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Lesson 9: He is Risen *

Introduction: Last week, we ended our study with those who crucified Jesus admitting that He was the Messiah. What a mistake! What do you do when you wrongly kill someone? How do you fix this? Let's dive into our lesson and learn the good news about "fixing" Jesus' death and what it means to us!

  1. The Burial


    1. Read Matthew 27:57-60. Would Peter, or any of the eleven disciples, have requested Jesus' body?


      1. If you say, "no," why not? (Too dangerous. Perhaps they might be killed like Jesus.)


      2. What level of danger to Joseph existed because of his actions?


        1. Do you think he worried about the danger?


    2. Read Matthew 27:62-64. How closely had the Jewish leaders followed the burial of Jesus? (They knew He was in a tomb and where it was.)


      1. What does this tell us about the "danger to Joseph" issue? (It was real.)


      2. What worried the Jewish leaders?


      3. On what charge had Jesus been found guilty by the Jewish leaders? (Review Matthew 26:60-64.)


        1. Were the Jewish leaders really worried about Jesus' body being stolen?


          1. If so, was this a realistic fear?


          2. Consider this idea from the point of view of one of the eleven disciples? If you were a disciple, would you want to steal Jesus' body?


      4. Notice the timing of this. "Then next day" refers to Friday evening - the beginning of the Sabbath. What kind of business is this for the strict Sabbath-keeping Jewish leaders?


    3. Read Matthew 27:65-66. What reasons do you think Pilate had for agreeing to post a guard and seal the tomb? (They all worried Jesus might really come to life.)


  2. The Resurrection


    1. Read Matthew 28:1. Matthew has the perfect opportunity to mention that the "Old Testament Sabbath" had now passed from significance and the new Sabbath, the Lord's Day, will now begin. Why does he still use the old terminology? (Matthew gives no indication that the resurrection of our Lord results in a new day of worship.)


    2. Read Matthew 28:2-4. How many angels from heaven does it take to "rescue" Jesus from the grave? (The text shows us that the "secure as you know how" of man ( Matthew 27:65) turns out to be nothing when it comes to the power of one of God's angels.)


      1. What is the lesson for you when you face problems based on the schemes of people?


      2. Notice that the angel "sits" on the stone. Why is that? (I love this mental picture! He was easily in charge.)


    3. Read Matthew 28:5-6. Who are the witnesses to what the angel has done? (The women ( Matthew 28:1) and the guards ( Matthew 28:4.)


      1. Why does the angel say only to the women "Do not be afraid?" Is this because women are naturally more fearful? (The male guards were so afraid they became "like dead men." ( Matthew 28:4) What we see here is an important life lesson. God wants to take the fear out of our life. But, an important part of being without fear is being on the "right side.")


      2. Notice the angel says that Jesus has "risen, just as He said." Why does the angel make that note? (This points back to the central theme of the trial and the controversy: will Jesus be able to rise in three days? He said He could. Now He proves it.)


      3. The angel offers to show the women where Jesus had been laying in the tomb. Why? (Heaven is building its "case." Jesus said He would rise in three days. The place where He was buried is empty. A heavenly being attests to this.)


    4. Read Matthew 28:7-9. What further proof of Jesus' resurrection do we find?


      1. Why did Jesus appear first to these women? Why not to His disciples? (Read Matthew 27:61 and Matthew 28:1. I think they never left Him until after his burial. The next morning, after Sabbath, they came to continue the vigil at His tomb.)


        1. What is the lesson for us in this?


    5. Read Matthew 28:10. What promise does Jesus make to His disciples? (That He will appear to them, too.)


      1. Why not just appear to the faithful women? (I'm sure in that culture the testimony of two distraught women would be discounted.)


    6. Read Matthew 28:11. Imagine for a minute what is going through the minds of the Jewish leaders. What do they now know?


      1. Read Matthew 28:12-14. Why do this? Why not repent?


  1. The Reaction


    1. Read Matthew 28:16-17. On what basis would they doubt? They had seen Jesus!


      1. If the main purpose of the book of Matthew is to confirm belief in our risen Lord, why does it confess that some of the disciples doubted?


    2. Let's list all the reasons why the disciples should have had no doubt about Jesus' resurrection?


    3. Read Luke 7:11-12. What do we learn about this widow? (She was now alone. She lost both her husband and her son. Either she or her son were well-liked: a large crowd came out. Likely, she faced a difficult economic future.)


    4. Read Luke 7:13. What does this tell us about the heart of Jesus? Does He care when tragedy comes to your family?


    5. Read Luke 7:14-15. Friend, is this the God you want to serve? The God who gives sons back to mothers?


      1. What lesson should the disciples have learned from this? (Since the disciples knew that Jesus had the power to raise the dead to life, it makes it hard to understand how they would doubt that Jesus had been resurrected. Perhaps the torture and taunts He suffered had a large impact on their minds.)


    6. Read John 11:25. This is part of the account of the resurrection of Lazarus. Would the disciples have heard Jesus' claim here?


      1. How could they distinguish the resurrection of Lazarus and the son from Nain from Jesus' own resurrection?


    7. Read John 5:21. Who does Jesus say holds the power of life? (Both the God the Father and God the Son.)


      1. How is this an answer to the doubts of some of the disciples? (Assume that they misunderstood Jesus' torture and death: they thought this occurred because He did not have the power or authority to stop it. Whatever Jesus' power, God held the power of life. I think the doubts of some of the disciples were based on emotion more than logic.)


  2. The Result


    1. Read John 5:26-27. Why does Jesus' status as the "Son of Man" entitle Him to judge? (This refers to the victory of Jesus over death. Jesus lived a perfect life, died for our sins, and this gives Him authority to grant judgment on eternal life and eternal death.)


    2. Read John 5:24-25. When do those who hear and believe gain eternal life? (We can "cross over" to eternal life right now.)


      1. Notice that those who hear the word of God during life, also hear it during death!


    3. Friend, would you like to have eternal life? If you listen to Jesus, confess your sins, and believe in what He has done for you, you can have eternal life right now! Why not accept eternal life today?


  3. Next week: The Heart of the Cross.
* Copr. 2005, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2017 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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