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1 Corinthians 15:3-8 – When the fog lifts

“I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

When Jesus opened the disciple's minds to understand the Scriptures, (Luke 24), He specifically revealed to them the most important message they were being commissioned to preach concerning the Messiah; the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. Salvation and remission of sin for all mankind for all time would hinge on this truth.

Jesus revealed these truths to Paul when he was appointed to take the Gospel to the gentile nations (Acts 9:3-9). Likely these were the main things Barnabas and the apostles reiterated when Paul met with them as well (Galatians 2). They ‘passed on’ the message of the cross to Paul and he, in turn, spread the message among the Gentiles.

This is the apostolic tradition. The message of the cross is the foundational truth of Christianity. And for all who believe, salvation and remission of sins are theirs through the finished work of Christ Jesus. This is the non-negotiable bedrock of the New Covenant. Debate what you want but the message of the cross is settled truth.

There were enough naysayers in those days to disprove the Gospel if they could have, but they didn't. They couldn't. Jesus died on the cross, He was buried in a tomb, the tomb was sealed from the outside, and on the third day, Christ rose from the grave. His body, soul, and spirit conquered death and rose again, inheriting in His glorified body the matter of heaven.

"He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

Paul lists some of the people who interacted with Jesus after His resurrection. Over 500 people at one time, the apostles, and he himself, he says, "last of all, I also saw Him."

The story is in Acts 9 and happened as Paul was in the midst of persecuting the church and Jesus had been in heaven for several years.

His encounter with the risen Lord left him blind for three days before a brother from the church was sent by God to lay hands on him. And when he did literal scales fell from Paul's eyes and he was a changed man.

The same thing happens today when someone has an encounter with the risen Lord and someone tells them about the Gospel. Epiphany. Revelation. You are so used to living life with a dead spirit that when your inner man is made alive and you are reborn you feel like you can truly see. Like the fog you've become used to has lifted and you can see clearly for the first time. That's how Paul felt. He would never be the same.

Dear one, pray for those who have not yet encountered Christ on their road of life. No matter their condition Jesus loves them. All it takes is a whisper from Him and a spark of faith. The fog will lift and the scales will fall.


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