Archive for February 21st, 2020

1 Corinthians 15:6-8

In 1 Corinthians 15:6-8 Paul is telling the church what happened as part of the gospel story. Just to be sure we understand the gospel, it is not insightful teaching or good advice. At the core of the gospel are things that happened – actual, real, historical events. The gospel isn’t a matter of religious opinions, stories, or fairy tales; it is about real historical events. The most important event of all is that Jesus died on the Cross. Dead. Real dead. And his body was removed from that Cross and put into a tomb where it stayed for three days before being resurrected and returning to life.

It is important to remember that our sins were responsible for the death of Jesus. He did not die for a political cause, or as an enemy of the state, or for someone’s envy. Jesus died for our sins. Jesus did not die as a mere martyr for a cause. He took our sin and carried it into death that we might be able to be set free from the penalty of sin which is eternal separation from God. So this is a big deal and the very foundation of our salvation through Christ. Jesus took our punishment for sin on the cross, and remained a perfect Savior through the whole ordeal – proven by His resurrection. That is the foundation of the gospel. His death, burial and resurrection created a way for you and me to be set free from our sin.

Yesterday we saw that Jesus appeared to a few, primarily His Apostles. That would have been plenty to validate His resurrection. But it wasn’t a small group that experienced the risen Christ. “Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” Jesus’ work for us didn’t just come out of thin air; it was planned from all eternity and described prophetically in the Scriptures. The resurrection fulfilled what had been prophesied long before.

No one saw the actual resurrection of Jesus. No one was present in the tomb with Him when His body transformed into a resurrection body. However, many people saw the resurrected Jesus. And after Peter and then the Twelve, Jesus shows up in front of over 500 people to validate the gospel story. This wasn’t something made up. Jesus rose from the grave and showed Himself to over five hundred folks. And it went further as he appeared to all the apostles. Jesus met with many groups of apostles after the resurrection. These meetings were important in proving to the disciples that Jesus was who He said He was. And finally Paul gives his own testimony to the gospel and Jesus resurrection. Lots of people experienced the risen Christ!

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