An eyewitness is one whose firsthand knowledge
of a crime or an important event is used to
ascertain the actual facts surrounding the event
in a court of law. One witness is usually insufficient. “The
facts of the case must be established by the testimony of
two or three witnesses” (Deuteronomy 19:15).
Paul reminded the Corinthians to remember what they
had believed when they first accepted the good news
(1 Corinthians 1:1). They were to continue believing that
“Christ died for [their] sins . . . was buried, and . . . was
raised from the dead on the third day” (vv.3-4). This was
the basis of their salvation, for it was true (v.2).
In the span of 40 days, Jesus “appeared to the
apostles . . . and He proved to them in many ways that
He was actually alive” (Acts 1:3).
In 1 Corinthians 15:5, Paul listed credible key
eyewitnesses: Peter (Luke 24:34; John 21:1), the Twelve
(Luke 24:33; John 20:19), James, Jesus’ previously
unbelieving half-brother (John 7:5; Galatians 1:19), and
all the apostles (Luke 24:50; Acts 1:3). Paul referred to
an occasion (possibly Acts 1:9) where Jesus “was seen
by more than 500 of His followers at one time”
(1 Corinthians 1:6). Paul also named himself, for he had
met the risen Lord on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:3).
Writing some 20 years after the resurrection (AD
53–56), Paul stated that “most of [these eyewitnesses]
are still alive” (1 Corinthians 1:6). The fact of Christ’s
resurrection, readily verifiable, is firmly established by the testimonies of more
than 500 eyewitnesses (John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 2:1).
As eyewitnesses, we too can testify to Jesus’ reality. We have experienced His
salvation and presence, and our lives will never be the same!
If you were to testify as a witness, what might you say that would convince
others that Jesus is alive? How do the changed lives of true believers in
Jesus also bear witness to His reality?