And killed the Prince of life - Τον αρχηγον της ζωης, The author of this life: not only implying that all life proceeds from Jesus Christ as its source, but that the life-giving influence of that religion which they were now proclaiming came all through him. Αρχηγος signifies a prime leader or author, a captain, from αρχη, the beginning, head, or chief; and αγω, I lead. In Hebrews 2:10, Christ is called Αρχηγος της σωτηριας, the Captain of salvation. He teaches the doctrine of life and salvation, leads the way in which men should walk, and has purchased the eternal life and glory which are to be enjoyed at the end of the way. So the Jews preferred a son of death, a destroyer of life, to the Author and Procurer of life and immortality!
Whereof we are witnesses - They had now wrought a most striking miracle in the name of Christ, and immediately proposed themselves as witnesses of his resurrection from the dead; the miracle which they had thus wrought being an unimpeachable proof of this resurrection.
And killed the Prince of life - The word rendered “prince” denotes properly “a military leader or commander.” Hence, in Hebrews 2:10, it is translated “captain:” “It became him to make the “Captain of their salvation” perfect through sufferings.” As a captain or commander leads on to victory and is said to obtain it, so the word comes to denote one who is the “cause,” the “author,” the “procurer,” etc. In this sense it is used, Acts 5:31, “Him hath God exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel,” etc. In Hebrews 12:2 it is properly rendered author, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” The word “author,” or “giver,” would express the meaning of the word here. It also implies that he has dominion over life; an idea, indeed, which is essentially connected with that of his being the author of it. The word “life” here is used in a large sense, as denoting “all manner of life.” In this sense it is used in reference to Christ in John 1:4, “In him was life.” Compare John 5:26; 1 John 5:11; 1 Corinthians 15:45. Jesus is here called the Prince of life in contrast with him whom the Jews demanded in his place, Barabbas. He was a murderer Luke 23:19; Mark 15:7, one who had destroyed life, and yet they demanded that he whose character it was to destroy life should be released, and the Author of life be put to death.
Satan will seek to entice you to enter into the paths of sin, promising that some wonderful good will result from the transgression of God's law, but he is a deceiver. He would only work your ruin.... Christ came to break the rule of the evil one.... Man was so weakened through transgression that he did not possess sufficient moral power to turn from the service of Satan to the service of the only true God; but Jesus, the Prince of life, to whom is committed “all power in heaven and earth,” will impart to every soul who desires salvation the strength necessary to overcome the enemy of all righteousness.42 TMK 125.4Read in context »
But Peter was converted, and then after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ when before the rulers, he boldly declared for Jesus, and charged the rulers with these words: “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life.” There Peter shows himself entirely a different man after his conversion than the self-confident, boasting Peter prior to his conversion. I presented before them the voice of the world, the enemies of Christ, saying to Christ's messengers, “Ye should not teach in this name” and “bring this Man's blood upon us.” Did this threatening succeed? did it make cowards of the witnesses of Christ? No; they proclaimed the message given them of God; and they were shut up in prison, and God sent His angel to release them. The angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors and brought them forth, and said, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” This voice from the heavenly angels was directly opposite to that voice from the authorities, and which should they obey? “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him. When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.” Then Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, pleaded in behalf of the apostles, and his words prevailed. Well, this is a little part of the words the Lord gave me to speak to the people. TM 268.1
The words given me were of that character that I knew the people needed, and which would benefit them if they would hear. One discourse was upon how to treat those united with us in church capacity if they erred. They were not to permit their minds to be affected to action by the words of the Lord's enemies against His children. If complaints or murmurings or charges are made they must study in Christ's school as to the course to be pursued toward the ones of whom complaints are made. Tell the matter between him and thee alone, and if he will not hear, then take two or three others; if he will not hear these, tell it to the church. TM 269.1Read in context »
Are we on the side of those who refuse to be loyal to God? They have no interest in knowing God. They reject the divine Son of God, the personification of all human goodness. They place themselves with those who, although no fault could be preferred against Christ, chose instead a thief and a murderer. This testifies to the moral taste of the world. Shall we be on the side of the world, or on the side of Christ, who declared, “I have kept My Father's commandments”? TM 138.1
The word of Jehovah will stand forever. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.... He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” TM 138.2Read in context »
The enemies of the disciples could not but be convinced that Christ had risen from the dead. The evidence was too clear to be doubted. Nevertheless, they hardened their hearts, refusing to repent of the terrible deed they had committed in putting Jesus to death. Abundant evidence that the apostles were speaking and acting under divine inspiration had been given the Jewish rulers, but they firmly resisted the message of truth. Christ had not come in the manner that they expected, and though at times they had been convinced that He was the Son of God, yet they had stifled conviction, and crucified Him. In mercy God gave them still further evidence, and now another opportunity was granted them to turn to Him. He sent the disciples to tell them that they had killed the Prince of life, and in this terrible charge He gave them another call to repentance. But feeling secure in their own righteousness, the Jewish teachers refused to admit that the men charging them with crucifying Christ were speaking by the direction of the Holy Spirit. AA 61.1
Having committed themselves to a course of opposition to Christ, every act of resistance became to the priests an additional incentive to pursue the same course. Their obstinacy became more and more determined. It was not that they could not yield; they could, but would not. It was not alone because they were guilty and deserving of death, not alone because they had put to death the Son of God, that they were cut off from salvation; it was because they armed themselves with opposition to God. They persistently rejected light and stifled the convictions of the Spirit. The influence that controls the children of disobedience worked in them, leading them to abuse the men through whom God was working. The malignity of their rebellion was intensified by each successive act of resistance against God and the message He had given His servants to declare. Every day, in their refusal to repent, the Jewish leaders took up their rebellion afresh, preparing to reap that which they had sown. AA 61.2
The wrath of God is not declared against unrepentant sinners merely because of the sins they have committed, but because, when called to repent, they choose to continue in resistance, repeating the sins of the past in defiance of the light given them. If the Jewish leaders had submitted to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, they would have been pardoned; but they were determined not to yield. In the same way, the sinner, by continued resistance, places himself where the Holy Spirit cannot influence him. AA 62.1Read in context »