MOORE — Today we will continue to study the great lessons of the teachings of Christ.
Paul writes to the church in Corinth (that he established on his second missionary journey) and tells them that “now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20).
Mankind has an inherent desire to live again. To most people it is abhorrent to think of ceasing to exist. Centuries before the coming of Christ, Job asked, “If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (Job 14:14). We do not have to speculate. Christ said, “I am the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25).
When the women went early on the first day of the week to the tomb where Jesus had been buried, an angel said to them, “He is not here: for he is risen” (Matthew 28:6).
Paul tells us that the gospel is centered in the fact that Christ died, was buried and rose again the third day in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. He was seen of more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom were still alive when Paul wrote this in 1 Corinthians 15:5-7. This is not a myth. Myths rise out of the obscure past. This story was told and widely circulated in the lifetime of those who were witnesses. It was thoroughly authenticated.
Admittedly, the resurrection story is an astounding story, but it is a true story. Why would anyone believe such an unlikely story? You and I are almost 20th centuries removed from the event. We are not witnesses. The best we can do is examine the evidence. Those on the scene and who were closest to Christ saw him die and later saw him alive and even spent 40 days with him after the resurrection. They could not be deceived. They knew the story was true or they knew it was a lie. If they said he was alive again, then he was and we can believe it. Why?