In chapter 11 we have reached the mid-point of John’s Gospel and are rewarded with Jesus’ most remarkable miracle to date. In this story we witness the tremendous faith of Martha and come face to face with Jesus’ humanity and divinity, as he responds to the loss of his friend Lazarus and raises him from the dead. This lesson calls us to trust in God’s timing, to get serious about prayer, and to be prepared for our own death and resurrection.
As we come to the end of our study of Genesis, our story concludes with the deaths of Jacob and Joseph. This final chapter provides the opportunity for us to reflect on extremely important topics of the Christian faith, including death, forgiveness, the sovereignty of God and our role in His plan and purposes, Biblical faith (as seen in the final instructions of Joseph), and the resurrection of the dead. May we take great encouragement from the heroes of the faith whom we have met in our Genesis study, and may they inspire us to never shrink back, but to perserve and endure till the very end!
Jesus spoke in John 5 about the physical resurrection of the dead (bodies coming out of the graves). This was an extremely divisive subject among the Jews. Jesus and Paul maintained that it was plainly taught in the Old Testament; but where? Here we answer that question and continue a deep discussion on the resurrection begun in the previous message. This is a lesson that illustrates God’s power, challenges our faith, and reveals the importance of our bodies (and what we do with them).
In John 5 Jesus’ enemies accused him of “working” on the Sabbath in healing a paralyzed man. In His response, Jesus “doubles down” and puts himself on the same level as God. Jesus also tells his opponents that the Father has committed to Him, the Son, the role of judging all men. In this lesson, we take a look at an aspect of Jesus many prefer to avoid: Jesus, the great Judge of all men on the Last Day. This carries important implications for several areas of our lives. Here Jesus also introduces teaching on the resurrection of the dead: considered a foundational teaching in the early church, yet commonly misunderstood among Christians today.
In John 2 we read two stories: Jesus performing his first miracle at a wedding in Cana and Jesus clearing out the temple. Jesus would go on to perform many miracles; why did He begin with turning water into wine? We also look at whether Christians should drink alcohol, and how we should relate to disciples who have different convictions on this. In the second story, we are challenged to imitate the zeal Jesus had for his Father's house, as well as the zeal of other heroes of faith in the Scriptures. Finally, we see Jesus proclaiming to skeptics that there would be one sign of His authority: His resurrection from the dead on the third day, the foundation of the Christian faith.
At God's command, Abraham takes his beloved son, through whom God has promised to build a great nation, to a mountaintop to sacrifice him on an altar. This is yet another disturbing story....
On this Easter Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Below are two resources for encouragement and study. (Note: these resources each stand alone, but complement the other.) These have been developed with the goal to strengthen Christians to persevere in the faith. These have also been created to equip believers to defend the faith and win over non-believers, by proving that God raised Jesus from the dead as recorded in the Old Testament Scripture. This is exactly what Peter and Paul did, as recorded in the New Testament.
Here is a link to Prophecies of the Resurrection, a lesson given last summer.
Here is a link to a study in the Prove It! series, which includes a presentation on proving Jesus rose from the dead using the Old Testament. There is also an outline with all the Scripture references.
May God bless your study on the resurrection!
In 2 Kings, chapter 4, we read about a nameless woman from Shunem whose kindness to Elisha results in both a miraculous birth and her son being raised from the dead. This story has much to teach us about the heart of God, service to each other, and saving faith.
Paul spends an entire chapter on the resurrection of the dead. In the previous lesson, we provided an overview of chapter fifteen with its key themes. In this lesson, we dig deeper into the chapter to explore further why a correct understanding of the resurrection is so central to the Christian faith and obedience to Jesus' teachings, how an incorrect understanding can lead to worldliness in the church, and how we can use the Scriptures and reason to defend the resurrection to non-believers. This lesson concludes with the final chapter in the book of 1 Corinthians, where Paul comments on weekly collections of money for the poor, house churches, and the holy kiss.
After addressing many issues in the church in Corinth, Paul turns to one last problem, that some Christians in the church did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Paul spends an entire chapter explaining the centrality of the resurrection to the Christian faith, including what raised from the dead means and why it matters so much.
While the resurrection of the dead is one of the elementary teachings of the Christian faith (Hebrews 6:1-2), this foundational teaching is misunderstood by many Christians. Paul's stirring and strong defense of the bodily resurrection of Christ and his followers provides us today with the confidence and courage to live as Christ lived, and to be steadfast and immovable in our work for the Lord. This lesson covers an overview of the chapter with its key themes, with the next lesson providing a deeper look at parts of the chapter.
For further study:
Then Jesus said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day...." - Luke 24:44-46
When Jesus appeared to his followers after his death, he opened their minds to understand the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms, which spoke of his suffering and resurrection. Many of us know places in the Old Testament that speak of Jesus' suffering. But where in the Old Testament do we learn about Jesus rising from the dead?
If we could only have been there when Jesus gave this sermon! While the New Testament does not record what Jesus said, we are fortunate that Peter was there and went on to instruct the Church, which is recorded for us in Scripture. In this lesson, we learn from Peter where the Old Testament Scriptures, written hundreds of years before Jesus' death, foretell of Jesus being raised from the dead. Peter's instruction amazes us, builds our faith in the Scriptures, and reminds us of the power of God and the identity of our Lord.
Did Jesus rise from the dead, or didn't he? The Christian faith hangs on this question. What did Jesus have to say about the resurrection? What importance did the apostles place on the resurrection? What proof do we have that Jesus' resurrection took place? We tackle these questions....
As we remember the resurrection of our Lord this Easter weekend, we thought we'd post a lesson done a few years ago that tackles the question: what does the Bible teach about what happens when we die? In Hebrews 6, Paul says there are six elementary teachings about Christ that he wishes he could move on from....