The apostles understood the cross within a first century Jewish apocalyptic worldview. As seen in 1 Cor. 15:3, the interpretation of the Messiah’s death was handed down by the apostles and revolved around Isaiah 53 and the Levitical sacrificial tradition. Thus Paul’s gospel centered on Jesus Christ, “who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age” (Gal. 1:4).