again in majesty and glory.” –Early Writings, pp. 190, 191.
FOR ADDITIONAL STUDY
“The Life-giver is soon to come … to break the fetters of the tomb. He is to bring forth the captives…. The last thoughts they had were of the grave and the tomb, but now they proclaim, ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ The pangs of death were the last things they felt…. When they awake the pain is all gone. ‘O grave, where is thy victory?’ Here they stand, and the finishing touch of immortality is put upon them, and they go up to meet their Lord in the air. The gates of the city of God swing back upon their hinges,… and the ransomed of God walk in through the cherubims and seraphims. Christ bids them welcome and puts upon them His benediction. ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant:… enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ What is that joy? He sees of the travail of His soul, and is satisfied.” –My Life Today, p. 349.