Every day more and more people are taking a look – for some, a second one – at the historical person of Jesus of Nazareth. It is significant that a man who lived over 2,000 years ago, can still generate interest today. And why not, everything about Him was unique: The prophecies of His coming, His birth, His life, His teachings, His miracles, and His death. And especially His resurrection. It is history’s most significant event. Romans 4:25 says, “He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.”
Something To Talk About:
God’s Design: God has a unique design for each person that is His and gives us all we need to live it out when difficult. God does have a wonderful plan for your life. This realization is tremendously freeing. Instead of being stuck in the paralysis of deliberation, we can take the next step forward. We begin to recognize that what is on this earth is fleeting. We don’t have to fret in indecision, futilely trying to interpret God’s will as if it were a complex puzzle. When we have the choice between good options concerning careers, jobs, places to live, and the like, we can decide confidently knowing that God wants our holiness regardless of our context. We don’t know what the future will hold, but we know that He is good and will bring what He began to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Our Brokenness: We are all broken people, living in a broken world. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, no one is exempt from the effects of sin. The good news for all of us is that Jesus steps into the midst of our brokenness is near to us and makes us whole in His love. What’s even more amazing is God wants to use you to see past the broken exterior to the hearts of the people in your life. Brokenness can often make us hard, bitter, and difficult to deal with. But the message of Easter is that we can restore our relationship with God.
The Gospel: Easter is a season of great gladness for those who know Christ. Jesus left us with the great hope and certainty that He is going to return to bring a new Heaven and a new earth where we are told, there will be no more sorrow, trouble, or death for those who have believed and followed Him. As Christians, our great task is to obey the command to tell the whole world about Christ crucified, buried, yet risen again. During this Easter season, hopefully, we will meditate on our Savior’s great sacrifice for us on the cross and that we will be filled with great peace and hope, because “He is risen!” That is the good news of the gospel.
Repent and believe: God does not change, the only option left to us is to change our ways and thoughts if we want to harmonize with God, agree with God, and thus be able to accept God’s invitation to walk in fellowship with Him. The Bible has a word for this: “repentance.” Repentance means literally “to change your mind,” that is “to change the way you think.” And all through the New Testament, this is stated as the primary requirement for reconciliation with God. There is no way for man, with all his different ways and thoughts to be reconciled with God unless he changes the way he thinks; that is, unless he repents. Mark 1: 2-4 gives the introduction to the gospel ministry of Jesus. “as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”—“a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Until God’s people had been confronted with a need to change their way of thinking, they were not ready to receive the Messiah.
- How would you explain Easter to someone who asked you, “What’s Easter all about anyway?”
- Read Philippians 3:8-12. How is the power of the resurrection working in you today?
- Read Colossians 3:1. How should the resurrection impact your thoughts?
- Is God’s design for your life your first priority? What are your priorities specific to God’s design for your life? What can you do to implement them?
- God wants to use our brokenness to accomplish His good in our world and in our lives: agree or disagree and why?
- In what area of your life do you feel as you are just surviving? If you had to guess why is that the case? What would it look like if you were thriving in this area?
- How would you define the gospel?
- What does repentance mean to you?
- What can we learn from the story of the woman caught in adultery? We believe that highlighting the sins of someone else will distract God from our own sin. Agree or disagree and why? We are more interested in breaking broken people versus helping broken people. Agree or disagree and why?
- What will you change this week as a result of this message?
Take one thing home with you
Do you have doubts about the resurrection? Consider the following evidence:
First, Christ predicted His resurrection. The Bible records, “From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.” (Matthew 16:21)
Second, Jesus made numerous appearances to His followers. He comforted the mourners outside His tomb on Sunday morning. On the road to Emmaus, He explained things about Himself from the Old Testament. Later, He ate in their presence and invited them to touch Him. Scripture records that Jesus was seen by more than 500 at one time.
Third, the unrelenting faith of the disciples is proof of the resurrection. Those disciples who were once so afraid that they deserted their Lord now courageously proclaimed this news, risking their lives to preach. Their bold and courageous behavior does not make sense unless they knew with absolute certainty that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
Fourth, how can you explain the growth of the Christian church? Peter’s first sermon, which was on Christ’s resurrection, stirred people to receive Him as their living Savior. Acts 2:41 records the results: “Those Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.” And that group of believers has multiplied until now it reaches around the world and includes hundreds of millions of believers.
Finally, the testimony of hundreds of millions of transformed lives through the centuries demonstrates the power of the resurrection. Many have been delivered from addictions. Broken marriages have been restored. The most conclusive proof for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is that lives are transformed daily.