Easter 2018 // Resurrection Stories

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ICE BREAKER

  • What is one key event in your life that has shaped who you are today?
  • Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if that had never happened?
    What would be different?

 

  • Think about it in terms of Jesus’ resurrection. If you had only one sentence to explain the significance of Jesus’ resurrection, how would you do it?
  • What are some of the things that would be different about history if Jesus had not risen from the dead?
  • What are some of the things that would be different about your own life if Jesus had not risen from the dead?

INTRODUCTION

There are points in all our lives that shape who we are. These key events force us down a certain path, but what would it have been like if that event had never happened? Imagine how different your life would be without that event. Now think about the impact of Jesus’ resurrection. No event in human history has had more of an impact. For us today, because Christ has risen, we have purpose, grace, and hope that can never be taken away.


"Because of Easter there is always hope. And God wants to give you hope and a resurrection story."


READ

Have a volunteer read 1 Corinthians 15:1-8.

  • Why do you think Paul took the time to remind the Corinthians of the gospel?
  • How did he describe the impact of the gospel?
  • In verses 3-4 Paul claimed Christ’s actions were “in accordance with the Scriptures”? Why is this fact so important?

LEADER NOTE
Before Paul took the time to defend the historical reality of the resurrection, he reminded the Corinthians what was at stake: the gospel. It has been said that 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 is one of the earliest statements of faith. These two verses contain the essence of the gospel. Christ died for sins. He was buried. He was alive on the third day. This is not a secondary or ancillary message, but the very core of Christian faith. The only matter of first importance.

  • Why do you think Paul recorded all of these witnesses to the resurrection? What was he trying to show in doing so?
  • A witness is defined as “a person who sees an event.” How are we witnesses to Christ’s resurrection?

LEADER NOTE
When Christ rose from the grave, He did not simply ascend to heaven, but stayed and spent time with people. The point Paul was making is that the resurrection really happened. It is more than a good story; it is a fact. Jesus appeared bodily to living witnesses. At the time of this letter, the Corinthians would have been able to meet someone who saw the resurrected Jesus because most of them were still alive!


"God wants to forgive you of every sin and help you with every problem."


READ

Have a volunteer read 1 Corinthians 15:12-20.

  • Why, according to these verses, does not believing in Easter mean removing hope?
  • How specifically does the resurrection of Jesus give you hope?
  • How does taking away the resurrection mean that forgiveness and resurrection are also taken away?
  • If Jesus was not raised from the dead, then what can we conclude about His life?

LEADER NOTE
The resurrection is the stamp of approval on the life and death of Jesus; it validates the authenticity of His claims. If Jesus was not raised from the dead, it means that we cannot trust the rest of what He said either. But because He was raised, we can know that everything He taught is trustworthy.

  • How can Paul claim that without the resurrection, Christians are the most pitiable people of all?
  • What does that statement tell us about the way a Christian should rightly live?

LEADER NOTE
The true Christian life is one of sacrifice and often loss. But this loss is counted as joy because of the promise of what is to come. But if Jesus wasn’t raised, then it means we won’t be either, and we have nothing to look forward to. Paul’s argument was simple—in order for the Christian life to be worth it, there must be something else. But because He is alive, that hope, meaning, and purpose can never be taken away.


"Get busy living. God has a resurrection story for you."


APPLICATION

  • How is does the resurrection give your life meaning and purpose right now?
  • What specific situation do you need to look on with hope because of the resurrection of Jesus?
  • How are you going to remind yourself, beyond Easter, of the importance of the gospel, and of the power of your own personal resurrection story?

PRAYER

Thank God for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Pray that we would live with an awareness that Jesus is alive, and that this knowledge and belief would impact everything about the rest of our lives.


Brian Otte