“That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time, most of whom remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me.” 1Cor 15:3-8
The message of the gospel couldn’t be more plainly stated. Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and raised to life on the third day. God told us ahead of time that this would be necessary because of the demands of perfect justice. So the prophets of the Old Testament foretold the coming of a Messiah who would offer His life as the perfect sacrifice for our sin. (Isaiah 53).
After Jesus was crucified He was buried in a borrowed tomb. On the third day He arose from the dead. In order to deal with the skepticism that would be raised from this event, He appeared to well over 500 people. In fact, this passage to the church in Corinth even points out that most of the people who saw Jesus after He came back to life were still alive. In other words, Paul was telling the Corinthians that they could talk to those people themselves if they wanted any more proof.
And then, to cap it all off, Paul says that Jesus appeared to him too. This made it personal. On the road to Damascus (Acts 9), Paul was confronted by Jesus and as a result, was never the same again. The gospel made sense to him and having received it, became the recipient of a changed life – salvation.
Easter is a celebration of the capstone of the gospel. He has risen from the dead. He is alive. He is calling out to all who will hear – “Come to Me, all who are weak and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Attention “fishers of men!” Go tell somebody. There couldn’t be a better time to pass on this message from Jesus.