Lesson for June 25th, 2016
Crucified and Risen
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In the final chapters of Matthew, we find inexhaustible truths regarding our Lord's death and resurrection and the hope that these two events offer us.
An almost-completed jigsaw puzzle set out on a table, writing paper, pens, whiteboard, markers
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Begin a "round robin" story with the sentence "It was a dark and stormy night." Starting with the facilitator, go around the group and have each person add one sentence to the story. See if you can set up your story so that the last person can bring it to a satisfying conclusion.
- One by one, go over to the puzzle and add one piece to the picture. Once the puzzle is complete, have each person give a one-word description of either the picture or an emotion the picture evokes in him or her.
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- Silently read John 3:19. Now write out what you wish the verse said. If Jesus came today, what do you want this verse to say about how you would receive the light? Read your updated verses to the group, explaining the thoughts behind what you wrote.
- Thought Questions
Read Matthew 27:11-26. How do you think Jesus felt about such a vehement rejection?
- After all the good Jesus had done for these people, their rejection must have stung.
- Jesus was pleased that Barabbas was given a second chance at life.
- Jesus was disappointed, knowing that these people would one day feel guilty over what they had done.
- Already knowing the outcome of the trial, Jesus was beyond feeling at this point.
- Even as the people called for crucifixion, Jesus was forgiving them.
In Matthew 27:45-54, what was the most significant thing the centurion saw that convinced him that Jesus was the Son of God?
- Jesus felt forsaken by God and yet remained faithful to the end.
- The earthquake that split rocks was pretty impressive.
- The group of people raised from their graves settled it in his mind.
- The whole scene-Jesus' demeanor, nature's upheaval, people raised from the dead-played a part.
- Since the centurion was part of the contingent that nailed Jesus to the cross, he made this statement out of fear of retribution.
Read in Revelation 20:7-10 about the final judgment. Which part of this passage is most difficult to understand? Which part makes you happy? Which part makes you sad?
- Satan will be released once more to deceive the nations.
- The wicked are rallied to gather and attack the city of God.
- Fire comes down from heaven and destroys the wicked.
- Satan will be cast into the lake of fire.
- "And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (verse 10).
Read Revelation 21:1-4. What do you most look forward to when the great controversy ends?
- All pain (emotional, physical, social, mental, spiritual) will be wiped out.
- I look forward to being united with family and friends forever.
- I can hardly wait to see the earth restored to its original state, as it was in the beginning.
- Nothing compares to the joy of seeing Jesus and the angels.
- Knowing that God will wipe away all my tears deeply touches my heart.
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: It's been stated that we will study the plan of redemption throughout eternity. On the whiteboard, list every concept you can think of that we don't have a definitive answer for now. What specific questions will you want to ask the Godhead?
- Option 2: When was the last time your church produced a passion play depicting Jesus' death and resurrection? Is this something your church could plan to do in the future? Brainstorm the steps you would take to get your church leadership on board with this and how you could make this an outreach event for your community.
- Option 3: What thoughts and emotions do you think went through the minds of the women at Jesus' empty tomb? Convey those feelings through facial expressions. Mime those facial expressions to the larger group and see if they can guess what you are thinking and feeling.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Privately contemplate how you view the closing scenes of your own life. Can you envision being totally sold-out to Jesus by then? Pray for a continual, upward walk toward Christ.
- Honestly evaluate who you think you would have been at the crucifixion: one of Christ's accusers, a follower that ran, or someone who stayed close to Jesus. Whoever that is for you right now, pray for a continual, upward walk toward Christ.