500! That’s a big number. Especially if you’re talking about homeruns in a major league career. This past Sunday, Miguel Cabrera hit his five hundredth home run to the delight of Detroit Tiger fans everywhere. There were celebrations and ovations as the slugger stepped out of the dugout and waved to the cheering crowd. Congratulations, Miggy!
That number, 500, has been swirling around in my head. I thought, haven’t I read that in the Bible somewhere? So, I looked it up, and sure enough, it’s in 1 Corinthians 15.
Paul is getting to the end of his letter to the Corinthians, and he wants to make sure they understand the gospel. Thus, he gives them the basics: Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again (verses 3-4). To support these claims, Paul gives them certain evidence.
First, Christ died according to the Scriptures (you could look up prophecies in the Old Testament). Second, He was buried. After being whipped, crucified, and speared by the Roman soldiers, Jesus gave up His life on the cross. Burial was evidence of His death. Finally, Paul gives evidence for Jesus’ resurrection: there were eyewitnesses who saw Him that first Easter Sunday when He stepped out of the grave.
He not only appeared to the original disciples (verse 5), but “He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time” (verse 6)! I missed seeing Cabrera’s historic homerun, but my buddy Brent was an eyewitness who told me. Jesus had more than 500 witnesses of His resurrection. 500 witnesses who could back the Bible claim that Jesus was alive from the dead.
So, good news that a Tiger hit a homerun. Even better news: Christ died, was buried, and rose again. Do you believe this report of the 500?
Comments? Questions? Email Pastor Jeff: firstname.lastname@example.org