Matthew 28:1-15; John 20:1-18
“You are saved by grace through faith… it is God’s gift.” Ephesians 2:8
The time between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning must have been dark hours for Jesus’ disciples. Fear, doubt, and confusion certainly overwhelmed their thoughts. Jesus, their Lord, was dead. He had been unjustly arrested, falsely accused, and severely beaten. Even worse, He had been killed in a horrible manner: by crucifixion.
The story doesn’t end there. Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb. The tomb was sealed and guards watched over it. The Jews remembered Jesus’ claim that He would rise from the dead (John 2:19-21), and they made sure no one could steal His body and insist He had risen. Imagine their surprise when Jesus did rise from the dead!
John and Peter saw the empty tomb. Jesus appeared to Mary. The disciples believed Jesus had risen from the dead. Even though the guards at the tomb were bribed to lie about what happened (they said the disciples stole Jesus’ body), the truth spread. The disciples wouldn’t have dedicated their lives and died for something they knew was a lie.
If Christ had remained dead, His death would have meant nothing more than yours or mine. Humanity would still be dead in sin. But God gives us victory over sin and death through His Son, Jesus. The resurrection gives us hope that we too will one day be raised and changed. (See Rom. 6:5; 8:11.)
Paul addressed in 1 Corinthians 15:7 just how essential Jesus’ resurrection is to the gospel: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” The resurrection is proof that God was satisfied with Jesus’ sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins and that God’s new covenant had begun.
Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but He didn’t stay dead. God was pleased with Jesus’ sacrifice and raised Jesus from the dead to reign as King over all creation. Jesus provides salvation from sin and the promise of eternal life.
Emphasize to the kids you teach that Jesus is alive! We believe this by faith. Today, Jesus is seated at the right hand of God and reigns as King over all of creation. (Phil. 2:9-10)
KEY PASSAGE: Ephesians 2:8
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- Why did Jesus die on the cross? Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, and He is alive today.
BIBLE STORY: JESUS’ RESURRECTION
- Mary saw Jesus’ body was gone from the tomb.
- Peter and John looked inside the empty tomb.
- Mary saw and talked to Jesus.
- Jesus is alive!
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- What would you have thought or done if you were Mary? Peter or John?
- Why did the religious leaders want the soldiers to lie and say Jesus’ body had been stolen?
- Why is Jesus’ coming back to life so important?
- Find a recipe for “Resurrection Rolls” online. Make the rolls while retelling the Bible story.
- Enlist family members to help fold laundry. Remind children that Peter and John found linen cloths in Jesus’ empty tomb.
NEXT WEEK “The Emmaus Disciples” (Luke 24:13-35)