Evangelii = The Gospel in Latin
PART FIVE OF SIX
What Paul said about Jesus: “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).
There are many theological implications in this passage. Paul names four things that sum up events from the gospel narrative: the crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and the appearances of the risen Christ. The main thing to focus on today are the witnesses to the risen Christ.
Let’s return to our courtroom scene from the beginning of the week. What type of evidences do attorneys present to a jury? I am no legal expert, but I came up with a few: there is real evidence (such as a weapon), demonstrative evidence (a model or theory about what likely happened), documentary evidence (such as a letter or email), DNA or forensic evidence.
But one of the most important evidences that has stood the test of time is eyewitness testimony.
Now if there was a trial held after the resurrection of Jesus, an attorney would call Peter to the stand, then the twelve, then five hundred, then James, then all the apostles (a group larger than twelve), then Paul.
By conservative accounts, that is at least 525 witnesses.
Imagine a trial where 525 witnesses took the stand….As a juror, is there any way you could dispute such overwhelming evidence? In a trial, one eyewitness sometime convicts. There are people sitting on death row convicted based on the testimony of one eyewitness. Two or three witnesses would be a slam dunk. But 525?
We know Jesus lived and many saw Him crucified. And then over 525 people were witness to the Resurrected Christ. Many people over the last 2,000 years have tried to dispute the claims of Christ and His resurrection. Yet they cannot do it. In fact, many such as Lee Strobel have come to faith trying to disprove Christ.
Can Jesus be convicted as the King of your heart?
Just for today, please examine the evidence.
Tune in tomorrow for Part Six……