Summary: Is Christ’s resurrection of first importance in your life?
SPECIAL OCCASION: EASTER SUNDAY
TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-22
TITLE: “WHO’S ON FIRST?”
INTRODUCTION: A. Growing up in Kentucky, I can testify to the fact that there is a huge rivalry in college
basketball between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.
-- Bob Russell tells a story that at one of the games between the two schools, an
elderly woman was sitting alone in Rupp Arena with an empty seat next to her.
Someone approached her and said, “Ma’am, I have rarely seen an empty seat in
Rupp Arena for any Kentucky basketball game, let alone at a game between these
two teams. Whose seat is this?”
The woman responded that she and her late husband had been UK season-ticket
holders for 28 years and the seat belonged to him. He had recently passed away.
The fellow looked kind of bewildered and asked, “Couldn’t you find a friend or
relative to come to the game with you?”
She replied, “Are you kidding? They’re all at my husband’s funeral.”
1. What’s most important in your life?
2. How do you decide what’s most important?
3. How well do you do at keeping what is truly most important most important?
B. Most of you here this morning probably remember the classic comedy bit by Abbott
and Costello called, “Who’s On First?”
--It’s a very clever exchange concerning the name of the guy playing first base on a
baseball team and the confusion over the name
1. So many of us are confused over what should be the most important thing
--We try to make it our families, our jobs, our ambitions, our passions, or even our
2. In the passage we’re going to look at this morning, the apostle Paul says that he
wants to remind us concerning what is “of first importance”
a. Unlike Abbot and Costello’s comic routine, “of first importance” is not a what, a
how, or a why
b. Of first importance is a “who”
--It’s Jesus Christ and the gospel concerning Jesus Christ
c. Let’s see where that gospel fits in with this day of celebration of Jesus’
resurrection and how it applies to how we live our lives in the 21st century
I. A REMINDER OF THE GOSPEL
--1 Cor. 15:1-4 – “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received
and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I
preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 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…”
A. What is the gospel?
1. Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures
a. Notice – He died both for our sins and according to the Scriptures
b. Is. 53:4-5 – “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him
stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was
crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds
we are healed.
2. Jesus was buried
a. After his death, he was placed in the tomb for the better part of three days
b. Jesus prophesied that his burial would take place
--He said that just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days, so would he be in the grave
for three days
3. Jesus was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
--Is. 53:11 – “After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied...”
B. Why is the gospel important to remember?
--Saved by it – Rom. 1:16 – “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the
salvation of everyone who believes…”
1. Receive it
--you don’t earn it; you accept it through faith and obedience
2. Take your stand on it
--when everything else seems unstable, you can trust the gospel and build your life on it
3. Hold firmly to it
--it is your only hope
II. THE REALITY OF THE GOSPEL
--1 Cor. 15:5-11 – [he was raised on the third day according to scripture] “…and that he appeared to Peter,
and then to the Twelve. 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. Then he appeared to James, then to
all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. For I am the least of