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Lesson for September 20th, 2014

Death and Resurrection

Scripture Focus

John 1:1-4; 5:28, 29; 11:11, 12, 38-44; Luke 8:54, 55; Matthew 5:22, 29

Concept

Jesus does more than sympathize with those who have lost loved ones. Christ died and then conquered death to guarantee eternal life to all who believe in God.

Materials Needed

Blank white paper, felt pens, lined paper, pens, Bibles

Connecting with the Scripture Topic

  1. Draw a tombstone or grave marker. If it were yours, what could you write on it that would encourage passersby regarding the resurrection? Write your epitaph on the tombstone and then share it with the group.
  2. Why is it important to know what the Bible says about the dead? If your beliefs are different than what the Bible teaches, what harm might that do?

Sharing and Receiving Scripture

  1. Are you fully convinced that there will be a resurrection of the dead? What proof do you have?
  2. Thought Questions

Read John 11:11. If this were the Bible’s only text concerning the dead, what would we know for a fact?

  1. Jesus likened death to a sleep.
  2. People breathe when they’re sleeping, so something in them must still be alive.
  3. Jesus called death a sleep because death isn’t permanent. The dead will wake up!
  4. People don’t know what’s going on around them when they’re sleeping. Neither do the dead.
  5. Sleep is a rest from the day’s troubles. Death is a rest from life’s troubles—with a glorious awakening!
  6. Other...

Read Luke 8:54-55. What encouragement does this text offer concerning the resurrection?

  1. Jesus has the power to reverse death.
  2. The final resurrection of the dead will be more impressive for the living than for someone who has just died.
  3. The Creator will return the “spirit” or “breath” to the bodies of those who have died.
  4. All Jesus has to do is speak the words, and the dead will come back to life!
  5. Jesus feels compassion toward those who mourn and wants to bring their loved ones back to life.
  6. Other…

Read John 5:28, 29. Why do both the righteous and the wicked need to be resurrected? Why not just leave the wicked in their graves?

  1. God needs to punish the wicked for their sins. That must happen before they die permanently.
  2. They must face the God who died for them so they will know they were given a chance.
  3. The universe must see that God was fair in dealing with humankind.
  4. The righteous need to know why some of their loved ones can’t go to heaven.
  5. The universe needs to see that God has the power to raise even those who rejected Jesus.
  6. Other…

Read 1 Corinthians 15:17-20. If Jesus hadn’t died and been resurrected, could we still have been saved?

  1. No. Our good works can never be good enough to save us.
  2. Yes. God could have chosen to have a resurrection based on our love for God.
  3. Yes. God could have chosen to have a resurrection based on our love for God.
  4. No. Only the Creator can restore life to the created.
  5. Yes. God could have chosen to do away with death at the Garden of Eden.
  6. Other…

Applying the Message of Scripture

Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.

  • Option 1: Role-play. Using just your Bible, convince the person sitting across from you that death is an unconscious state of being. Was this hard or easy to do?
  • Option 2: Keep track of the deaths in your church family and in your community. Send sympathy cards to those who are grieving and include notes that are full of hope. Better yet, visit the bereaved and take some food or offer to help with chores around the house.
  • Option 3: What do you most look forward to at the resurrection? Make a list and share it with the group.

Valuing Scripture in Your Life

  1. Read John 11:25. What does this promise mean to you personally? Have you ever lost a loved one? You can believe that this promise will be fulfilled!
  2. Do you have assurance that you will be resurrected at Jesus’ second coming? If you have doubts, write down the “whys.” Then talk with a pastor or friend who is well-versed in the Bible and can help.

Next Week's Scripture Focus

John 14:1-3; Matthew 16:27; 24:3-14; 42, 44; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

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