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My Lord and My God!
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: The resurrection of Jesus is both a historical event and an article of faith, bringing together God’s work in Christ with our response. John’s account of the resurrection provides numerous historical details that prevent us from reading it as myth and includes the surprised reaction of the disciples that enable us to appreciate it as a genuine miracle. Those who witnessed the empty tomb and encountered the risen Christ demonstrated their faith by believing the resurrection, confessing Jesus as Lord, and sharing the story with others. While it may seem that the original witnesses to the resurrection have an advantage over us today, the Bible assures us that we too can believe that Jesus rose from the dead and confess Him as our Lord, and thus receive forgiveness of sin, have peace with God, and inherit eternal life.
01. The resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact that cannot be disproven by the bewilderment of the disciples or the behavior of the church; consider the evidence before doubting the outcome.
02. The resurrection of Jesus is a precious truth that comes with promises for His disciples and is the reason we gather as a church; come, then, to the Living Lord and receive eternal life.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. On what day of the week did the resurrection take place? Is this why the early church began meeting on Sunday instead of the original Sabbath day? How does the connection between the first day of the week and the resurrection inform us about the purpose of worship each time we gather?
2. Who was the first person in John’s Gospel to discover the empty tomb? Who was the disciple that accompanied Peter to the tomb? Think about the stories of each individual who went to the tomb that day. What impact had Jesus made on their life? What thoughts would have been going through their minds that morning? What thoughts were going through their minds that evening?
3. How does the initial reaction of the disciples (bewilderment and unbelief) add to the historical nature of this account? What reasons led to their inability to grasp the resurrection as fact right away? Have you ever struggled to believe the resurrection of Jesus? What changed your mind?
4. Note how Jesus responds to Mary and the disciples without rebuking them for deserting Him or for doubting Him. How does this reaction point us to the kindness of God when He sees and forgives us for our sins? Are you withholding forgiveness from anyone for any reason? Ask the Lord to help you to forgive just as He has forgiven you.
5. Consider the evangelistic expectations from this text. Mary and the disciples tell people about the resurrection, and Jesus commissions the disciples to tell others about Him (verses 18, 21, and 25). John implicitly does the same with his words in verses 30-31. Have you told others about the resurrection? Ask the Lord to help you share the gospel message with someone soon.
For Further Reading: Paul Beasley-Murray, The Message of the Resurrection (IVP, 2000).