Introduction:
Have you ever wondered what it must have been like to see Jesus’ empty tomb. How did the disciples feel seeing Jesus alive three days after seeing him on that cross. How could you describe the experience of the Savior of the world standing before you alive and well. What’s so interesting about the account is that the disciples and other followers of Jesus almost missed him. Their lack of faith and understanding almost left them desolate and without hope. They were thinking of the dead Jesus and not the living Savior. We too can be in the danger missing the living Jesus or tapping into His power. The power of the Resurrection is the focal point in our life of faith. There’s power in knowing Him. There’s power in knowing your purpose in life. And there’s power in tapping into His unlimited power.

Something To Talk About:
Access the power of His love – Love is the greatest privilege and power known to man. The first-century Christians demonstrated a quality of love never before witnessed on this earth. That love changed the world. If we are to continue to change the world we must do so in the power of God’s love. God loves you unconditionally. We are commanded to love others — God, your neighbors, your enemies. Unfortunately, we are incapable of loving others in your own strength so we need to love others with the power of God’s love. 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that no matter what you do for God and for others, it is of no value unless you are motivated by God’s love.
Access the power of His fullness – Fulfilled is a great word—the only problem is finding it. Oh, we can crack open a dictionary and “find” it easily enough, but the trick is moving beyond Webster and finding it in our lives. God Himself is the source of true fulfillment. It’s what God impartially offers anyone who seeks Him in the way He wants. John 6:35 tells us, “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” Of course, life still has its ups and downs, disappointments, and struggles. But what gives life true meaning is God Himself. He is the source of fulfillment in out lives.
Access the power of His power: Independence. Self-reliance. Competence. All of these words are used to describe the the society ideal of total self-sufficiency. The truth is we need to access the power of God. 2 Corinthians 3:5 says, “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” In Job 8:14-15 we read about those that forget God: ”What they trust in is fragile; what they rely on is a spider’s web.They lean on the web, but it gives way; they cling to it, but it does not hold.” Depending on our own strength rather than God’s is as foolish as leaning on a spider web for support. The truth is that we are not equipped to manage our lives on our own — we need the power and help of the One who made us.
Access the power of His purpose: The struggle to find our purpose in life with life can be a big issue.But as Easter so dramatically points out, our God is a very big God, and has all things under His control. That includes big things like a major crisis in our lives and the little things that give us purpose on a daily basis. Our minds aren’t switched off, but rather transformed and renewed by God, and so we become aware of the purpose God has for our lives. Philippians 2: 13 says, “…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

Questions:

  1. What is the very first thing that comes to mind when you think of the resurrection?
  2. Look for evidences of God’s love for you all throughout the day. How can we remind ourselves that we are the object of His endless love.
  3. What is the difference between being successful and being fulfilled? Can you be successful without being fulfilled? Can you be fulfilled without being successful? Explain.
  4. How do you develop a relationship with God that will enable you to confidently display His power in life’s most challenging circumstances?
  5. When was a time when you really knew you were living God’s purpose for you? How did you know? Or, when was a time when you realized that you were not living God’s purpose for you? How did you know?
  6. What is one thing that you will take away from Easter this year?

Take One Thing Home with You
One of my favorite Easter stories is the encounter with the Risen Christ found in Luke 24. It is the story about two disheartened people were walking along the road to Emmaus. They were joined by Jesus, but they failed to perceive his identity. Jesus walked with them, listened to them and searched the scriptures with them. Later on Jesus shared an the evening meal with them. He was their guest, but instead he assumed the position of host. He took up a piece of the bread blessed the morsel, gave thanks to God and shared it with them. As he did so, they recognized the gestures and words as the same that Jesus had used, and what is more they recognized this man for who he was: Jesus of Nazareth, the Risen Christ.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32) The hearts of these men “burned” within them because they were searching for the truth, and the truth was being revealed to them. They would find the truth within the revelation of Scripture, explained by the One who embodied the Truth.

This story reminds us about the many different ways Jesus encounters us in the midst of our journey. There are times we are not able to recognize His presence with us, while at other times it is so easy to recognize Him with us and among us. Yet, He faithfully remains Emmanuel (God with us) even when we cannot recognize and acknowledge His presence in our lives.

I love this story because it demonstrates what it means to have our eyes opened to the presence of Christ in the simplest of things: in a walk with a friend, in the midst of mourning, in relationships, and in doing lives together in Northstar Groups. A true encounter with Christ liberates something in us, a power we did not know we had, a hope, a capacity for life, resilience, an ability to bounce back when we thought we were completely defeated, a capacity to grow and change, the power to transform lives.

It is my prayer that we have an encounter with the risen Christ during Easter and that our hearts will burn and our lives transformed by what He did for us on the cross.