1Co 15:3-6 “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: 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.”
Paul is not merely recounting the chronological order of how he delivered (or preached – see v. 1) the gospel unto them. He is declaring the most basic and powerful points of the good news of Jesus Christ. This was not just Paul’s thinking, but what he has received from the Holy Spirit.
I realize that there are different ways of looking at some scriptures. Some can be applied to eternity, some to God’s kingdom here, and some to both. Brethren may not always view these scriptures in the same light. Contrary to popular belief, we can disagree on some things and still be brothers and sisters in Christ.
However, the items that Paul sets for here as being “first” are basic to the very nature and purpose of God. There is no room for a different view of these things according to God’s word. Jesus Christ died for our sins just like the scriptures declared that He would (see Isaiah, chapter 53). He did not try to die for sins; He did not die for our sins if we will accept that He did; He died for our sins!
Because He died for our sins, we stand before God the Father free from those sins. He sees us only through the sinless perfection and imputed righteousness of His only begotten Son. There is no remedy for sin outside of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. All power in heaven and earth is His (Mat 28:18).
Jesus was buried as the scripture foreshadowed in the story of Jonah (Jon 1:17, Mat 12:40). He rose from the dead on the third day, again as foreshadowed in the scripture. His resurrection was God’s evidence to us that the sacrifice of His son was acceptable to Him. He also rose as our representative by which we are assured of the resurrection.
Those to whom Paul wrote in that day were not left to wonder about the truth of his preaching. He named a number of disciples, many of whom were still alive at that time. They had living witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus.
Precious child of God, we still today have a living witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That witness is the Holy Ghost living in our hearts and assuring us of the truth of this wonderful gospel. We can see this witness in our lives and the lives of those around us who have been changed in ways the world has no excuse or reason for.
May God always grant us the peace of knowing the immutable truth as it is in Christ Jesus our Lord!