Easter Week April 2020 The Resurrection
The Resurrection of Jesus, The Son of God. This is what we are celebrating today – and should celebrate each day. “Ye seek Jesus of Nazereth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here;…” Mark 16:6
The days following the crucifixion and burial of Jesus were feast days known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The 14th day of the first month of the year was the Passover. The Lord and His disciples, along with Jews everywhere, ate the Passover Meal. The following day, which was the day of the trial and crucifixion was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which was observed for seven days. The purpose of this feast was that all of Israel would remember how God brought the people out from their bondage in Egypt.
This was a time of remembering the promise and power of God. These few days the disciples of Jesus would be remembering His promises and His power, but were not sure what the outcome would be. We have no record of their conversations during the next few days, but we do know that they remained in Jerusalem and stayed close to one another.
We do know of at least one conversation during this time. A group of women were planning on returning to the tomb on the day following the Sabbath (Saturday) and had been collecting items to complete the preparations for burial of Jesus’ body. They had watched as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had hurriedly prepared Jesus’ body and they determined to return and complete the preparation with love and care.
This brings us to the third day, the early morning hours of Sunday, as yet unknown to them – the resurrection Day of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.
The first day of the week began a forty day ministry of Jesus. This personal ministry on earth began with His resurrection and ended with His ascension, returning to Heaven to sit on His Throne as the right hand of God the Father.
We followed the death and burial of Jesus through the testimony of Mark in his gospel. This morning we will read from other writers of the Gospels as they give us their records as the Holy Spirit led them.
A. The resurrection. If possible, have family members read Matthew 28:1-15 and discuss each of the incidents they have read –
1. The testimony to the women. Matthew 28:1-6
a. The approach of the women. Matthew 28:1
What reasons do you think these women came at this time of the day?
b. The appearance of the angel. Matthew 28:2-5
What things were accomplished by the angels at the tomb that morning?
c. The authentication of His promise. Matthew 28:6
How did the angels encourage the women as they came near to the tomb?
2. The testimony of the women. Matthew 28:7-10
How do the words in verse 8 “departed quickly’, “fear and great joy”, “did run” describe the emotions and actions of these women?
Who did they meet along the way and how did they react?
3. The testimony of the guards. Matthew 28:11-15
Why do you think the guards went to inform the Jewish leaders what had happened instead of reporting immediately to their commander and the Roman governor?
Now we will turn to –
B. The ministry of Jesus –
1. To the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Luke 24:13-32
Sunday afternoon, following the excitement caused by the reports of the empty tomb, two men – disciples of Jesus departed from the group in Jerusalem and were walking to the town of Emmaus (about 11 km from Jerusalem which should take about 2 hours to walk). As they walked, they discussed all that had happened and tried to make some sense of it so they could understand what was going to happen next. Jesus joined them as they walked and asked what it was they were discussing. They were surprised that he had not heard the news of what had taken place. This conversation is recorded in verses 18 through 24. In verses 25 through 27, Jesus reminded them of the Scripture, how all these things were spoken of and they should have known this truth. In verses 28 through 35 we see Jesus then joined them as they stopped for a meal and He revealed His identity to them. Jesus departed from them in a moment and they rushed back to Jerusalem to give this news to the disciples still gathered there.
Do you see how the truth of God’s Word will bring us from confusion to confidence. When we are not sure what is happened or why things in our lives have not turned out as we expected, we need to go the Lord in prayer and in reading of His Word, the Bible, asking Him for understanding.
2. To the disciples gathered in Jerusalem Read John 20:19-25
The Apostle records the meeting of Jesus with His disciples on Sunday evening. Many of them were gathered there. The two men that had been going to Emmaus had just returned and had told of their encounter with the Lord. Jesus entered the room. According to what these disciples told Luke, the Jesus standing among the frightened them –
Luke 24:36-40 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
Whether He entered through a door or simply suddenly appeared, makes no matter. They did not expect to see Him which again testifies to the reality of His death. All of us have times of difficulty processing and understanding information because we are simply not prepared for it.
We have played a game with the young people in church by dividing into two teams. The people know each other very well. We separated the teams by having two helpers hold a blanket up between them so they cannot see each other. Each team sends one person forward to the blanket. Those chosen are face to face, only separated by the blanket. The object is that the first person to call out the other person’s name captures that person for their team. The two helpers drop the blanket and it is amazing to see two people who know each other well struggle to come up with the correct name. This is an example of how the brain processes information. Just as the people in the game are momentarily caught off their guard, the disciples were stunned and could not comprehend what was taking place.
Continuing in the Gospel of John chapter 20, verses 19 and 20, Jesus calmed their fears and proved to them that He was real, flesh and blood, standing and speaking with them.
Jesus met with them again to encourage those that had not been among the disciples on that first day –
3. To the disciples eight days after. John 20:26-29
The Apostle Thomas had not been with the others on that first day and when told of the meeting, did not believe it. Jesus, acting in love and patience, met with the disciples the following week and gave Thomas the opportunity to prove His existence. Through this meeting, Jesus pronounced a blessing to all of us that believe in Him, not because we have seen and touched Him, but because the Holy Spirit has confirmed His truth in our hearts and minds and we came to Him by faith. Read John 20:29
4. To the disciples in Galilee. Read the Gospel of John, chapter 21
He had a meal with them, restored Peter to the ministry and encouraged these men to trust and serve Him according to His will for each of their lives.
5. To 500 in Galilee. Matthew 28:16-20
Jesus met with the eleven apostles and a large group of believers in Galilee –
Matthew 26:32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
Galilee was much safer a place for this large amount of people to meet and be instructed by the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
At this meeting, Jesus gave the church the commission for the work they were to pursue –
Matthew 28:16-20 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Jesus also appeared –
6. To James, meeting with His brother. Read 1 Corinthians 15:7
Jesus’ brothers and sisters had not believed in Him as Saviour until the resurrection. Following this they came to God through faith in Jesus. James became the pastor of the church in Jerusalem. He wrote the book of James. Another brother of Jesus wrote the book of Jede.
The final meeting at the end of the forty day ministry was –
7. To the disciples on Olivet. Read Luke 24:44-49
Jesus met with them and reminded them of the truth of God’s Word and their responsibility to insure that all people have the opportunity to hear the Gospel, the good news of the love of God toward men shown through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.
C. The ascension. Read both Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:1-11
Following the final message and command, Jesus returned to Heaven, go up as they watched until He was out of their sight. He is there at this time – our Lord, Our Saviour, Our intercessor, Our soon coming King. He will return and we must be prepared for His return to take us to be with Himself. How do we prepare?
Conclusion and discussion points –
Remember the results of His salvation in our lives and tell everyone that we can that they should listen to His message –
1. Our sins have been forgiven through His offering of Himself.
a. If He was still in the tomb, it would prove that His offering was not acceptable to God.
b. Since He rose from the dead, He proved that His offering was acceptable to God!
He died once and He rose to live evermore!
Romans 6:9-10 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
2. Our sins have been forgiven and never will be remembered by God.
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
3. Our sins have been forgiven – the truth settled by the resurrection
We that are saved are in Christ. Is He going to die? No! We live because He lives! Where He is – that is where we will be! Heaven.
Jesus proved His promises to be true by His resurrection and every time we celebrate the resurrection, we celebrate His promises.
The promise to save all those that will call upon Him. “For whosoever shall call upon the…”
The promise to be with each believer all of the time – forever. “I will never leave thee…”
The promise to teach each believer His Word.
The promise to show each believer His will.
The promise to hear and answer each believer’s prayer.
1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
4. Our sins have been forgiven – that we might live for Him
2 Timothy 2:8-11 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him
Are you saved? Have you confessed to God that you know you are a sinner, separated from Him? Will you pray to Him today and ask Him to forgive you of your sin through your faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you believe that He died for you, was buried, and rose again proving that He is God the Son?
Ask, pray to God to forgive you and save you today, now.