To answer  your good question, let’s read 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how 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: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

The main theme of the chapter is the resurrection of Christ.  To begin that train of thought, Paul begins by reiterating the Gospel to the Corinthians; that which he had declared earlier to them.  We read in verse 1 of this chapter, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand.”  Notice the order Paul gives:  He preached the Gospel; they received it by faith; and they stood firm in their salvation.  Paul then goes on to tell them that, first of all, the Gospel he had given unto them had been received of him from the Lord Himself.  Paul wrote in Galatians 1:11-12, “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  Paul was a unique man, and the Lord, by direct revelation, showed him the true Gospel.  Paul then goes on to list specific things in his presentation of the truth of the death of the Lord Jesus for our sins.

  • Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures – Throughout the Old Testament, we learn of the coming of the Lord Jesus to give Himself a sacrifice for our sins.  One such verse is Isaiah 53:12 which tells us that, “…he hath poured out his soul unto death…”
  • He was buried and He rose again the third day according to the scriptures – Concerning His burial, Isaiah 53:9 tells us, “…he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death.”  Concerning His resurrection, we learn in Jonah 1:17, “…And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”  The Lord Jesus taught that Jonah’s time in the belly of the great fish was a picture of His own time in the grave.  He said in Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
  • He was seen of Cephas (who is Simon Peter) – The two from Emmaus, returning to Jerusalem, said in Luke 24:34, “…The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.”
  • He was then seen of the other Apostles – While the Lord quickly came to see His Apostles, Thomas was absent in His first meeting with them.  We then read in John 20:26, “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.”
  • He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present – Although this meeting is not mentioned anywhere else, the fact that many of them were still alive at the time of the writing of the book of 1 Corinthians, there were many who could attest to seeing the Lord after His resurrection.  Notice that He was seen by more than 500 BRETHREN.  All the scriptures indicate that the Lord only appeared to believers after His resurrection.
  • He was seen of James, probably the brother of the Lord – This is another event that is not recorded in God’s Word, but we know it to be true because of Paul’s spirit-led words.
  • Last of all, He was seen by the Apostle Paul – In Acts 9:1-9, we have the account of the Lord appearing to Saul (before his name was changed to Paul).  He was on his way to Damascus to imprison Christians when the Lord came to Him.

So, with all these positive witnesses having seen the resurrected Lord, there could be no doubt that He had indeed risen from the grave.  With that established, Paul then begins to explain the vital truth and importance of the resurrection of Christ from the grave, without which, there is no salvation.  (182.9)