By Richard Aegerter
The Moore American
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?
Being a martyr doesn’t mean one is right but it does mean one thinks he is right. The apostles suffered all kinds of injustices and eventually death in order to tell the story. They had nothing to gain by telling a lie. We can believe Christ is alive and can give us eternal life.
Hebrews 4:14 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.”
Under the Law of Moses, God chose the tribe of Levi as the priestly tribe. Those from other tribes were not permitted to serve at the altar. It was a holy service and to violate it was to invite death.
Priests presided for God and in behalf of men. One of their chief duties was to offer sacrifices. Christ made one offering for sin (Hebrews 10:12). He offered himself by dying on the cross.
It is bold for any man to put himself in a position to make offerings in behalf of men. I have seen books which speak of the “sacrifice of the Mass.” The Bible is absent of any such language. These same books claim that Christ is sacrificed daily on a thousand altars. This, too, is foreign to the scriptures. There was only one offering for sin, Hebrews 10:14, “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” In response, it has been argued that there was one offering, Christ, but it is made daily.
The Bible foresees all such error of men. There is not only one offering, but that one offering was made only once. Hebrews 7:27, “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.”
In the Christian age there is no special priesthood among men. Every Christian is a priest serving under Christ, his high priest. We constitute a spiritual house and are a holy priesthood. 1 Peter 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”