I think it is interesting that, although Paul’s concern in this chapter is to talk about the Resurrection, when he mentions the fact that Jesus Christ appeared to him last of all, Paul's mind immediately thinks of the grace of God. Before he met the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul was a proud man. He had come from centuries of Jewish tradition. And he believed that if anybody had any right to stand before God, it was he.

Paul continues in his Gospel presentation by saying that this great fact of the Resurrection is well attested historically. There are many evidences for it, he says, and chief among these evidences is the fact that Jesus appeared to Peter and then to the twelve. After that he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of who were still living, though some had died. And then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. And last of all, he appeared to Paul "as to one abnormally born."

It is important that Paul said, in his first point, that Christ died for our sins, because it is quite different from saying merely that Christ died. If he had said merely that Christ died, somebody could very well reply, "Well, so what? Everybody dies." And that’s true. But he says, "He died for our sins." We might die in a heroic fashion or as a martyr for some noble cause. And yet Christ died for our sins. That means in our place, not for his own sins but for ours, and, moreover, that he did that according to the Scriptures.

Paul uses some interesting terminology here that is not apparent in our English translations. Paul says that he delivered to the Christians in Corinth that which he had formally received. Those two terms, deliver and receive are important because they describe what was the essential duty of a disciple toward a master. A disciple of an older rabbi was to receive from him that which was the wisdom of the rabbis, and then without altering it in any respect, to pass it on to those who would become his disciples. Their idea of knowledge was not what we think of.

Our study of 1 Corinthians brings us to chapter 15, the most comprehensive chapter in the New Testament on the Resurrection. The first portion of this chapter, verses 1 through 11, deals with the truth of the Resurrection. The second section, found in verses 12 through 34, deals with the importance of the Resurrection. The third section, verses 35 through 49, deals with the Resurrection body. It answers some questions that the people in Corinth probably had. And then the final section, beginning with verse 50 and going through the end, deals with the victory which is ours through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.