1 Corinthians 15:5-8 And that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. NKJV
Paul now bears witness to the reality of the Resurrection from the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ by the eyewitness accounts of people who spoke with Him and even ate with Him after He was raised from the dead. The reality of Jesus Christ coming back to life from being dead has always been attacked by the devil and it is one of the primary ways he works on sinners to keep them from forgiveness of sin through Christ death, burial, and resurrection, for the devil knows that if he can influence sinful human beings to wonder and then to consider and then to believe that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is merely a mythical story albeit a good story but just that a story, then he can work to convince the majority of humanity that this life is all that there is and all that matters, so one must live in such a way to get, gain, and gratify all of the fleshly desires this life has to offer.
Although Paul did not live in our so-called modern times, he was aware even then that the evidence or proof of Christ Resurrection needed to be declared so that sinners could be confronted with the hard fact or hard reality or hard truth that this Jesus will be their judge in the last day or at the moment of their own physical death as the Apostle Peter proclaimed on the day of Pentecost in this manner, “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:29-32).
Paul on his very first missionary journey spoke boldly and primarily of Christ Resurrection as he presented the gospel or good news to the Jews in the synagogue in Antioch with these words, “And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today I have begotten You.’ As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give You the holy and sure blessings of David.’ Therefore He also says in another Psalm, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep/died, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay; but He whom God raised did not undergo decay” (Acts 13:32-37).
And also Paul declared this truth to the large crowd of Gentiles at Mars Hill who were skeptics to put it mildly Acts 17:22-34. Paul declares that Peter and the other Apostles gazed upon our Lord Jesus Christ in His Resurrected Body intently or with a long fixed look at Him bearing witness to something remarkable and went out in every place testifying to the truth of His Resurrection from death. One of the twelve the Apostle John wrote using the English word showed speaking of our Lord Jesus being risen from the dead in John 21:14 and this word is translated by the Greek word phaneroo which means to make manifest or visible or to show one’s self, or to appear and be plainly recognized. Peter, John, and the other Apostles were not dreaming nor did they have a vision but in fact they saw plainly our Lord Jesus Christ in flesh and bone as we documented in the last study from Luke 24:36-39. Paul confirmed with a greater resource of evidence or proof by declaring that our Lord Jesus Christ was seen or gazed upon by more than 500 brethren at one time and this reality and truth (from the Eternal Scripture) debunks that only the Apostles saw the Risen Christ, for we have had this declaration from Paul for centuries now and yet it is still widely held to that only the Apostles (the Twelve) saw the Resurrected Risen Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, this is what makes them so much more different than believers of future generations. The only distinction between the Apostles and any other true believer of any generation is that they were our Lord Jesus’ first disciples and this is why they will be honored so as our Lord Jesus declared to them in Matthew 19:28, again this is the only reason. Do you think Charles Spurgeon (despite his ongoing depression) was held in lower regard to our Lord Jesus Christ than Paul, Peter, or John or Watchman Nee who published many books expounding the Bible and he established churches throughout China and held many conferences to train Bible students and church workers and then spent the last 20 years of his life in prison in China for his faith, I tell you they were not and the sermons preached through these men and the books and commentaries written by these men, etc. bear witness to that reality and truth because our Lord Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
“Notice that the Resurrection was primarily not a doctrine but a fact. It is not necessary to argue it, but simply to say that Christ arose, therefore all will arise, because Christ is the Son of Man. Other religions rest on foundations of philosophy and metaphysics, but the empty grave in Joseph’s garden is the keystone of the arch. If that cannot be maintained, as it was in the primitive Church, the whole superstructure crumbles like a mass of clouds. But it can be maintained. There is even more evidence for it than for any fact of modern history. Men may as soon refuse to believe in the battle of Waterloo as in our Lord’s Resurrection.” F. B. Meyer
“The greatest negative in the universe is the Cross, for with it God wiped out everything that was not of Himself: the greatest positive in the universe is the Resurrection, for through it God brought into being all. Christ is the Son of God who died for the redemption of sinners and Resurrected after three days. This is the greatest truth in the universe. I die because of my belief in Christ.” Watchman Nee
“The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ physically from that tomb is the guarantee of our physical resurrection from the grave also, but more important than it guaranteeing our physical resurrection, it is the Divine Seed that produces our spiritual resurrection from being dead in our trespasses and sins and without our Lord’s Resurrection no human being could ever be saved.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…