1 Corinthians 15:5-8
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:…
We have here —
I. A MIGHTY PROOF OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. Two or three witnesses, intellectually and morally competent, would be regarded in a court of justice as sufficient to establish any fact, but here are "five hundred." To suppose that they were all deceived would be to suppose one of the most stupendous miracles ever wrought. Mark, Paul states this fact when the "greater part" were still alive. Would any man, under such circumstances, dare to have made the assertion had it not been an indisputable fact?
II. AN INTERESTING VIEW OF THE DEPARTURE OF GOOD MEN FROM THE WORLD. "Some are fallen asleep." Sleep does not include extinction; must exclude suffering. Sleep is —
1. A welcome rest. Sleep is refreshing. The work of a Christian here is hard work, the work of cultivation, building, battling, voyaging. Sleep reinvigorates the system, gives new tone to the frame, new vigour to the limb. The holy dead renew their strength in eternity.
2. An anticipation of waking. Men yield themselves to repose with the hope of morning; a morning in which they will go forth to the joys and duties of life with a new zest and energy. Who dreads sleep? No good man need dread death.
III. A SUGGESTIVE EVENT IN THE EXPERIENCE OF THE APOSTLE (ver. 8). When did Paul see Christ? When Christ was in heaven (Acts 9:5). Then, though in heaven —
1. He is cognisant of the movements of individual men. He knew all about Saul of Tarsus.
2. He can reveal Himself to men on earth.
3. His love for sinners is unabated. He spoke to Saul the persecutor, the "chief of sinners."
(D. Thomas, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: