MIF 17:2 (Mar-Apr 1985)
The Last Witness of the Resurrection
Text: “And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (1 Cor. 15:8).
In listing those who had seen the Lord Jesus after He was raised from the dead, about 513 in all, Paul writes, “And last of all, He was seen of me also.”
Saul of Tarsus sincerely disbelieved the foundation fact of Christianity —Jesus Christ risen from the dead. He doubtless accepted the false report concocted by the chief priests and elders and announced by the soldiers who guarded the tomb: “His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept.” Saul regarded Christ as an imposter and a blasphemer, who had sought to deceive the people. He doubtless reasoned: “How could such an evil person rise from the dead?” He led the opposition to Christianity, and sought to exterminate all who named the name of Jesus. Thus he was indeed the chief of sinners.
Going to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests to arrest in the synagogues any who had embraced Christianity, whether men or women, and to bring them bound to Jerusalem, a miracle happened. I quote his words to King Agrippa, “At midday, O King, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me.” He saw the risen Christ.
One glimpse of the glorified Son of Man dispelled all his doubts. Years later he wrote, evidently with this incident in mind: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” One view of the risen and glorified Christ was more convincing than a library of books on Christian evidences. He could have said with the poet:
“Thou art the Life within me,
Lord Jesus, King of kings;
Thou art Thyself the answer
To all my questionings.”
—George M. Landis