Acts 26:23

23 that the Messiah must suffer, and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles."

Acts 26:23 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 26:23

That Christ should suffer
Great afflictions in soul and body, and death itself; this is recorded by Moses, ( Genesis 3:15 ) and is the sense of many of the types, as of the passover, brazen serpent and of all the sacrifices which from God were appointed by him, and is the constant account of all the prophets from the beginning to the end; see ( Psalms 22:1 Psalms 22:2 Psalms 22:6 Psalms 22:7 Psalms 22:11-21 ) ( Isaiah 53:2-12 ) ( Daniel 9:26 ) ( Zechariah 9:9 ) ( 12:10 ) ( Zechariah 13:6 Zechariah 13:7 ) . The sufferer is Christ, or the Messiah, not the Father, nor the Spirit, but the Word, or Son of God, and not in his divine nature, which was incapable of suffering, but in his human nature; though sufferings may be ascribed to his whole person, both natures being united in him: and hence they became efficacious to answer the purposes for which they were endured; and which he endured, not for himself, nor for angels, but for chosen men, sinners, and ungodly persons; in order to make peace and reconciliation for them, procure the pardon of their sins, obtain eternal redemption for them, deliver them from all evil, and from all enemies, and bring them nigh to God: and what he suffered were no other than what had been foretold in the writings of the Old Testament, which all along represent the Messiah as a suffering one; and in particular that he should suffer in his character, be reproached, and accounted a worm, and no man, ( Isaiah 53:3 ) ( Psalms 22:6 ) ( 59:9 ) and in his soul and body, and be put to death and buried, as the above prophecies referred to show; the several circumstances leading on to, or attending his sufferings and death, are distinctly expressed; as the betraying him by one of his disciples, selling him for thirty pieces of silver, his being forsaken by all his disciples, his crucifixion between two thieves, the parting of his garments, giving him gall and vinegar to drink, and the piercing his side with a spear, ( Psalms 41:9 ) ( Zechariah 11:12 Zechariah 11:13 ) ( Zechariah 13:7 ) ( Isaiah 53:12 ) ( Psalms 22:18 ) ( 69:21 ) ( Zechariah 12:10 ) . And to this agreed the doctrine of the apostle, who taught that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ that was to come, and that he had suffered all that Moses and the prophets did say should come upon him: but these were not the present sentiments of the Jews, who expected the Messiah to be a temporal Prince and Saviour, and to live in great outward prosperity, and for ever.

And that he should be the first that should rise from the dead:
by his own power, and to an immortal life, as Jesus did; and so is the firstborn from the dead, and the first fruits of them that slept: a type of this, in the deliverance of Isaac, is recorded by Moses in ( Genesis 22:12-14 ) compared with ( Hebrews 11:19 ) and the thing itself is foretold by many of the prophets, ( Psalms 16:10 ) ( Isaiah 26:19 ) ( Hosea 6:2 ) .

and should show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles:
in his own person to the people of the Jews, and by his apostles to the Gentiles. In the writings of Moses he is spoken of as the great prophet God would raise up in Israel, to whom they should hearken; and as the Shiloh to whom the gathering of the people should be, ( Deuteronomy 17:15 ) ( Genesis 49:10 ) and that he should be a light to both Jews and Gentiles, through the ministration of the Gospel, is said by the prophets, ( Isaiah 9:2 ) ( 42:6 ) ( 49:6 ) and these were the things which the apostle asserted in his ministry, in perfect agreement with those writings.

Acts 26:23 In-Context

21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.
22 To this day I have had help from God, and so I stand here, testifying to both small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would take place:
23 that the Messiah must suffer, and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles."
24 While he was making this defense, Festus exclaimed, "You are out of your mind, Paul! Too much learning is driving you insane!"
25 But Paul said, "I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth.

Footnotes 1