“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.” –1 Corinthians 15:1–8
OUR FATHER, we thank You for the gospel, the good news You have declared through Your Son: that there is a way for Your enemies to be reconciled to You, to know You not only as God but as Father.
We thank You for the truths of the gospel. Your eternal Son took on humanity, became like us in every way except for sin, while retaining His deity, and lived among us in perfect obedience to You. Then, according to the Scriptures, He died for our sins. For those hours on the cross, He bore Your justice, Your anger against the sin of everyone who would ever believe in Him.
We thank You that He was buried—proving that He actually died—that He tasted death for every man who would believe in Him. You subjected Him to death—the One who had only been perfectly obedient to You—so that we, who deserve only death, might know life.
We praise You that You raised Him from the dead on the third day as evidence forever that You had accepted His perfect sacrifice for sin. You did not raise Him as a spirit or a ghost, but in His full humanity: He appeared to many, was touched, ate and drank with them, and then visibly ascended into Your presence where He is, even now, seated at Your right hand until He returns for His own.
We praise You, we thank You, and we love You. We pray that You would give us hearts that long to understand and obey Your Word.
We pray in Jesus’ name.
Scripture reading and accompanying prayer taken from Tom’s book The God Who Hears: A Book of Pastoral Prayers.