Resurrection Sunday (Easter) Reactions to the Resurrection Mt. 28:1-20; Is. 53:1-12 April 21, 2019
I. It STARTS at a TOMB. (Mt. 28:1; Is. 53)
A. The GIFT of LENT. (Ps. 139:23-24)
B. The REALITY of DARKNESS. (Jn 1:5)
C. The REFUSAL to AVOID it. (v.1)
We often read this story and forget where it actually starts; a group of women heading to a tomb to care for a dead body. Resurrection only has meaning when death is present. Part of celebrating Resurrection Sunday is to remember the Lent that has gone before it.
1. What was your experience of the season of Lent like? How has it shaped your celebration of Resurrection?
2. What are the reasons that people avoid the dark, the hard, the negative realities in our lives?
3. When have you refused to avoid something difficult? What was that like? What was the result?
II. Differing REACTIONS to RESURRECTION. (v.2-20)
A. FEAR, surprisingly MIXED with joy. (v.2-10)
B. DENIAL and SELF-PROTECTION. (v.11-15)
C. WORSHIP (and some DOUBT). (v.16-17)
D. On MISSION with GOD. (v.18-20)
It’s no surprise that there were reactions to resurrection, what might surprise us is how varied they are. We see that everyone reacted differently to a risen Jesus, and the truth is we can identify with many, if not all of these reactions. When we encounter Jesus as He is and not as we thought He was, it often elicits the same types of responses.
4. Kid’s question: When did you have a total surprise and how did you react to it?
5. Human beings often live in a state of denial about certain realities in life. Why is that? How can we avoid that habit?
6. Do you identify with the disciples in Matt. 28:17? In what ways?
III. How to PRACTICE RESURRECTION. (Rom. 6:4)
A. Realize DARKNESS is part of the JOURNEY. (Ps 23:4)
B. Be HONEST about your own REACTIONS. (Lam. 3:40)
C. Christ: RISEN for you, LIVING in you. (v.18-20; Gal. 2:20)
Wendell Berry in his poem, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front writes about how we have lost our way using the practice of farming as a metaphor for life. He sumsup the solution to our need in the last two words of the poem – “Practice resurrection.” It’s good advice, but what does it really mean?
7. When has God used “darkness”, or a difficult time for your own spiritual good?
8. What does it mean that Christ lives in you? What difference does that make this week?