Explore The Bible Study: Jesus Lives

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Why do you think the disciples felt as if all hope was lost when Jesus died? Why do we, today, knowing that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive, still wonder if all hope is lost for some. Why do we struggle with knowing whether or not Jesus can rescue some people from the clutches of sin? It is because we are human and we need to always be reminded that Jesus lives! This is the focus of this week's Explore the Bible Study: He Lives, provided by LifeWay.

Imagine you were one of the followers of Christ who had just observed His death. In our passage today, we will get to view Christ's death from the perspective of those who had such high hopes of being rescued from the tyranny of Rome and seeing the Kingdom of God ushered into reality. What they didn't know is how that rescue would take place. They never imagined that it would involve the death and resurrection of the one they loved so much.

We need to be careful not to criticize these followers. They didn't yet understand the mission of Jesus, but they fully embraced it after His resurrection; they finally understood. On the other hand, we live on this side of His resurrection and we, too, sometimes struggle with the reality of His resurrection. We sometimes wonder if the One who overcame the grave and defeated death can actually rescue people who are captive to sin. Still others doubt the reality of His resurrection altogether because they just can't comprehend how this is possible. To those who struggle with doubt, the Apostle Paul gives this advice:

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain, and so is your faith. . . For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.  Those, then, who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19 CSB)

VIDEO OPTION
The following video could be used as an option for introducing the concept of being rescued. The Downloadable Supplemental Teaching Ideas give direction on how to use the video.

BACKGROUND OF THOSE PRESENT AT HIS BURIAL AND RESURRECTION
Be sure to check out the background and the discussion ideas pertaining to those present at Christ's burial and resurrection. Background is included for:
  • Joseph of Arimathea
  • Pilate
  • The Centurion
  • Mary Magdalene
  • Mary the mother of Joses
IMAGES TO USE
The following images could be used as you describe the empty tomb and Mary Magdalene's hometown.
Ruins of the City of Magdala (Mary of Magdelene's Hometown)

Rolling stone tomb near Megiddo. Discovered during construction of a road through part of Mount Carmel.
Example of tomb similar to Jesus' tomb.
DOWNLOAD THE SUPPLEMENTAL TEACHING IDEAS

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