– Jide Lawal
1 Corinthians 15 (KJ2000)
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received, and in which you stand;
2 By which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
We have seen that the Scriptures very clearly explain to us why it was necessary for Christ to die.
The Reality of His Death
Acts 9 (KJ2000)
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go your way: for [Paul] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Acts 25 (KJ2000)
13 And after some days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to greet Festus.
14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul’s cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix:
18 Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought no accusation of such things as I supposed:
19 But had certain questions against him of their own religion, and of one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
Acts 26 (KJ2000)
8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
26 For the king knows of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost you persuade me to be a Christian.
Paul was chosen by our Lord to testify about Him to kings, to Gentiles and to Jews. And one day, standing before a Jewish king called Agrippa and a Roman governor called Festus, he testified of the death and the resurrection of Christ.
At this point we must state clearly that even though we make frequent reference to the death of Christ, what we really mean to refer to is His death and His resurrection. If he merely died but did not rise, then He would be no different from all the other venerated holy men common to other religions, whose graves are well known.
In testifying about the resurrection of Christ to King Agrippa, Paul does not need to give his own testimony or call other witnesses. Apparently, the king himself knew the Old Testament prophecies well enough, and knew of one Jesus who died and rose again! It was easy for Paul to point out how Jesus fulfilled the OT prophecies. In fact, the king’s knowledge of the matter was deep enough for him to admit that Paul almost persuaded him to become a Christian. Obviously, the story of the death and the resurrection of Jesus was such a notorious fact in Jerusalem that Paul could assume that “none of these things are hidden from the king”, and state that “this thing was not done in a corner”.
Next post, we’ll consider another instance of Paul’s testimony about the resurrection.
Continue in grace!