April 28 2019
In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul writes:
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures… (1 Cor. 15:3-4)”
But, that’s not the end of Paul’s list of things he considered of first importance. Verse five continues with an “and.”
“…and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep (1 Cor. 15:5-6).”
Jesus didn’t just leave a note at the empty tomb that said, “Risen. Gone back to the Father. See you soon!”
“He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).”
John’s gospel includes four of these appearances, when Jesus revealed himself first to Mary Magdalene, then to the disciples, then to Thomas, and finally to Peter. We will spend the next four Sundays looking at each of these encounters, leading up to a fifth Sunday when we’ll consider Jesus’ glorious ascension and its significance for the Christian life.
Kenny Clark will be preaching this Sunday from John 20:11-18 and Walt Harrah will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And pray for all who will be at Grace for these services.
John says he wrote these accounts down “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Pray that God would call some from death to life through the preaching of these passages and, for the first time, believe that Jesus is the Christ. And pray that each of us who have found life in his name would continue to walk in this “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).