Studies in 1 & 2 Corinthians
11. 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 - Christ Was Raised
Every spring, Easter reminds Christians that Jesus rose from the dead. His resurrection was certainly good news for him, and we rejoice that our Friend lives again. But Easter tells us more than that — it tells us something about our life, too.
A core component of the gospel
Paul wrote his letter to the church at Corinth to address several problems and questions that the members had. In chapter 15, he responds to the idea that no one will be resurrected from the dead.
Paul begins with a teaching the people had already accepted: “I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you” (verses 1-2).
Since Paul is focusing on the resurrection, he catalogs the eyewitness evidence: “He appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born” (vv. 5-8).
We have all seen him, Paul is saying, and you can verify that for yourself, because most of those witnesses are still alive. In verses 9-10 he digresses about his calling as an apostle; then he concludes: “This is what we preach, and this is what you believed” (v. 11).
Author: Michael Morrison, PhD