Year B Easter Day : 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
From : deadelvis.com :-
Highfield Rd, Coventry (Coventry
City v Liverpool)
Name: Stuart Brown
When: Saturday 28th April 2001.
Circumstance: I saw Elvis, sitting in the East Stand, the seat next to him was free so I seized the opportunity. So Elvis, I said, a big game for the Sky Blues today - Yep, Its now or never he replied. Where do you think we'll be come the end of the season ? - Down, way on down he replied gloomily. He then said he was nipping downstairs for a burger, but he didn't return. After the game I saw him on the Walsgrave Road getting into an old Vauxhall bearing American plates , I think it was a Viva from Las Vegas. I gave chase but I lost him in the ghetto.
Hazel Grove, Stockport, Manchester
Name: Kirsty Shaw
When: 26 April 2001
Circumstance: I was walking through Torkington Park, Hazel Grove, when in the distance Isaw him. he was hiding behind a tree from a dog then he began to walk & he had a limp
Another, less tongue-in-cheek website gives circumstantial evidence that Elvis faked his own death. It suggests that he did this to escape debts owed in a land deal with the Mafia, to help beat their crime ring, and because his career was declining. The 'body' in his coffin was said to be made of wax. It concludes with these words : "It seems that Elvis Presley is worth more dead than alive. By faking his death and relocating with a new identity, he is safe from his fans and the Fraternity, the government can make a solid case against the organized crime ring, and RCA, Elvis's family, and Elvis's management can all reap immense financial benefits from the attention. That is... except for one benefit. No one has collected on his life insurance policy."
This, second web site has one, serious flaw. It does not mention a witness of good character who has said that they have seen Elvis alive since his alleged death, twenty four years ago on August 16th. Today's epistle was written about twenty years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. It did not rely on circumstantial evidence to back up the claim that Jesus had risen from the dead, but appealed to the testimony of over five hundred people, some of whom were still alive when the letter was written !
Despite this, it is clear that some of the Christians at Corinth had doubts about the bodily resurrection of Jesus.
Paul reminds them that without the resurrection there is no Christianity. :1: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; This must be received and stood upon for it to be effective in someone's life.
Paul continues, v.2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. He is referring to the need to the need to keep going, persevering, enduring in the faith, otherwise it is useless, in vain.
v.3, For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; :4: And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
This gospel was received by Paul. That is to say, it was not made up and it was given to him. Given to him by the eleven disciples of Jesus who had accompanied him, and given to Paul, then Saul, supernaturally by God. The Christian faith is one which is centred on God revealing himself to us in and through Jesus, not one where we have to find him.
Unlike the theory that Elvis is alive, the resurrection of Jesus can be proved by appealing to Scripture, Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. The life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit were God's plan to save people trapped by sin and death.
The resurrection of Jesus can also be supported by over 513 witnesses, something I referred to earlier. This comprises of the eleven disciples, including Peter, 5: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
:6: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. Those who are fallen asleep are those who died between the resurrection and the writing of this letter. But the majority of the 500 were still alive. Just as many people today can remember the announcement of the death of Elvis 24 yeas ago, so these people would remember even more vividly seeing someone who had been dead.
Paul would not have included the women who had seen the risen Jesus, because their testimony was not valid in law. This is evidence that the resurrection was not fabricated because, if it was, the person who made it up would have had men arriving at the empty tomb first !
Paul continues mentioning James, the brother of Jesus who wrote the Epistle, and "all of the apostles", perhaps more disciples who were 'sent out ' ( the meaning of 'apostle' ) by Jesus, but not including the twelve.
Finally Paul mentions himself, the last one to see the risen Jesus, on the road to Damascus. he refers to his low standing, but the grace, or undeserved favour that has been lavished upon him. Paul had been persecuting the church but was completely turned around by God. Never look at anyone and say that they will never become a Christian. God can bring about amazing changes in people. His grace must be accepted humbly Like Paul. It changes people. Paul was given the strength, abilities, will, gifts and fortitude that he needed. But this had to be accompanied by hard work, helped by God. but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Every Christian is called to be a servant of God and to minister using the gifts and opportunities that God gives us : in the church, the home, the workplace, the neighbourhood, or with friends.
Plug Alpha course next month.
We can confidently stand on the knowledge that our faith can stand up to lose examination. Our faith isn't trusting in something that is false, we do not need to leave our brains behind when we come to church !
This Easter Day let us be encouraged that our faith is built on the firm foundations of fact and God's revelation. Let us be united in the faith as we share in the bread and the wine that proclaim what Jesus has done for us.
A Muslim and a Christian were discussing their religions and had agreed that both Mohammed and Christ were prophets. Where, then, lay the difference? The Christian illustrated it this way: "I came to a crossroads and I saw a dead man and a living man. Which one did I ask for directions?" The response came quickly, "The living one, of course." "Why, then," asked his friend, "do you send me to Mohammed who is dead, instead of Christ who is alive?" This is the basic difference between Christ and every other religious leader. All the others came into the world, lived, and died-but none of them lived again. The resurrection of Christ was the one event that persuaded His disciples once for all that He was the Christ, God's Son.