Q. In the passage of 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 it says ‘according to the Scriptures’. What Scriptures was Paul referring to when he said Christ died and rose again? It had to be from the O.T. he was talking about, right? From Isaiah or Psalms? I’ve never been able to figure out what he meant by writing that. I had always thought it was by direct revelation that Paul knew Christ died and rose from the dead.
A. 1 Cor.15:3-4 says,
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.
When Paul wrote those words the only scriptures that enjoyed any kind of circulation were those we call the Old Testament. So we have to find the answer there. The fact that He died for our sins can be found in Isaiah 53:5. 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.
As for being buried and rising again on the 3rd day, we can look to Psalm 16:10. where David has the Messiah saying, “You will not abandon me to the grave, you will not let your Holy One see decay.” Jewish tradition held that when a person died his or her spirit lingered nearby for 3 days. Then on the 4th day it departed and the process of decomposition began. This is why Martha objected when Jesus asked to have the stone covering Lazarus’ grave rolled away. “Lord,” she said, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days” (John 11:39). She knew the decomposition process had already begun.
For God to prevent His Holy One from seeing decay, He would have to bring Him back to life on the 3rd day.