Tuesday Holy Week
1 Cor 15:3-113 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them-yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. NIV
First, In this meditation we see that the Gospel is based upon historical facts. This is no late writing made up to confuse an easily misdirected public. This is verifiable. Those who saw this crucifixion and even the risen Christ, were still around. They could be questioned and queried to find out thier "version" of the facts. To those, like me who are hopelessly sin-filled; whose life is without fleshly remedy; whose heart is broken for being so far from God- this is the good news! It really happened in time and space. God sent his son to redeem broken man. What love! that God would care for us feable creatures - wounded and shallow-hearted, and die our death that he might have fellowship with us! Oh, praise to the King!
Second, we see that inspite of our unworthiness (for the persecuter Paul was made an apostle!) he makes us what he will. By the grace given to each of us he makes us what he desires us to be. Though we are constantly changing for the better, morphing into the man or woman of God that he envisions for us- it is never our doing. His grace has its effects! May God mold us - that we too, with Paul, might say "His grace was not without effect in me!"
Thirdly, this meditation reveals that our work ethic, our labors, our ministry and strength all flow from this grace. No wonder that the cross is central in the theological system of Christianity! For from the cross of our bleeding savior flows the strength, and grace, the power and the love, the wisdom and the direction of GOD to us.
Help us, oh Lord, to yield to your grace. AMEN.