Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.
I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.
But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
It is Easter! He is risen! Alleluia!
I love our passage this morning. Paul testifies to the power of the resurrection. Paul makes it clear that the resurrection did indeed happen. How does he do this? He speaks about those who saw first hand that Jesus rose from the dead. It is important to remember that Jesus in fact died – and that he was raised. This is a key point of Christian doctrine. Paul tells how Jesus appeared to many people following his resurrection, but most importantly, Jesus appeared to Paul – who was persecuting the church. Paul had a face-to-face encounter with the risen Jesus and his life was changed completely.
That is important to remember – when we have an encounter with the risen Jesus – a real face-to-face encounter – we will be changed! We will be made new! We don’t do this on our own, but through the power of God’s grace!
He is Risen!