Session 7: Raised!
Suggested Week of Use: April 12, 2020
Core Passage: Luke 24:1-12
The following plan is an adaptation of the plans provided in the Explore the Bible Leader Guide, Daily Discipleship Guide (leader helps), and Leader Pack download. It is abbreviated based on best practices for teaching online and provides suggestions for utilizing the Personal Study Guide or Daily Discipleship Guide.
1. Study Luke 24:1-12.
Compare Luke 24 with Matthew 28, Mark 16, and John 20 noting the perspective of each Gospel writer.
2. Create the group meeting id.
If needed, create a unique meeting id using the online meeting tool you selected.
3. Send an email or social media post to the group.
Suggested wording: Think about the most awe-inspiring sight you’ve ever witnessed. Now, imagine walking through the darkness of a Sunday morning and finding something even more amazing: an empty tomb. The women who came to anoint Jesus’ body expected to find a stone that needed to be removed. Instead, they found a doorway to eternity.
Read Luke 24:1-12 in your Bible and the comments for session 7 in your Explore the Bible Personal Study Guide. Reflect on how the resurrection has changed the world forever.
We will meet at (add time) using (name of online tool). Here is the link to our meeting: (add meeting id, password: xxxxx).
Reminder to be sent the day prior: What’s the most awe-inspiring thing you’ve ever seen? Nothing compares to the empty tomb and the awe-inspiring reality of the resurrection of Jesus! We will meet at (add time) using (name of online tool). Here is the link to our meeting: (add meeting id, password: xxxxx).
4. Listen to the Adult Leader Training Podcast.
Go to goexplorethebible.com/adults-training/ for an overview of the main points and some key ideas from this lesson.
5. Create a plan.
GREET people as they join and discuss places they have been in the past they consider to be awe-inspiring. Encourage them to share how that scene caused feelings of awe (see PSG, p. 60; DDG, p. 57)
TRANSITION: Awe-inspiring experiences are often those that happen at a special moment in God’s creation, or maybe they are unexpected moments that catch us off guard. What about an awe-inspiring experience that goes beyond human understanding, like the discovery of an empty tomb?
Option: Use the Extra! idea. See goexplorethebible.com/leaderextras
INTRODUCE: Paul was very articulate early in his Letter to the Romans concerning sin and salvation. He wrote about dying to sin, being buried with Christ, and rising again to a new life. That imagery was familiar to the followers of Christ in Rome because everything they knew about their newfound faith was rooted in the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
GUIDE: Recount the burial of Jesus following the crucifixion and the impact of the Sabbath that began at sunset on Friday and lasted until sunset on Saturday.
READ: Explain that Luke 24 describes resurrection morning. Read aloud Luke 24:1-3, and invite the group to listen for two surprises the women experienced upon arriving at the tomb.
COMMENT: Mark’s account noted that the women were worried about moving the stone (Mark 16:3). But to their surprise, the stone had been moved—not for Jesus to leave but for the women to enter. When they entered, they were surprised because Jesus’ body was not there.
DISCUSS: An explanation of the empty tomb is at the heart of Easter and the heart of the Christian faith. Ask: How does a person’s explanation of the empty tomb expose his or her biases and values? (PSG, p. 63; DDG, p. 59)
READ aloud Luke 24:4-5. Say: The women were perplexed (confused) by the empty tomb and then terrified (not afraid but in the sense of awe and respect) by the “men in dazzling clothes” (angels).
EXPLORE: The angels posed a question that challenged the reason for the women’s presence at the empty tomb: “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5) Call attention to the question on page 64 of the PSG (page 59 in DDG) (What are some ways people seek life among the dead today?) and share ways you responded to the question. (If using the DDG, remind them to think more about their response to that question when completing the Day 3 Exploration activity.)
READ aloud Luke 24:6-9, noting that the angels answered their own question.
EXPLAIN: The women either did not understand Jesus’ explanation of His purpose or they failed to remember it in their grief. Once they heard the angels’ reminder, all of Jesus’ teachings came back to them and the light of truth began to clear some of their confusion.
HIGHLIGHT: To further clarify the confusion of Jesus’ followers, read the paragraph beginning “Once the women heard the angels’ reminder …” on pages 64–65 of the PSG (Day 4, p, 62, DDG) . Encourage the group to mark that page and reflect on what you just read later in the week.
DISCUSS: What keeps a person from considering the claims of Jesus and His resurrection?
PROBE: How does God’s Word validate the resurrection of Jesus? How does the Bible help a person understand Jesus’ resurrection?
READ aloud Luke 24:10-12.
SUMMARIZE: Call attention to the Key Doctrine: Jesus (PSG, p. 63; DDG, p. 59): Jesus was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion (1 Cor. 15:1-8).
REFLECT: Jesus’ death and resurrection provides salvation to all who believe. Ask: What impact does the empty tomb have on your life? How are you living out Jesus’ resurrection each day? (PSG, p. 67; DDG, p. 59)
CHALLENGE: Jesus’ death and resurrection demands a response. Ask: With whom can you share about the resurrection of Jesus? Write their initials and begin to pray each day for the opportunity to share. (PSG, p. 67; DDG, p. 59) Refer to the inside cover of the PSG or DDG and explain how they can use that information to share Christ with a friend.
RELATE: Invite the group to share prayer requests including the initials of the person with whom they plan to share. Discuss with the group ways of sharing the gospel while practicing social distancing.
6. Focus on Relationships
Contact group members daily to simply pray with them. Pray specifically for the people they identify who need to know about Jesus.
Be sure to send digital copies of the next session to group members who do not have a print copy. Encourage them to read the passage and comments for session 8 prior to the next online gathering. (If using the DDG, encourage them to use the Daily Exploration activities for session 7 in the days following the previous online group time.)
Send a message by Wednesday, asking the group to share about opportunities they have had to tell others about Jesus.