“For I delivered to you, as of first importance, what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:3–4
The verses that follow go on to talk about how Jesus, after rising from the dead appeared to people, over 500 at one time, and appeared to Paul and the whole picture here is what Paul describes as of first importance. In other words, there is nothing more important than this. That’s the setup, so I want to say to you, there is nothing more important, nothing more important, at all, anywhere else in the world than what I’m about to say.
Christ died for our sins and rose from the grave in victory. Let’s pray that God will give us boldness to proclaim this message of first importance.
1 Corinthians 15:3–4 Helps Us to Listen to the Lord
I think you would listen and maybe … The only reason you wouldn’t listen is because you think, “I don’t care what you think is most important,” because that’s just kinda your opinion. Well, let’s step back and realize, this is God speaking. God is saying this one thing is what’s most important. This is the Holy Spirit inspiring Paul to say one thing is most important, and here it is. “Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures, was buried, and was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.” That is the most important thing, the most important word, the most important message, the most important truth, reality in the world is that Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead.
Who else has done that? No one else has done that. This is where the resurrection of Jesus, which Paul goes on to talk about more in 1 Corinthians 15:3–4 is so critical. When I have conversations with non-believers or people who are investigating Christianity I always encourage them, “Look at the resurrection of Jesus,” because everything really hinges there. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is totally false, it’s a lie, it’s a sham. Paul says that in First Corinthians 15:3–4, but if Jesus did rise from the dead, then we must listen to what he said. Everything hinges here on the resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:3–4 Encourages Skeptics to Look at the Resurrection
Like I said, I encourage my non-believing friends, I encourage skeptics, I encourage people who are maybe even questioning whether or not they still believe what the Bible teaches. I say just look at the resurrection and I am totally convinced that an honest look at the resurrection of Jesus, historically, biblically will show this is real and as a result this is most important.
So let me encourage you, think about one person in your sphere of influence today who doesn’t know Jesus that you can talk with specifically about the resurrection of Jesus. This is the most important thing. This is more important than their Christmas travel plans, more important than the weather right now, it’s more important than sports, it’s more important than what gifts or activities are going on. And this is most important, that Jesus died, was buried and rose from the dead. So I just want to encourage you to have a conversation about the most important thing today with somebody and see what God does.
This Verse Leads Us to Pursue Gospel Conversations
Oh God, we pray that you help us to have this kind of conversation today, about the most important thing. The most important reality in the universe, that Jesus died and was buried and rose from the dead and we pray that today, you might bring through us in these conversations, that you might bring people to realize the importance of this and to put their faith in Jesus. God, may it be so today. We pray, we plead, give us boldness and give them openness. We pray to talk about it and to believe that which is of first importance. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.