Bible Studies for Life

with Becky Brown

Sunday,  April 12

The Truth of the Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:1-8

The Gospel story is a three-legged stool. One leg exemplifies for us the sinless life of Jesus. One leg displays before us the substitutionary death of Jesus. One leg declares to us the victorious resurrection of Jesus. Without the strength of all three “legs,” we have no foundation on which to stand.

The lives and writings of the Old Testament patriarchs, psalmists, prophets, priests, judges, and kings were woven together through Scripture by The Holy Spirit to prepare the world for Jesus. Together, they declared, “Jesus is coming!” The four Gospel writers combined seamlessly to announce that what the Old Testament had prophesied had now been fulfilled. Together, they all proclaimed, “Jesus came! Jesus lived! Jesus gave His life! Jesus died and was buried! Jesus rose again and conquered death forever! Jesus is alive forevermore! Believe this and live with Him eternally!” The Book of Acts and the letters and the Book of The Revelation were all written within sixty years after Calvary’s Cross. They present to us the FACT of the resurrection. They collaborate to prove the TRUTH of the resurrection. They testify to the EFFECT of the resurrection on the disciples and describe the exponential growth of the early church.

On this Resurrection Sunday, from our various locations of isolation and quarantine against this present COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, let us stand together (and YES, I mean YOU and ME!) right at this moment and declare: “JESUS IS ALIVE!” We may not be able to BE together today, but we can STAND together today.

Way back last century, a little four-year-old friend in New Orleans told me this in Vacation Bible School: “Miss Bec, Jeezis diddent stay dead cause one Sunday mowanin, His Daddy juss woked Him up!” Ever since I heard those words of childlike faith, I have not needed any other explanation or confirmation of what happened inside that Garden Tomb belonging to and borrowed from Joseph of Arimathea.

The Apostle Paul wrote two letters to the people in Greece who were living in the city of Corinth. They needed to hear today’s message about the resurrection. They needed to have that truth confirmed to them in those early days of the birth of the church. They were playing tag with the devil and losing. Their poisonous culture was a mirror image of ours in 2020. We need the same message today!

This same Paul had written to the region of Galatia saying, “This letter is from Paul, an apostle not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father Who raised Him from the dead.” This same Paul had written to the church at Ephesus saying, “…these things are written in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.”

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul made three declarations: Christ died. Christ was resurrected. Christ was seen alive by many people. One thing is certain: Jesus was SEEN by many because He chose to APPEAR to many.

Paul was convinced of the fact of the resurrection. Paul also proclaimed the power of the resurrection. He lived in that power. He offered that power to others on three missionary journeys. He declared that power to the church at Antioch in Syria. After faithfully serving there, Paul was commissioned by and dispatched from that church in Acts 13. Paul staked his whole life, ministry, and eternity on the truth of the resurrection. His final Mediterranean cruise was to Rome, not to preach but to perish with resurrection hope.   

Brown is staff evangelist, First Church, Richland.