What Does Paul Say About the Resurrection of JesusQUESTION: What Does Paul Say About the Resurrection of Jesus?ANSWER:
Paul covers many questions, topics, and occurrences throughout his letters. Paul deals with the resurrection of Jesus, because there were those who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Paul discusses the resurrection of Jesus on the heals of dealing with other questions and problems the Corinthian church was having.
Paul starts out in 1 Corinthians 15 by reminding them that Jesus did die and was raised from the dead for the salvation of man. This is the foundation of the gospel. Next Paul states that there were witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus, not only by His disciples but by more than 500 people. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians approximately 20 years after Jesus' death and resurrection. It would be very hard to argue or dispute that many credible witnesses.
Paul begins his discourse on the resurrection of Jesus by stating that salvation is not possible without Jesus' resurrection, and those who were preaching this, preached the truth. Paul further illustrates this by stating that Jesus will raise those who are dead in Christ. If this is not the case, Jesus was not raised either. Paul describes Jesus as the first fruits of the resurrection for His time in history, and subsequently this resurrection is made available for all of humanity from Adam on down for those who are in Jesus.
Next, Paul reiterates the fact that there is a resurrection for the dead, and there need not be a baptism for the dead by those who are alive. Paul states further that when a believer is raised unto the resurrection of Jesus, there will be a new body and immortality. There is victory for the believer by the resurrection of Jesus!
1 Corinthians chapter 15 clearly addressed the resurrection of Jesus. In addition, Paul mentions the resurrection of Jesus in Romans 1:4 and 6:5; Philippians 3:10-11, and in 2 Timothy 2:18 where he addresses the issue of only a spiritual resurrection (that was not a literal physical resurrection) as Paul dealt with the false teaching of the Gnostics in 1 Corinthians 15. This false teaching taught that it was more or less an allegory.
What do you believe about the resurrection of Jesus? Do you know that the resurrection of Jesus is a gift for you, to spend all eternity with God the Father and His Son Jesus? This resurrection of Jesus that Paul discusses is one of the main focal points of the gospel. Just as Paul states clearly, there would no salvation without the resurrection of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 says, "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers 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."