Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Edifier du Jour-1 Corinthians 15:1-8
1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
One of the details of Christ's resurrection that often gets overlooked is His various appearances after His death. Elvis' got nuttin' on this dude. One could write off the ramblings of a few people who claim to have seen a dead preacher, but the large numbers point to something bigger. You have hundreds of people who are, from a secular vantage-point, willing to lay their lives on the line for a hallucination. The potent fact is that they did lay their lives on the line; legend has John being the only disciple who died of natural causes. If all the sightings Paul mentions were all part of group hysteria, it was darn potent group hysteria. To this day, you have people comparably taken by this meme, willing to alter their lives, to pick up everything, and die if need be, to serve a dead Middle Eastern carpenter-turned-prophet who died almost two millennia ago. Either that's one potent myth, as the secular world would like us to believe, or that the first-century nail-slammer in question isn't a was but an is. For like those people Paul mentioned, many of us, including myself, believe that Jesus is alive and well, having died for all our sins and risen about 40 hours later. Meme or risen savior? I report, you decide.

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