THE BIG IDEA:
Jesus’ resurrection proves that he is God and gives us power over sin and death.
Jesus’ resurrection isn’t a reality in our daily lives, robbing us of hope and stripping us of power over sin and the fear of death.
Believe in Jesus’ resurrection and rely on the power he brings through being alive in us to live our lives.
Jesus had no heartbeat for three days, then he came back to life. He didn’t faint, then revive, he didn’t die, then come back as a ghost. His heart started beating again after three days. He rose from the dead.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOPIC:
We want this study to emphasize the confidence we can have in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The truth of his resurrection from the dead gives us confidence in his Word, in our own resurrection, and his power to give us freedom from our sin. We have confidence in his Word because Jesus’ prophesies about his resurrection came true. We have confidence in our resurrection because if Jesus was raised, we can be too. And we have confidence in His power to give us freedom from sin because if Jesus has power to overcome death, he can overcome my sin as well.
- What I want the group to know: Jesus’ resurrection proves that he is God and gives us power over sin and death.
- What I want the group to experience: Confidence that Jesus is alive and gives us power over sin and death.
- How I want the group to respond: By trusting the resurrected Christ living in us to give us an unshakable hope and overcome our sin, struggles, and fear of death.
Liven your lesson up with these creative ideas. A well placed video, illustration, game or activity can really make your lesson memorable. If you have idas you would like to share with the community, click here.
Jasmine is in your last period class, and she’s been talking to you about her interest in Christianity. One afternoon as you leave class and walk to your lockers, she tells you she’s started going to church. But she’s confused because they’re talking in church about Jesus dying for our sins and returning to life three days later (she says they call his return to life the resurrection). “That sounds crazy!” Jasmine says. She doesn’t know if she believes that actually happened. “And even if it did,” she tells you, “Why is it such a big deal?” What would you say to Jasmine?
1. Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-6. These verses say a few things are most important in the Christian message. What are they?
Christ died for our sins and was buried, was raised on the third day, and appeared to many people.
2. Why is it important that Jesus died for our sins and was buried?
Allow the group to discuss. Our biggest problem in life is our sin and the “death penalty” Romans 6:23 says we’re under because of it. Because of Jesus’ death, God is able to take the “death penalty” we deserve for our sin and place it on Jesus so that we can know God’s forgiveness when we trust in him.
3. Read John 11:25-26, Romans 4:25, and Romans 6:4. Why does it matter that Jesus was raised from the dead?
Have a different person read each passage. Allow the group to discuss. The answers are right in the verses. Jesus’ resurrection assures us we’ll live with him forever if we’ve trusted in him. It makes us right with God because it proves that his death paid for our sin. It gives us new life, including a fresh start and power to become more like Christ and be who God created us to be.
4. What difference does it make that he appeared to many people?
Allow the group to discuss. It shows that he actually rose from the dead. It wasn’t a trick or a figurative expression. That more than 500 saw him at once proves they weren’t hallucinating. He really did have a physical body and walked around after he had died and was buried.
5. 1 Corinthians 15:3 says “just as the Scriptures said”, referring to parts of the Bible that were written several hundred years before Jesus’ birth. These Scriptures predicted that Jesus would be killed, then raised from the dead. Why is this a big deal?
Allow the group to discuss. It assures us that Jesus’ death and resurrection were part of God’s plan. If everything happened the way God said it would, it shows his faithfulness and helps us trust him.
6. If you have placed your trust in Christ, how does Jesus’ resurrection make you more confident that God has forgiven all your sins? (If you have not placed your trust in Christ yet, how does it give you confidence that he can?)
Allow the group to discuss. Jesus’ resurrection shows that God the Father accepted Jesus’ payment for our sin. Our debt before God is paid in full by Jesus. If Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead, it would have shown that his sacrificial death wasn’t enough to pay for our sins.
7. Read Romans 8:11. Think about something you’re struggling with right now. Maybe it’s a hard situation, addiction, or a bad character trait. How does it help you face this struggle to know Jesus’ resurrection power lives in you if you’ve trusted in him?
Allow the group to discuss. If you’re dealing with a hard situation, addiction, or bad character trait, this verse tells us that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is present within you to deal with what you’re facing. This power raised Jesus from the dead! That same power can help you with what you’re facing.
8. Because Jesus is “the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25), we can know we’ll live with God forever if we’ve trusted in Jesus. How could this change the way you approach life?
Allow the group to discuss. Knowing that we’ll live with God forever means we can approach life with confidence. Regardless of what happens to us in this life, we know our life is eternally secure with God because of Jesus. Knowing we’ll live with God forever also helps us realize that this life isn’t all there is. It protects us against putting too much stock in our daily circumstances because we know they won’t be forever. But life with God will be.
9. How does this change the way you think about death?
Allow the group to discuss.Knowing we’ll live with God forever lets us face death with confidence because we know that death isn’t the end. It also grows our desire to help others follow Jesus so that they also can have life after death through him.
10. God loved you enough to have his Son die for you and had enough power to bring him back to life from the dead. How does knowing about his love and his power shown through the resurrection, help you trust him with all the things in your everyday life?
Allow the group to discuss.Think about some of the things that are really important to you: getting good grades, getting along with your friends, doing well athletically, or getting a job. None of those things is bigger than God letting Jesus die for our sins and return from the grave. If God was big enough to pull off Jesus’ death and resurrection so we can be forgiven and live with him forever, he’s more than big enough to give me his best with regard to grades, friends, athletics, a job, or anything else in my life. Jesus’ death and resurrection proves he’s big enough for me to trust him with all of life. Jesus’ death and resurrection proves God is big enough for me to trust him with all of life.
11. If you’re still considering whether to trust and follow Jesus, how does what we’ve discussed today help you with that decision?
Allow the group to discuss. Allow God to use this question to let those in your group that haven’t begun to follow Jesus express themselves and what they’re dealing with. Affirm their answers, encourage them to trust in Jesus, and let them know it’s OK to be in process with this decision.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.