A reflection on 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.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
Sometimes it can be hard to rate things in their importance or priority. It might be whether to choose to do one thing with our time or something else. With two invitations to an event on the same weekend which one should take priority? I personally struggle with the very important decision in a food court or a buffet – given so much choice, so many delicious options, which one should I choose?
But there are some things that just take priority, that are so important you wouldn’t want to give it a miss for anything and wouldn’t want to get it wrong. Paul says this is what the gospel is. The message of good news is of first importance.
And then he tells us what this message is: ‘Christ died for our sins’… ‘he was buried’… ‘he was raised on the third day’ and that all of this is in agreement with what was written thousands of years earlier in God’s Word and in agreement with what hundreds of witnesses saw (who were still alive when Paul wrote this!), when they saw the risen Lord Jesus.
For Paul, a man who was radically changed by having an encounter with the risen Lord Jesus and for those hundreds of witnesses who also saw Jesus risen you can see why this message is of greatest importance. There is no comparing it with anything else. The very Son of God died on a cross to bring forgiveness of all our sins and offenses toward God! He died for us, was buried and rose – as God’s Word had said would happen. If that isn’t of first importance and of greatest value – than I don’t know what is!