15 - Jesus appears to over five hundred at once

O sing to the Lord a new song

All        for he has done marvellous things.  Alleluia.


Bible reading – 1 Corinthians 15:3-6

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters* at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.*



Five hundred people can still be regarded as a lot of people.  Admittedly today large open air music festivals will draw tens of thousands, but five hundred is equivalent to a large primary school or half a secondary school.  It is a group large enough to make fixing the story out of the question.  And it is Paul who is telling us this, one who himself came on the scene later, so it would have been well within his means to pick holes in doctored reports.  There were witnesses and there were more of them than just the inner group.  Corroborated evidence carries weight, even over the distance of time.  It says to us that the experience of the resurrected Jesus was not confined to a small group of distressed men and women; this number is harder to dismiss.  The number also makes it explicit that the encounters were limited to a particular period of time, so are not to be expected today.


Risen Lord,

you appeared to the great and lowly.

Give us a voice to proclaim the light that is within us.  Amen.



            Sing to the Lord, bless his name

All        tell of his salvation from day to day.  Alleluia.