According to the Biblical record, Paul was the only apostle ordained by Christ after his resurrection (1 Tim 2:7, Acts 9:15).
The twelve apostles (including Matthias) were all disciples of the Lord while he was yet on the earth before his death (Acts 1:21-23).
Paul (then called Saul) did nothing but oppose the Lord’s ministry before and after his crucifixion until Christ appeared to him in resurrected glory.
Without Christ’s resurrection, there would be no Paul, only Saul.
This makes Paul the apostle of the resurrected Christ.
The Resurrection Message of Paul
The resurrection of Christ is central to Paul’s gospel and message. It is not a secondary issue or an afterthought.
“But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” – 1 Cor 15:13-14
When Paul’s special apostleship is rejected, it is tacit denial of the Lord’s resurrected ministry through the church.
It was the Lord from glory that first explained the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church. All of which are only found in the writings of the apostle of the resurrected Lord.
The resurrection of Christ was not necessary for the law-keeping, kingdom building, and faith plus works preaching of the twelve.
The twelve apostles of Israel’s kingdom ministry were able to preach their message of the king and the kingdom come before Christ died and resurrected.
Even after the resurrection, the earthly apostles stayed in Jersualem and were eventually tolerated as another law abiding sect with a preferred Messiah (Acts 21:20).
The apostle of the resurrection claimed to receive instructions that could only be revealed by the resurrected Lord himself.
“Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:” – 2 Tim 2:8
“…and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began…” – Rom 16:25
Paul Questioned because of Resurrection
Paul’s conversion and message depends on Christ’s resurrection.
“Men and brethren… of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.” – Acts 23:6
The Jerusalem saints were accepted because of their zeal for the law. Neither Paul’s apostleship nor his message could be accepted, because accepting Paul’s testimony would be accepting revelation from a resurrected Christ.
“Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” – Acts 26:8
Paul’s testimony requires the resurrection of Christ, otherwise his conversion and ministry is the greatest lie in Christianity.
Paul was not an apostle among the twelve chosen by the Lord in his earthly ministry. If Paul is an apostle of Christ, then Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)… Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.” – Gal 1:1; Gal 1:20
Paul is proof of Christ’s resurrection.
Following Paul is following Christ in his resurrection ministry from heaven.
Without the resurrection of Christ, Paul has no message, no ministry, and no salvation, and neither do we.