1 Corinthians 15:1-11
15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
I love how Paul wants to be clear that the resurrection is rock-bottom reality for the Christian. It isn’t a strange idea that he’s dreamed up himself. He and all the others tell the same story. This was the message that Paul announced wherever he went, and it was this message that carried God’s power and brought people, by the Spirit, into a living knowledge and love of Jesus, into the kingdom of God. The only point in being a Christian at all is if this message continues to be the solid ground on which you stand.
The players in this story are Jesus and His shameful death, His burial, His resurrection on the third day, the people who saw him—Cephas, the Twelve, five hundred at once, James (Jesus’ own brother). Now that is a cohort of witnesses – and if this were to be prosecuted in a court of law today on the basis of the number of witnesses alone this is a compelling story – let alone it is true!!!
Father may we rest on the power of the resurrection in our lives – knowing that it is true beyond argument and powerful beyond imagining!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta