21 June 2018

1 Corinthians 15
Proverbs 22

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 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.

1 Corinthians 15: 3-6

Paul turns his focus now onto the importance of the resurrection, indicating that if Jesus was not resurrected then the Christian faith is a fake and is useless. Paul starts off the chapter with the evidence that the resurrection of Jesus was an historical event that can be investigated. It seems that even in the Corinthian church there were some who believed that there was no resurrection of the dead. Paul seems to say that it’s pointless being in the church if that is what they thought, and if they didn’t believe that Jesus was resurrected, to go and find out for themselves.

Paul’s evidence is pretty strong, in that he does not only refer to two witnesses that the Corinthians can engage with to prove the resurrection. He says if they doubted his testimony then they should go and speak to Peter or the other disciples, or even go and speak to James, the brother of Jesus who headed up the church in Jerusalem; and if that was not enough proof there were around five hundred others who could provide proof. Travelling to Jerusalem to test this evidence may not have been an easy thing to do; however Corinth was an important trade city that would have had many traders who would have gone to Jerusalem, who could have tested Paul’s claims.

Interestingly, today there are great testimonies of atheists who were looking to disprove the resurrection, who subsequently came to faith in Jesus. Lee Stroebel, who wrote the book ‘The Case for Christ’ that was depicted in film last year, is a good example of this. As Christians, there is more than enough evidence to support our faith. However, more importantly, we have the Spirit of Christ within us that testifies to the truth of the gospel, to the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection. What an amazing God we serve, who blesses us with a faith that is certain.

Prayer based on Proverbs 22

Father God help us to pay attention to the wisdom of Paul and of those who teach Your word. Plant Your word deep within us, so that our trust may be completely in You. Guide us each day by your Holy Spirit to seek Your truth and to be honest and truthful to those who we interact with daily. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.