“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-5
In his letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul put the gospel in a nutshell:
- Christ died
- Christ was buried
- Christ was raised on the third day
- Christ did these things in accordance with the Scriptures
Unfortunately, Paul wasn’t on the scene for any of those momentous events. If he did witness any of it, Paul watched from a distance, as a Pharisee who became an enemy of the new sect called The Way. Paul wouldn’t enter the story until 33-34 A.D. The gospel was passed on to him from those who had been eyewitnesses.
I hear a bit of wistfulness in Paul’s words. Although he had an undeniable encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul missed out on those 40 days after Jesus rose from the dead. The Twelve got to touch Him, talk to Him, eat with Him. Peter even got a one-on-one meeting with Christ.
We can only speculate what that personal, intimate conversation was like. If Peter was going to resume leadership in the group, he needed to be built back up after his dismal denial. How gracious of Jesus to seek Peter out first and restore him in private.
Quiet moments, just between Jesus and us, still bring restoration. Setting aside some time to spend with Jesus alone should be of first importance to us as well. Years ago, I wrote a little song called “Quiet Time”.
It’s early in the morning and the house is very still.
I rise and wrap up in a shawl to ward against the chill.
And I tiptoe past the bedroom doors and softly go downstairs.
I pick up my coffee cup and find my favorite chair.
This is my quiet time, my precious quiet time.
I open up my heart; today I want to start
With a quiet time, for it’s here where I can find,
A peacefulness inside if I remember to abide.
All I need You will provide in this quiet time.
Soon the quiet will be gone, children’s voices will replace
My peaceful meditation before Your throne of grace.
And the day will once again begin with breakfast, books and chores.
But before this day gets started, here’s some time that’s only Yours.
This is my quiet time; Oh, Lord, renew my mind.
Grant me eyes to see Your perfect will for me
In this quiet time — how I love this quiet time.
Help me to be true to the task You’ve called me to,
But the strength must come from You in this quiet time.
“You are my place of quiet retreat.
I wait for Your Word to renew me.”
Psalm 119:114 – The Message