Christmas Devotionals – 12/14

By Sam Beaumier
1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Grace—our faith is founded upon it. We hinge all bets on grace—hanging the framework of Christianity on the grace and love of Jesus on the cross. I love how Paul unpacks the concept of grace through his letter to the Corinthians. He sets a stage Christians are familiar with: Jesus died, was buried and rose again. End of the story, right? We’ve heard it thousands of times from preachers, our parents, our friends, our schools, etc.
However, Paul makes a distinction here that cracks things open for me: he walks us through whom Jesus appeared to after rising from the dead. We are guided along this trajectory as Jesus appears to the Apostles, the twelve men He spent His life investing into. Jesus ate with, wept with and poured all He could into them. Next, He appears to “500 brothers” or believers. 500 people whose hearts were captivated with belief in Jesus as Christ. Finally, Jesus appeared to Paul, “the least of the apostles”.
Let that sink in—that’s us.
We were late to the party, outside in the cold. Yet, independent of our doing, despite the darkness in our lives, Jesus sweeps in and shows Himself to us. Like Paul, we were selfishly zealous before Jesus, but after seeing Him our hearts are ablaze with wonder. The fact that we had nothing to do with Him showing up is both humbling and invigorating. That’s the beauty of grace—it arrives when we least expect it, because it’s enacted in the moments we deserve it the least. In the midst of our brokenness, Jesus shed his majesty for human humility that we might see Him. If that is not worth celebrating this holiday season, I’m not sure what else is.