What gives special authority to the list (of witnesses) as historical evidence is the reference to most of the five hundred brethren still being alive. St. Paul says in effect, “If you don't believe me, you can ask them.” — Dr. Edwin
Yamauchi, Professor Emeritus of History at Miami University
There is no question that the Romans were successful in crucifying Christ. The apostle John personally confirmed His death when he saw Him jabbed in the side with a spear causing water and blood to flow from His heart (John 19:33-35). Many others saw His body wrapped and placed in the tomb.
But Sunday revealed a stone that had been rolled away, guards who had fled for their lives, and an empty tomb. People started seeing Him alive. The apostle Paul recorded that the living Christ appeared to Peter, the disciples, and more than 500 other people (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).
Many of these witnesses were hostile towards Christ before they encountered Him. The most notable of all these was the apostle Paul himself who encountered the resurrected Christ long after the fact. In his words:
Then he [Jesus] appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. (1 Corinthians 15:7-10)
This encounter with Jesus impacted Paul personally—transforming him from an arrogant religious leader into a humble, faithful servant… a man transformed by the grace of God.
May it be the same for each of us!
Dear Jesus, what a tragedy it would be if the proof of Your resurrection became an object of my pride, rather than fuel for my faith. I am truly nothing without You. It is only by Your grace that I am what I am. I praise You, Lord. Glory to Your name! Amen.
Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.