“Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” (1 Corinthians 15:8)
In our epistle reading from 1 Corinthians 15 we find Paul citing the testimony of eyewitnesses as proof to make his case. When it comes to criminal court proceedings, eyewitness testimonies carry a great deal of weight when determining guilt or innocence. Unfortunately, in our present culture, such testimonies are often biased by social or political ideology. People are no longer afraid to lie under oath as long as it meets their agenda. Many will lie just to make themselves feel important, gain their 15 minutes of fame, or to gain some sort of financial reward. It was not always so. Most people once feared God enough to not lie under oath.
Such was the case with Paul and the early Christians. Paul here in Corinthians cited eyewitness accounts to prove the truth of the resurrection of Jesus. Our faith in Christ rests on that testimony, the words of those who saw Him alive again, risen from the dead. And, as Paul says, there were hundreds of congruent testimonies that supported this truth, including his own. And, in addition those who testified to the resurrection endured persecution and death rather than deny what they had seen the risen Lord, including Paul. Even a determined conspiracy of lies and deceit would have fallen apart under close investigation and torture.
Christianity is the truth, not a lie! That is why it has stood the test of 2000 years of suffering and abuse. Skeptics will make up any excuse to avoid believing the truth, but still the best testimony is that of the eyewitnesses, you and me, that declares that we have met the Risen Lord! And our encounter with Him, His grace and mercy, forms the basis of our own testimony to others.