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Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

Looking toward the celebration of Resurrection Sunday, let me share some thoughts from A.W. Tozer from his powerful book, Paths to Power

According to Tozer, “there are some things that only God can do, and for us to attempt to do them is to waste our efforts; and there are things which only man can do, and for us to ask God to do them is to waste our prayers.

Among the things which only God can do, of first importance to us is the work of redemption. Atonement was accomplished in that holy place where none but a divine Savior could come. That glorious work owes nothing to the effort of any man . . . It was all of God, and man could simply have no part.

Redemption is an objective fact. It is a work potentially saving, wrought for man, but done independent of and exterior to the individual. Christ’s work on Calvary made atonement for every man, but it did not save any man. . .  (Emphasis added)

If atonement was made for all men, why are not all saved? The answer is that before redemption becomes effective toward the individual man there is an act which that man must do. . . God cannot do our repenting for us.  . . God has commanded all men to repent. It is a work which only they can do. It is morally impossible to one person to repent for another. Even Christ could not do this. He could die for us, but He cannot do our repenting for us.”

As you look forward to the celebration of the Resurrection, consider the atonement–have you appropriated it for yourself? Have you repented of your sin? Repentance is a godly sorrow over sin and a turning from the sin. It is actually the idea of making a u-turn and going 180 degrees in the opposite direction from which you were traveling to follow God.

If you have assurance of salvation, then be praying for those for whom Christ died but who have not yet appropriated the free gift of salvation and have not repented for their sin. It is a great time to remember that God desires that none would perish but that all would come to repentance.

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. We are currently offering a special on our bible study, Road to Resurrection, which helps the student to delve into the events which took place leading up to and on the Day of Resurrection.

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He is Risen!

Read Matthew 27:57-66

  1. Who went to Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body? What do you learn about this man?
  2. What was done to Jesus’ body? (See also John 19:38-42).
  3. Who else was at the tomb before the stone was rolled against the door?
  4. What additional safety measure is taken at the tomb? Why? (Matt. 27:64-66).

Read: Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18

  1. According to Matthew’s gospel, who comes to the tomb on Easter morning and what do they witness?
  2. According to the Angel in Matthew 28:6, where is Jesus? What proof does he offer? What command does he give to the women?
  3. What is the reaction of the women according to Matthew’s gospel to the news that Jesus is risen?
  4. Who do the women meet on the way to tell the disciples? What is their reaction? His? (Matthew 28)
  5. What cover up story is provided to the soldiers by the Jewish elders? Why?
  6. What is the commission Jesus gives to the disciples in Matthew 28:18-20. Copy it here.
  7. How does this apply to all of us? How do we know? Provide scripture references if you can.
  8. According to Luke’s gospel, what was Peter’s response to being told the tomb was empty?
  9. Read Luke 24. Luke 24 includes the story of Jesus revealing himself to two of the disciples traveling on the road to Emmaus. What does he discuss with them? When does he finally reveal himself?
  10. How does this interaction with Jesus influence them? How do you know?
  11. In Luke 24:36 and following, Jesus appears to the disciples. What is His greeting? What proof does He offer to verify it is Him? What proof does he offer that He is resurrected and not just a spirit?
  12. What instruction does he give the disciples at the end of Chapter 24 of Luke?
Garden Tomb, Jerusalem – the tomb is empty

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Read Mark 15:37-47

  1. What is the reaction of the centurion who stood watching the crucifixion after Jesus died?
  2. Who else was looking on according to Mark’s gospel?

Read Luke 23:44-56

  1. What was the reaction of the crowd to the death of Jesus according to Luke?
  2. Who was not present at the foot of the cross? Why?
  3. Read Psalm 34:20 and compare it to John 19:36. Why is this similarity significant?
  4. Read Exodus 12:46 (See also Numbers 9:12). According to John 19:36, why were none of Jesus’ bones broken?
  5. Read Zechariah 12:10. Zechariah lived in approximately 520 B.C. Why is this significant?
  6. Read Isaiah 61. Why did Jesus the Christ (the Messiah) come? List at least 4 reasons from Isaiah 61.

Note: Isaiah lived in approximately 760 B.C.

  1. At the cross, we see several different types of people. First of all we have the women who followed Jesus accompanied by John. Second, we have the Roman soldiers and the Roman Centurion (supervising soldier), Third, we have the religious leaders, watching as their threat is (apparently) eliminated. And Fourth, we have the mockers. Compare these four groups of people. Observe how they are all alike. Describe their differences. Describe how each is changed at the foot of the cross. Describe how each group leaves the cross.
  2. We, before we knew Christ, belonged to one of these groups. Which one did you identify with? Religious? Mocker? Rule keeper? Broken and hopeless? Explain.

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Read Mark 15:21-32; John 19:17-37

  1. Who was compelled to help Jesus by carrying His cross?
  2. What was written on Jesus’s cross? In what language? How did the Jewish leaders react to this? Pilate’s response?
  3. What do verse John 19:23-24 say the soldiers did with Jesus’ clothing?
  4. Copy Psalm 22:18 (A Psalm of David) here. What do you learn from this?
  5. Read Luke 23 Who was crucified at the same time as Jesus? How were their crosses arranged, i.e. Where was Jesus in relation to the others?
  6. What takes place between Jesus and one of the criminals in Luke 23:40-43? What important lessons can we learn from this encounter?
  7. What does Isaiah 53:12 say? How is this relevant?
  8. Write the 4 things Jesus said from the cross according to John 19:26-28, and 30. Why is each statement significant?

Read Matt 27:38-55.

  1. According to Matthew 27:38-44, the mocking of Jesus continued on the cross. Give some examples from this passage.
  2. What natural phenomenon occurred from the 6th through the 9th hour?
  3. Record Jesus’ cry from the cross in Matthew 27:46. What did it mean? Why do you think He cried out that way?
  4. What happened in the temple at the time of Jesus’ death according to Matthew 27:51 and Luke 23:45? What was the significance of that? What was behind the veil?
  5. Read Isaiah 53. List 5 verses that show this prophet, who lived 700 years
    before Christ, is talking about Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Explain.
  6. Read Psalm 22. Which portions of the Psalm tell of Jesus’ death on the cross. Quote several of the sections.

Note: Psalm 22 is a Psalm of David. David lived one thousand years before Jesus Christ was born

The Passion of the Christ

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Read Mark 14:55-65

  1. What were the Chief Priest and the counsel seeking with regard to Jesus?
  2. What was the problem with the false witnesses who spoke against Jesus?
  3. What do you learn from Deuteronomy 19:15 about the number of witnesses required under Mosaic law?
  4. In Mark 14:60, the High Priest asked Jesus a question, record the question and Jesus’ response.
  5. What was the question the High Priest asked Jesus in Mark 14:61? What was Jesus’ response?
  6. What is the significance of Jesus’ reply? How did this help His accusers? How does this relate to Exodus 3:14?
  7. What was the High Priest’s reaction to Jesus’ statement? Why did he react that way? What punishment did they want for Jesus? Why did they have to go to the Romans for that?

Note: After leaving the High Priest (Caiaphas) and the Sanhedrin, Jesus was taken to the Praetorium to be tried before Pilate, the Roman authority in Jerusalem and Judea. The Jews no longer lacked the authority to administer capital punishment (the death penalty) The Romans had taken that from them. In order to have Jesus crucified, the Roman authority would have to administer the penalty.

Going deeper: Who is Pilate? Find out what you can about him from extra-biblical sources. What do you learn?

Read John 18:28-40; 19:1-16; Mark 15:1-22;

  1. When Pilate asks the Jewish leaders what Jesus is accused of, how do they answer? What do you observe about that answer?
  2. How does Jesus describe His kingdom?
  3. In Mark 15:2, Pilate (Roman Ruler over Judea) questions Jesus as to who He is. Who does Jesus admit He is?
  4. What is the understanding that Pilate has about why the Chief Priests have turned over Jesus to him? (Hint Mark 15:10)
  5. What is Pilate’s verdict regarding Jesus in John 18:38?
  6. Who do the people call for in John 18:40?
  7. Who is Barabas? What is the debate involving him about? [Hint: See Luke 23:16-25?]
  8. Describe the suffering of Jesus outlined in John 19:1-3 and Matthew 27:27-31.

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Read Mark 14:32-42

  1. Where did the disciples and Jesus go after supper?
  2. How far were they from the Temple? Look the locations up on a map if you are not sure.
  3. What did Jesus want to do? Who did he take with Him?
  4. What is Jesus’ prayer in Mark 14:36? What is the “cup” to which He is referring? What is He asking for? Does He receive a “yes” to His prayer? How do you know?
  5. What were John, James & Peter doing while Jesus was praying?
  6. Copy Jesus’ warning to them in Mark 14:38 here. How is this a warning to us as well?
  7. What does Jesus tell the disciples is happening in Mark 14:41 when He returns to them the 3rd time?

Read Luke 22:39-46

  1. According to Luke 22:44, what happened to Jesus while He was praying?
  2. Who comes to strengthen Jesus according to Luke 22:43?
  3. Read John 18:1-11. How did Judas know where to find Jesus?
  4. What happened to the troops when Jesus identified Himself?
  5. What does Jesus do in John 18:8?

Read Matthew 26:14-56

  1. What do you learn about the disciple Judas from Matthew 26:14-16?
  2. Matthew 26:48, what was the sign Judas would use to identify Jesus?
  3. How does Judas address Jesus? What does this name mean? Why is that important?
  4. How does Jesus address Judas? Why is that important?
  5. Copy Psalm 41:9 here. What do you learn from this verse about the betrayal of Jesus?
  6. Review Psalm 55:12-14. What other prophetic information is given in this Psalm about the betrayal of Jesus?
  7. Looking back at the betrayal, what does Peter say about it in Acts 1:16-20?
  8. What happened in Matthew 26:51? What is Jesus’ response?
  9. What does John 18:11 record of Jesus’ statements after Peter cuts of Malchus’ ear? What is the “cup” to which He is referring?
  10. What did the disciples do when Jesus was arrested? Why is that important?
  11. How does the disciples’ behavior at Jesus’ arrest compare to their conduct in Acts 2? What is the difference? Why?
Tree in Garden of Gethsemane (Modern)
Ancient Olive Tree in Garden of Gethsemane (Modern)

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Palm Sunday

Read Matthew 21:1-11 and Luke 19:28-40.

  1. What did Jesus send two of His disciples to find?
  2. What further instructions did He give them?
  3. What did the disciples lay on the colt before Jesus sat on it?
  4. What did the multitude do as they approached the descent of the Mount of Olives?
  5. Write what Matthew 21:9 says the people were saying.
  6. What did the Pharisees tell Jesus in Luke 19:39? Why do you think they told him that?
  7. What did Jesus answer? Why?
  8. According to John’s gospel (John 12:12-16), When did the disciples understand the significance of the events?
  9. Read John 12:12-15. What additional information about the entry into Jerusalem to you learn from this passage?

Going Deeper:
Read Zechariah 9:9. Who is Zechariah writing about? Why is this important? When did Zechariah live?

Psalm Sunday road (modern)

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As we turn our thoughts towards the cross in these final 30 days before Resurrection Sunday (Easter), I invite you to check out some of our posts from years past.  Just click on the links below.

May God prepare your heart to celebrate the incredible truth of the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Finding Easter

When All Appears Lost – Easter

Easter – What are We Really Celebrating

To Save a Thief

Why Crucifixion

Waiting in the wake of the cross

Redemption?

Easter Part 2 – Who is Jesus?

Easter Part 3

Final Week of Jesus ministry – Vocabulary

 

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Do you ever struggle with waiting? Maybe God has promised you something–something amazing, and yet it does not happen as swiftly as you expected. Instead, God calls you to wait.

The Bible teaches this waiting. Psalm 27:14 exhorts us to “wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 62:5 adds a prayer of the psalmist, “my soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.”

But the waiting is hard. This passion weekend, I was reminded of the disciples waiting–they didn’t seem to believe that Jesus would rise from the dead from what we read in the gospels. They were, however, waiting–huddled together in the upper room, trying to make sense of the chaos and horror they witnessed–their teacher and beloved friend was tried, convicted and sentenced to death on the cross. They watched from afar off as He hung on the brutal torture rack of the Roman cross–dying a slow death of suffocation.

They had believed He was the Messiah–the one who would save them from the Roman oppression, and there He hung–a victim of that very oppression–innocen. What a horror it must have been for them! Their circumstances were over-whelming the promises they had been given. They couldn’t even hold them in focus. Fear ruled their hearts.

So it might be for you. God made a promise, but He is asking you to wait. The circumstances keep getting darker. But still He says, “wait.”

Fear not, Sunday’s coming and He will burst forth in glorious light from the darkness of the tomb–having conquered death and all that oppresses you. He is a risen Savior! He lives!

Wait a little longer . . .

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It is sometimes said that Resurrection Sunday (Easter) is the most important of all Christian holidays. Why might that be the case?

The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus is really a celebration of the events of several days, namely the last supper, the arrest of Jesus, the trials (3) of Jesus, the torture and crucifixion of Jesus, His death, His burial and finally and most gloriously, His resurrection from the death.

Before we consider the arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus, let us consider some of the vocabulary central to the discussion of Jesus’ death.

Look up the following words in a Bible dictionary or regular dictionary (or on http://www.dictionary.com) and record the meanin. After you record the dictionary definition, look up the key scriptures using the term to see what, if anything, new you learn.

1. Atonement
 Dictionary definition:

 Leviticus 17:11

2. Redemption
 Dictionary definition:

 Psalm 49:8, 15

 Lamentations 3:58

 Galatians 3:13

 Titus 2:14

 Hebrews 9:12

 Revelation 5:9

3. Sin
 Dictionary definition:

 Psalm 32:1

 John 1:29

 John 8:34

 Romans 3:20

 James 1:15

 1 John 1:8

4. Propitiation
 Dictionary definition:

 Romans 3:25

 1 John 2:2

5. Holy
 Dictionary definition:

 Romans 7:12

6. Sacrifice
 Dictionary definition:

 Hebrews 10:4-10

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