1 Corinthians 15:3-11
3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures,
4 that He was buried,
that He was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He appeared to Cephas,
then to the Twelve.
6 Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time;
most of them are still alive,
but some have fallen asleep.
7 Then He appeared to James,
then to all the apostles.
8 Last of all, as to one abnormally born,
He also appeared to me.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by God’s grace I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not ineffective. However, I worked more than any of them, yet not I, but God’s grace that was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it is I or they, so we proclaim and so you have believed.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
For I passed on to you as most important what I also received…
—1 Corinthians 15:3
This portion of Scripture has kept my mind full for weeks. Here we have the message of the entire Bible in eleven verses. Let's look at what Paul had to say.
How often has someone said to you, “Remember when..." or "I told you it was important" or "Let's go over it again"? This is what Paul is doing in these verses. Amen and hallelujah! For he tells us the old, old story, and we need to hear it over and over again these days lest we forget.
Christ had His life mapped out by God before He ever came to this earth. Paul reminds us that Christ’s death was "according to the Scriptures."
Isaiah 52 and 53 foretell the death of Christ. Daniel 9:26 tells us the anointed one will be done away with. First Peter 2:24 tells us that He bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness—and all this was "according to the Scriptures." I love the phrase "according to the Scriptures."
It has a soothing sound and brings comfort, like sitting on the sofa with your favorite pillow at your back. You can rest on this. God had the plan before we were born and Christ was willing to be our sacrifice. His journey to earth was for our salvation.
Christ was buried but He rose again the third day, "according to the Scriptures." He then appeared to Cephas, then to His twelve disciples, and then to over 500 believers at one time. Scripture says He appeared after that to James (His half-brother).
Wow—the tenderness of the Savior’s heart for His own family! The apostle Paul was next. Paul had been the ringleader in persecuting the church, until God called him to Himself on the Damascus road.
The grace of God is extended to the vilest of sinners. It matters not that your life may have been lived only to please yourself and to satisfy your own desires. The same Christ who died for Paul "according to the Scriptures" died for you.
Let us work harder by the grace of God the way Paul did to lead others to Christ, so that they may be saved "according to the Scriptures."
I’ll take a little liberty here to share something personal. For years, I’ve referred to the reading of the Bible as reading Scripture, as my friends will testify. I’m not sure when that came to be, but at least over twenty years ago. When I’d read to my grandchildren, I’d always say, “We’re going to read some Scripture before bedtime.”
One of my precious grandsons wandered away from Christ. He was gone for a while and no one knew where. I was visiting one weekend shortly after he returned to the town he lived in. As I prepared to return home, he quietly took me aside and said, "Granny, would you read some Scripture to me before you leave?"
I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t even think of a Scripture to read, but God led me to one we’d read when he was a little boy. This handsome, muscular young man of 22 years sat on the front porch swing with his arm around me as we read the Scriptures together.
Make the Bible your couch. Let the promises be your pillows. Read the Scriptures for yourself. And hold fast to the Word of God.
- Why do you think Paul mentioned "according to the Scriptures?"
- To whom did Paul give credit for being who he was?
- By what favor are you living for Christ today? See verse 10.
- What place does Scripture have in your life?