THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS
Victorious One, by your Word and Spirit, enlighten my understanding of you, purify my desires, and strengthen every right purpose in me.
Read 1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-11
The Resurrection of Christ
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[a]: 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,[b] 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.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow did you come to believe in Jesus’ resurrection? Where have you seen his presence at work in your life since you believed?
Paul reminded the Corinthians of the importance of the gospel and of holding on to it (vs 1,2). Verses 3 and 4 feel like a statement of faith. What four things does Paul indicate are essential beliefs for Christians? The resurrection of Jesus is crucial to the significance of the other events, as the rest of 1 Corinthians 15 goes on to show. Why do you think Paul mentions that many of those who saw the risen Jesus were still alive at the time he was writing (v 6)?
Notice how Paul emphasizes that these things happened ‘according to the Scriptures’ (vs 3,4). The Corinthians needed to understand that Jesus’ resurrection was not the start of the story. It is part of a longer story beginning with the creation at the start of the Old Testament. It stretches into the future. Jesus’ death and resurrection are part of God’s plan. Paul’s words indicate that it will continue to have an impact on the Corinthians’ experience of Jesus throughout their lives (and ours too).
We see Paul’s own experience of meeting the risen Jesus, and the impact it had on his life (vs 8,9). He was aware of his own past and unworthiness (v 9), and emphasizes how God’s grace has worked in his life and ministry (v 10). His testimony is a powerful reminder that none of us is beyond God’s grace, whatever is in our past.
In what ways do you speak about God’s grace at work in your life when you talk about him with others?
Lord Jesus, when I think of your resurrection I am filled with the joy of my salvation. I praise you for the gospel of good news.
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