Three Proofs of the Resurrection

As Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, he was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev’s widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldie … More

Resurrection

“Moreover” tells us that Paul has finished his answers to the Corinthians’ questions, and he now goes on to a new subject. The first eleven verses present the Gospel message and evidence for its truthfulness. Paul gives three proofs to his readers that Jesus has indeed been raised from the dead:

  1. Their salvation (vv. 1,2): Paul had preached the Gospel (which included Christ’s resurrection) and their faith had transformed their lives. A dead savior cannot save anybody.
  2. The Old Testament Scriptures (vv. 3,4): The Old Testament declared Jesus’ resurrection on the third day in the experience of Jonah. Other proof texts are Acts 2:25-28; 13:32-33.
  3. The fact that He was seen by many witnesses (vv. 5-11): Peter saw Him, the disciples saw Him collectively (v. 5). Five hundred plus people saw Him at the same time (v. 6) and James, Jesus’ half-brother saw Him (v. 7). The greatest witness of the resurrection was Paul himself who had been one of the greatest persecutors the Church had ever known.

The apostle Paul has not yet recovered from the “wonder of it all” that he should be elevated to the honor and office of apostleship. In humility he did not magnify his own personal credentials, but only the sovereign grace of God as he states; “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (v. 10). The intent of the apostle is not to boast but to magnify the grace of God.

Application

True humility is not convincing myself that I am worthless, but recognizing God’s work in me. Paul shares how God wants to accomplish many things through my life, but only because of His mercy and not because I deserve anything.

I Corinthians 15:1-11 (English Standard Version)

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 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. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

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