Read: 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
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.
Thanks to the social distancing, I listened and watched at least part of more than a half dozen Easter services from one coast to the other. One service featured an interview with Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Easter, A Journalist Investigates Evidence for the Resurrection. When asked to summarize his findings, Strobel responded with what he referred to as the Four E’s.
- Execution: The early Christian creed Paul mentions in the verses above, confirm what is known by both the supporters and enemies of Christ. He was publicly crucified and died.
- Early: Some skeptics have maintained that the story of the resurrection was a legend developed long after all of the eyewitnesses of risen Christ were long gone, but read the passage above. Paul’s words were written roughly thirty years after Christ’s death and resurrection and so there wasn’t time to develop as a legend.
- Empty: The tomb where Jesus was laid to rest was empty on the third day. Followers know that He is risen, but even the enemies of Christ acknowledged the tomb was empty and created their own version of events as an attempted coverup (Matthew 28:11-15)
- Eyewitnesses: In the passage above, Paul names specific people who could be called as eyewitnesses.
Each year around Easter, I review 1 Corinthians 15, hoping it will encourage and strengthen the faith of those who read along with these daily thoughts. Want to read more? Check out Strobel’s The Case for Easter here.