Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…
“FIRST OF ALL!” Many Bible scholars believe that this is the first and most concisely written and preserved statement of the very heart and soul of our Christian faith. First Corinthians is considered to be the earliest writing in our New Testament. Our eternal salvation depends totally on the inalterable Truth of our key verses. Let us read, memorize, and make these verses a most integral element in our lives.
In a court of law, a witness who is in opposition to the defence, yet admits to the truth of the case for the defence, is the most credible witness. Paul is such a witness for the defence of the Truth of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. In his past, Paul was in total opposition to the message of Christ, so much so that he persecuted the Church (15:9). He used to be Rabbi Saul of Tarsus. He was raised in the intellectual university centre of Asia Minor, the city of Tarsus. He was sent by his Jewish father (a Roman citizen) to study in Jerusalem under the most famous Rabbi of the time, Gamaliel. Gamaliel was the grandson of Hillel, perhaps the most famous Jewish Rabbi of all time. He knew the Jewish High Priest and was appointed the official inquisitor whose job it was to destroy the followers of Jesus. Now known as the Apostle Paul, his testimony is true!! Note that twice Paul repeats the words “according to the Scriptures.” This Hebrew Bible Scholar was absolutely certain of his facts.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, You died and rose from the dead for all the human family, including me. Please grant me the grace to never fear death but to rejoice always in the sure knowledge of the resurrection. Amen & Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
The genius composer, Handel, was, in my opinion, at his very best in The Messiah, where he put the words of 1st Corinthians 15 to music. Every year I attend a performance of The Messiah, conducted by the the famous Jewish Maestro, Boris Brott. Crossroads sponsored a performance of The Messiah in Jerusalem several years back. It was thrilling to hear the magnificent Jerusalem orchestra with its Jewish musicians playing to the glory of God. Here is a clip from the Christmas season when Boris was interviewed on 100 Huntley Street, including some footage from the performance of The Messiah in Jerusalem (click here).
I have stood beside many graves and read words from 1st Corinthians 15. What hope! What an assurance that this is not the end but only the beginning of eternity with Christ, clothed in a resurrected body just like the body of Jesus when He left the tomb empty (see photos below). Some of the key leaders of The Human Genome Project for the United States Government are believers in Jesus. There are approximately three billion “letters” that encode the genetic material within each human cell. For God to rearrange those parts into our glorified bodies would not be a problem. Even the most tiny speck of dust from a body has its DNA sequence from which the believer can be reconstructed. I’ve spent time with one of those believers who worked closely with Francis Collins, the author of The Language of God, who headed The Human Genome Project. Check Google to find out what Dr. Collins’ former associate, Dr. Jeffrey Trent, also a world class scientist, is doing now (click here). In my time with Dr. Trent, he was constantly referring to “the Lord.” He is a strong believer in Jesus!
Yours in full confidence that “we shall all be changed!” (15:51b),