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. (1 Corinthians 15:3–6, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “What I received I passed on to you.” A fundamental definition of discipleship. What I receive, I pass on to others, and so on. “As of first importance.” First, as in preceding or above all others. Importance, as is significance or superior worth. In other words, nothing is of greater significance that what Paul is about to say. “Jesus died for our sins…was buried…was raised on the third day.” A concise summary of the Gospel. “According to the Scriptures.” Otherwise, it would have been a sham, a charade, a scam. “He appeared to Peter, and then to the twelve.” Considerably more than the requisite two or three witnesses to establish a truth claim. Compelling evidence. Further validated by the fact that all but one died martyrs’ deaths without recanting. “After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time.” No room for a mass hallucination. Plenty of room for conflicting stories if it were not true. “Most of whom are still living.” Hard to claim it never happened (“fake news”) when the witnesses are still around to testify. Maybe if one or two, but nearly five-hundred? Probably the most documented story in all of recorded history prior to the advent of photography, radio and television. And this is just a small sample.
My Advice – As author and apologist Josh McDowell would say, evidence that demands a verdict. If you have not yet done so, it is time for you to render your verdict.