“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” 1 Corinthians 15:3b-8
The revelation of who Jesus was and what He accomplished was not disclosed to one person only, but to hundreds. Paul was even so bold as to publish specific names of people in order that they would all be able to corroborate each other’s testimonies. He was not appealing to some vague or strange group of people, but to real people who had nothing to gain from claiming they had seen the resurrected Christ. Not only did they have nothing to gain, but also everything to lose. In fact, some would go on to lose everything, even their own lives, as a result of their testimony.
If all of the eye witness accounts of the risen Christ were put together it appears there were at least twelve occasions when He appeared to hundreds of people over the thirty-seven day period between His resurrection and ascension. Evidence like this simply doesn’t exist for myths, legends and conspiracy theories. Historical events have been confirmed as truth on much less evidence than there is for the gospel.
But as much as this evidence proves the historical veracity of the gospel, Paul knew it wasn’t the most effective evidence of the power of the gospel today. Join us on Sunday as we open 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 for a message titled “The Proof of the Gospel” where Paul will reveal that the greatest evidence for the reality of the gospel today is the transformed life.
God bless you all and hope to see you there!