Lesson 6 - Jesus the Risen Lord
Grace. Though we did nothing to deserve it, while we were still guilty of cosmic treason, God provided a way for us to be saved and reconciled to Him. We were doomed to eternal death, but God provided a way out through His Son.
Many people struggle with the idea of Jesus being the only way to salvation, feeling that God is somehow being cruel. They fail to realize, however, that the fact that God provided ANY means of salvation is an astounding act of grace. And there is nothing anyone can do to earn that grace - it is a free gift!
Jesus is Buried
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, religious leaders that followed Jesus, received permission from Pilate to bury Jesus. They knew He was dead because one of the
Sealed Tomb . Not only was a huge stone placed over the tomb, but soldiers were also placed to guard the tomb. Failure to secure the tomb would have meant certain death for the soldiers.
Gospel. The word "gospel" comes from a Greek word meaning "good news." How appropriate it is that we use this term to describe the message of God's love for mankind. It is truly good news!
Resurrection. After Jesus' death, the disciples had become a band of frightened men in hiding. After the resurrection, they would die rather than deny that Christ had risen from the grave. Jesus' half-brother James didn't believe Jesus was the Messiah until after the resurrection. He went on to lead the church in Jerusalem and he, too, died rather than deny Jesus' resurrection.
soldiers had plunged a spear into His side. They wrapped the body in graveclothes, put it into a new burial cave, and rolled a big stone over the entrance. Nicodemus remembered Jesus' words: that He must be "lifted up," crucified.
Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:14-16)
Jesus' enemies remembered that He had said, "I will be raised to life after three days." These enemies received permission from Pilate to post some soldiers to guard the grave. Therefore, it would be impossible for anyone to steal the body and say that Jesus had risen again.
Jesus Comes Back To Life
Early Sunday morning, the third day after Jesus' crucifixion, He came back to life.
Now after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Suddenly there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord1 descending from heaven came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were shaken and became like dead men because they were so afraid of him. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there.’ Listen, I have told you!” So they left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. But Jesus met them, saying, “Greetings!” They came to him, held on to his feet and worshiped him. (Matthew 28:1-9)
Jesus showed Himself to His friends five times that day. He could go through locked doors and appear or disappear whenever He wanted to because He had a changed, glorified body.
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the disciples had gathered together and locked the doors of the place because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)
At first the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost. But after they touched Jesus' body and He ate with them, they knew that He had really come back to life. One of the disciples, Thomas, was not with them at the time and wouldn't believe what they said. The next week when they were all together, Jesus suddenly stood there among them again.
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and examine my hands. Extend your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe.” Thomas replied to him,“My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:27-29)
These words of Jesus are especially for us. We don't have to see Him to believe that He actually rose from the dead. He met with his disciples over a period of forty days, teaching them. They wrote about it in the Bible. Their enemies whipped them and put them in jail for telling that Jesus was alive again. However, they knew that it was the truth. They would die before they would say that it wasn't so. They were witnesses of Jesus' resurrection.
Jesus Tells His Plan
Jesus' plan was that every believer should be a witness to tell others about Him. He said:
Then Jesus came up and said to them,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Jesus knew that His followers would fail unless they had the power of the Holy Spirit in them to carry out His plan. So He said:
and said to them, “Thus it stands written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49)
Jesus Goes To Heaven
He told them, “You are not permitted to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.” After he had said this, while they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud hid him from their sight. As they were still staring into the sky while he was going, suddenly two men in white clothing stood near them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:7-11)
As the disciples went back to Jerusalem to wait for the Holy Spirit, they thought about what Jesus had told them:
and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine left.” (John 14:2-3)
Jesus Keeps His Promises
Ten days after Jesus went to heaven, the Holy Spirit came and filled the believers. From then on they had power to tell others about Jesus. They were thrown in jail and beaten but they continued to witness of Christ. They fled from Jerusalem to save their lives, but everywhere they went they told the good news about the Savior. Jesus has kept His promise. He still fills believers with the Holy Spirit and gives them power to be His witnesses. Jesus will keep His promise to come back again. We expect His soon return.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Are you ready if Jesus should come today? If you are not sure, why don't you pray this prayer:
Jesus, I accept You as my Savior and the Lord of my life. Please forgive all my sins. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me tell others about You. Whether I die or live until You come, take me to live with You forever in Your home in heaven.
Did you pray this prayer?
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