Christianity is about the resurrection of Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:45 NIV
So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
Luke 24:1-12 NIV
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,  but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”  Then they remembered his words.  When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.  It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.  But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.  Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened. …
- Who were the women who went to the tomb in early Sunday morning (v10)? Why (v1)?
- What did the angels of the Lord told the women when they saw that the tomb was opened and that the body of Jesus Christ was not there (vv 5-7)?
- Did the apostles believe the women when were told what happened to the Lord (v11)? Why? What did Peter do differently?
- Discuss the angel’s statement “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
- Why do you think that Jesus followers forgot His words “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again?”
- Historical & biblical accounts agree on Jesus bodily resurrection but what does it take to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
- What reminder do you need so that you can remember God’s words? How can you remind someone else to trust God?
- How can you read/study the bible in the perspective that Jesus Christ is alive today (vs reading a historical account)?
- How can you encounter the living Christ? Or if have you already met the risen Christ in your life, share how?
Other Bible verses from the sermon:
Hebrews 12:2 NIV
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
1 Peter 3:18 NIV
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
Notes from Teacher Paul’s preaching.
- Rev 2:8-11
- “Dying is like falling asleep in one place and waking up in another” – William K. Condrell
- Why sweep the graves? To remember them and also reflect on your owns life – but not worship them.
- People cry when someone die, because people feel pains that all of us will soon experience death.
- Why follow Jesus? Jesus conquered death.
- “Lazarus is dead but let us go to him.” – John 11:44
- “Jesus wept.” – John 11:35
- Jesus cried not for Lazarus but for the hopeless people who have no way of reaching heaven.
38 Then Jesus, deeply moved within himself again, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying on it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the one who had died, said to him, “Lord, he is stinking already, because it has been four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his* eyes above and said, “Father, I give thanks to you that you hear me. 42 And I know that you always hear me, but for the sake of the crowd standing around I said it,* so that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 And when he* had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The one who had died came out, his* feet and his* hands bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped with a facecloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.”
Jesus performed 3 things.
- Jesus asked to remove the stone that covers the cave/tomb
- Jesus raised Lazarus to life.
- Jesus asked the people around to help Lazarus untie the grave clothes.
- Why Martha don’t want Jesus to open Lazarus’ tomb in v39? Did Jesus followed Martha? Why or why not?
- Why did Jesus prayed aloud in verses 41 & 42?
- What miracle did Jesus do in v43? What was Jesus command in v44?
- Why Jesus asked the people to remove the stone that covered the tomb? Do you think the Lord couldn’t do it by Himself?
- Why do you think Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead? Do you think Lazarus died again? Why or why not?
- Why would Jesus asked the people to help Lazarus untie the grave clothes? Was Jesus’ miracle not enough for Lazarus to completely recover?
- Have you ever experienced a miracle of God in your life? Have you removed the stone that hinders your heart from believing God completely?
- God gave spiritual life when we first believed in Jesus Christ, were there any grave clothes left that we need to remove? Who are helping us remove our remaining grave clothes? Are you helping others remove their grave clothes as well?
Matthew 27:50-54 (NIV)
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[a] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!
There were four miracles happened at the death of the Lord Jesus Christ
- darkness (from the 6th hour to the 9th hour darkness came over to all the land – v45)
- tearing of the temple’s curtain from top to bottom (v51)
- earthquake (earh shook, th rocks split – v53)
- rising of people from the tomb (v52-53)
The death of the Lord Jesus was very noticeable to everyone, believers or nonbelivers alike. If you were there, you would like to know who is this man? Is His teaching true?
Many bible scholars tried to explain v52-53 but Matthew didn’t gave us enough information who were raised, and whether they lived a normal life after their resurrection. Bible scholars studying writings of that time didn’t find information on these ressurections either – whether providing more data or writing to falsify what was written by Matthew.
As a follower of Jesus, I personally believed that these events were true or else Jesus’ enemy (those who crucified him) would do everything to destroy Jesus’ credibility. Note that the on Matthew 27:62-64 the chief priest and the Pharisees went to Pilate to ask him to station some guards on Jesus’ tomb because Jesus claimed that He will rise again after three days. Jesus’ enemy were afraid that the disciples would steal Jesus’ body and claim His ressurection. If this claim of Matthew is not true, then there should be writings against it. But nothing can be found because everyone knew the truth.
Some bible scholars thought that perhaps Matthew made a mistake in his chronological order because the ressurection of Jesus should happen first before the ressurection of others. ESV, KJV and other bible translations were like this so that ressurection happens only after Jesus’ ressurection.
But would it really make a difference? Lazarus was bodily ressurected by the Lord Jesus Christ even before Jesus’ death and ressurection. God’s power is limitless and God can do miracles if He desired it. In heaven, God will tell us everything we wanted to know but for now I would focus my attention on things that are more beneficial – like discipleship. We know that some people were ressurected – but since we were never told what happened to them I will stop guessing and live with that mystery. God is still good anyway- all the time!
Matthew 27:52-53 (KJV)
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Matthew 27:52-53 (ESV)
52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.