Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit 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 toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
– 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 NASB
Is there a passage in the Bible that is more important than all the rest? If there is, the passage above would certainly be one of the passages put forward as a candidate for that title. In any case, it is one well worth marking in your Bible.
In this passage, the apostle Paul encapsulates the gospel of Jesus Christ. So important are the facts attested to in this passage that Paul says later in the chapter:
…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins…If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
– 1 Corinthians 15:16-19 NASB
I love how Paul lays it all on the line and makes no excuses for us. Everything rises and falls on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead according to the Scriptures. Everything!
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus, we can talk to You because we know You are alive. You are not still dead…and You have not been dead since the third day after Your crucifixion. I will serve the living God today….(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.