Sunday, April 4, 2010

He Is Risen! Indeed!

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV)

He is risen!! According to the scriptures. And, the preceding verse is the result of His resurrection.

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:2 KJV)

The presentation Paul makes in this chapter is the very center of Christianity, yet we seldom pay attention to it.

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (1 Corinthians 15:14 KJV)

Resurrection is not a myth. Christ died in front of witnesses. He was buried by witnesses. The empty tomb was seen by witnesses. But that is not sufficient evidence. Romans were ready to swear that the body had been taken by His followers.

So, we needed more witnesses.

And that he was seen of Cephas,
then of the twelve:
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
After that, he was seen of James;
then of all the apostles.
And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
(1 Corinthians 15:5-8 KJV)

Paul was calling upon the Corinthians to believe the report of men they could speak to, men who visited their church, who had walked with and talked with Christ after His resurrection. His rhetorical question rings with truth:

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55 KJV)

From Matthew to Revelation, His story is told over and over again by men in an effort to reach men. Yet mankind has problems accepting that we are …:

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)

I stand before men today making Thomas’ statement and I will stand before Him then, saying the same.

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (John 20:28 KJV)

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