...and that 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...
Thoughts for Today:Witnesses are a great source of "proof", so let's take a closer look at each of those Paul mentions:
The first of the disciples to see Jesus was Cephas or Peter. It might be interesting to know what was discussed (after all, Peter had denied Jesus three times), but it was a private conversation. Clearly, Jesus had some things he needed to discuss with Peter all by himself.
Next, the risen Lord appeared to the twelve disciples. They were eleven at the time because Judas had died and Mathias had not yet been chosen as his successor. Paul probably used the term "Twelve" to represent the Disciples as a group as opposed to their actual number.
After that, Jesus was seen by five hundred people at the same time. Where was the physical location? Most Biblical scholars believe it was in the area of the Sea of Galilee.
He was then seen by James (which also appears to have been a private meeting). Remember, James was the half brother of Jesus, who at first didn't believe that Jesus was who He claimed to be. However, James changed his mind so completely that he became a leader of the early church (perhaps it was due in large part to this event).
Any lawyer would love to have as many witnesses as Paul lists in our passage today. Especially considering the consistency of their testimony. Despite the fact it had been over twenty years between the resurrection and when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, none of these people had recanted or changed their view of the event they experienced. We know as time passes, memories fade, and most people would begin to contradict themselves. But this wasn't the case. Every one of these people held on to their belief and individual account of the Resurrection. Why? Because it truly happened.
Questions to Ponder:How many people's witness would it take for you to believe in the resurrected Christ? One, one thousand, or one million? Unfortunately, some people will not believe no matter how much "proof" is present. Do you truly believe in the resurrected Lord? Is your life representative of that fact? What needs to change?
Day 1305 "A Doctorate in the Desert"