Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is Jesus’ resurrection is discovered, and there is great hope because of His resurrection. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to make sure that we are living like we trust the power of the resurrection.
Read John 20:1-10 I. The Risen Christ. Mary saw the tomb was empty and told the disciples. Peter and John went to investigate. They discovered that Jesus was gone, but His linen clothes were still there.
- Kind hearted and trusting. Notice in vss. 1-2 that the women had a good heart, but they were not trusting the promises of God. First, it was nice of the ladies to go to care of Jesus’ body. As believers, we should be known for doing kind things out of a heart of compassion.
Second, the ladies were looking for a dead body, instead of confirmation of Jesus’ promise that He would rise from the dead. God is calling us to study and obey His word as well as trust Him to do what He said that He would do. Let’s work on being both kind hearted and trusting the promises of God.
- Scripture based faith. Notice in vss. 8-9 that there is some growing in faith. Initially, the disciples did not believe. John seems to have developed some belief. However, the belief seems to be based on experience more than on scriptures. First, we should all strive to grow in faith. The best way to do that is to prayerfully study and obey the Bible with the support of others (i.e., Growth Groups).
Second, we really need to take God at His word because He doesn’t always give us experiences like those in the text. Think about a parent telling a five year old not to play in the street.
If the five year old must have experience with the danger of playing in the street before he obeys, he can be killed by the one experience. The same can be said for adult sins like drugs, sex outside of marriage, or lying on people. Let’s work on growing in our faith in God, based on His word, not just our experiences.
Read I Peter 1:3-9
II. The Empowering Christ. The readers are urged to praise God. Believers are given new birth. There is some temporary suffering to be endure. But there is salvation for the souls.
- Living hope. Notice in vss. 3-5 the call to praise God because of the living hope found in Christ. First, every believer is called to praise God, even when we don’t feel like it. God is worthy of our praise. The more we praise Him, the better we will feel.
Second, we should remember that no matter how bad things look around us, we still have hope in Christ. Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, He can turn things around in our lives and surely after our Earthly lives. Let’s praise the Lord like we have living hope in Christ.
- It is temporary. Notice in vs. 6 the call to rejoice while suffering a little while. First, our rejoicing should not be based on what is going on in our lives. Some only rejoice when all is well. We are called to rejoice, even when suffering.
Second, no matter how saved and mature we are, we can expect some suffering. It may be emotional, relational, financial, or communal, but it has a way of coming into all of our lives.
Third, thank God, the suffering only lasts for a little while. Sometimes it is a little while on Earth followed by great blessings on Earth. There are times when we suffer on Earth and experience our great blessings in glory. Let’s live like we are committed to rejoicing even during temporary suffering.
- Handling suffering. Notice in vs. 7 that when suffering is handled well, God gets the glory. As believers, we should learn how to praise and obey God, even when things are bad. This brings glory to God. It makes Him look good. But when we cuss and fuss our way through trouble like those who are not saved, God doesn’t get the glory out of that.
In fact, it seems that He would be embarrassed but such behavior. Think about how we want our young people to behave as if they have some home training, even when things get rough in their lives. God expects the same and more. Let’s work on handling our suffering in ways that bring glory to God.
- Faith development. Notice in vss. 8-9 the idea of faith leading to love, joy, and the salvation of souls. First, the more we believe and trust God, the more we should love Him. The greatest expression of love is not praise but obedience. God is calling us to love Him with all that we have and to love others, as we love ourselves.
Second, the more faith we have, the more joy we should have. We can always have joy in knowing that things could have been worse, and by the grace of God, things will get better.
Third, we are saved by faith in Jesus’ death being the substitute payment for our sin debts. Let’s work on developing our faith. We can do this by prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of other disciples.
Conclusion: Let’s work on living like we trust the power of the resurrection. God has much for those who obey His will.
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