My Journal for Today: We must remember, when looking at this passage today, that many in the Greek culture, to whom Paul was addressing this epistle, had trouble believing in Christ’s bodily resurrection because of Greek dualism, which taught that anything in the physical realm was evil. Therefore, a bodily resurrection would be repugnant to such seekers after faith in Corinth. So, in today’s verse, Paul proclaimed (i.e., “preached”) from the standpoint of personal eye-witness testimony, essentially saying that no one could counter his own claim of seeing Jesus as the risen Christ. Paul knew it was true and he literally staked his life on it (as we know from his historical martyrdom).
In point of fact, if one cannot – or will not – believe that Christ was dead and now lives, there would be no hope for that one to rise again to be eternally with Christ after his/her own death. All of Christianity rests on this doctrine of belief in the “gospel truth” as we know it. So, as you would have observed, if you’ve been reading my devotionals this month, the “resurrection” is the baseline, foundational doctrine of Christianity. If one pulls out that pin from the structure of our faith and discards it, faith in Christ comes crashing down as meaningless.
However, Christ did die; and praise His Name, He did rise again … as history in the Bible records over 500 witnesses gave testimony [see 1st Cor. 15: 6]. A brilliant former Christian hater like Saul of Tarsus could not have believed in the risen Christ and changed the way he did to become the Apostle Paul unless the evidence was incontrovertible, as he witnesses in today’s verse. And we can rest our faith – as do I – on the biblical and historical evidence we have available. Truth from the past and as the very word of God proclaims, as did Paul in today’s passage, that Christ is risen!
I may never have seen the risen Christ as did His disciples, those 500+ witnesses, and the Apostle Paul, but no one can say to me that I haven’t seen the effects of life transformation that has taken place in the life of one who, like Paul, used to be a Christian hater and, also who, like Paul, has become one who lives (and would die) to share the Lord with others. And I think of men, far more intellectual than I, … former atheist thinkers like former scientist and now Christian apologist, Josh McDowell, British author, C.S. Lewis, and lawyer/journalist, Lee Strobel, … all brilliant men who decided to examine the historical data and came to the conclusion that Jesus of Nazareth did – IN FACT – die and was raised from the dead. And like yours truly, they all finally and inexorably put their faith in the doctrine of the resurrection; and they all, like me, saw their lives become transformed by that belief.
Christ does live in my witness; and my faith in Him allows Him to live in me! And if you’re reading this, I pray that you just said, “Amen, Bill !!!”
My Prayer Today: HALLELUJAH! HE LIVES!! Amen
Sunday, April 24, 2011
April 24, 2008 … Resurrection – A Belief that Matters
Passage of the Day: 1st Corinthian 15: 12 … But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?