Jesus' resurrection from physical death brought him in his glorified body to reign over the Kingdom of God. This lesson unveils his final instructions to those who truly follow him, including believers today.
Please read Luke 24:35-49 before starting GraspingGod.com's free Bible study lessons, #2.21.
Previous lesson: Jesus' Death #2.20.
Preliminary Bible Study Questions:
1) What did Jesus teach the disciples on the Road to Emmaus?
2) What is the Great Commission?
3) How are Jesus' disciples, including you and me, to evangelize the world?
Hello again! Glad you came by to visit. We're discussing Jesus' resurrection today and we have some really neat things to study. Let's get started.
Jesus' resurrection life began a 40 day period of appearances to many people. Through his meetings with his close friends, we'll discover Jesus' important final messages and instructions.
Jesus had several reasons to reveal himself in his resurrected body to his disciples and a few other people. So, we'll break down certain encounters, studying the important messages that were intended.
The Road to Emmaus encounter: Please read Luke 24:13-34 for details. Two followers of Christ were walking on the road to Emmaus discussing what had transpired over the weekend in Jerusalem.
Suddenly, the risen Lord Jesus walked with them. He was incognito because of his new glorified body.
He simply asked them what their serious conversation involved. The two filled him in with all the details that happened to their Messiah - including Jesus' resurrection. The risen Jesus listened while maintaining his hidden identity.
Jesus rebuked the two with a chastisement that was meant for all people. It was incomprehensible to him that humans find it so hard to believe in him, even though the Hebrew Scriptures clearly predicted his arrival and purpose.
Jesus scolded us all in his tirade (Luke 24:25-26). His first message was clearly to trust in God's Word, believing the One in whom the Bible speaks.
Jesus longs for our pure faith to be like that of a young child (Psalm 116:6).
The Jerusalem encounter: Please read Luke 24:35-49 for details. The two believers immediately ran back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples about their encounter with the risen Lord.
As they were telling the eleven disciples the news, Jesus appeared again! He calmed their nerves with soft words of encouragement. He again told them to believe in him. "Don't be afraid, my friends."
He told them to look and see his real flesh and his nail-pierced hands and feet. He also showed them he could eat real food, like when he lived before. His message was "I'm alive! Believe me, and believe in me! Stop doubting me, your risen Lord!"
Jesus' resurrection is true!
Along with his message that he was truly risen from the grave, he had other things he wanted to tell them here. First, believe his Word which prophesied of the Messiah's life and especially his resurrection. Second, his message will be proclaimed in all the earth.
Third, there is forgiveness (aka salvation) for each person who repents. Finally, the Holy Spirit will be coming to Jerusalem after his departure (aka the ascension).
You and I need to consider these truths, as well. We need to verbally express our belief to God, most notably in Jesus' resurrection. Christ's resurrection is the foundation of our Christian faith.
The mountain at Galilee encounter: Please read Matthew 28:16-20 for details.
Jesus' brief instruction to his disciples consisted of an outline for their Great Commission. They were given instructions on where to go make disciples and a strict order to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
He expressly said above all else, teach all the commands to the disciples, so they can obey them. Did you hear that? You and I are to first learn his commands and obey them. When we have learned them, begin teaching them to other people, so they can obey the commands.
Learning about God, with accompanying obedience, is a process which must be humbly followed by those devoted to Jesus Christ.
The sea of Galilee encounter: Please read John 21:1-25 for details.
In this amazing event, Jesus made the point that in order to properly fish for men the disciples had to follow Christ's way - his teachings. He was teaching them that they needed to rely on his Spirit for real success in evangelism.
The illustration was clear: Peter and the other disciples fished all night in their power, but when Christ told them which side of the boat to throw the net they immediately responded and caught 153 fish.
All of our work needs to be done for the Lord, by the Lord's methods. God is the One working (John 5:17); therefore, keep your eyes looking for his work (John 5:19), so you can join him (John 15:5).
Similarly, Jesus pressed Peter about his love for the Son of God and Peter professed him as his Lord. Jesus called him into full time service to teach new disciples, saying, "Feed my lambs." (John 21:15-17). Peter was also told by Jesus how he would die, that being on a cross (John 21:18-19). God saves, we serve.
It can easily be seen here that Jesus has a different plan for every single disciple, including you and me.
He has different tasks for each of us (Ephesians 2:10). He knows our hearts and what is in our minds. He knows our obedience and personal sins. Jesus knows when we're healthy and when we're hurting. He knows the years we live and when we'll take our last breath.
If you find this comforting, good for you! It should be comforting. Trust in Jesus' resurrection. He is alive! Trust in your Savior.
The Mount of Olives encounter: Please read Acts 1:1-8 for details.
This is the very last of his appearances to the disciples in the 40 days between Jesus' resurrection and Jesus' ascension. Luke, the writer of Acts, points out Jesus' priority for continually revealing himself in his glorified body to the disciples:
It was evidence so they would believe in Jesus' resurrection.
Luke said, "He proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive."
Jesus proved the fact, leaving no doubts, that he rose from the dead.
In Jesus' visits to them during this period he appealed to all of their rational abilities and their physical senses in sundry ways. He remained with them until every bit of doubt was obliterated from their hearts. It took repeated appearances, miracles, fellowship at meals, teaching, and even allowing them to touch him!
Jesus told his disciples to remain in Jerusalem because the Holy Spirit was soon coming. The Holy Spirit would be the Christian's Teacher, so they could understand the Scriptures (John 14:26).
The Holy Spirit would empower the disciples so they would be bold in their mission to evangelize the world (Ephesians 6:10-17). The Holy Spirit would bear spiritual fruit in their lives (Galatians 5:22-26).
The Holy Spirit would also give them gifts of service (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). Best of all, the indwelling Holy Spirit would guarantee each of the new believers eternal life with their Savior (Ephesians 1:14). Jesus' resurrection led to this amazing phenomenon.
St Paul the Apostle calls the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit the great mystery! (Colossians 1:26, NASB).
The Holy Spirit is truly the great mystery of the Kingdom of God. Jesus' Spirit lives inside the heart of his true believers! Rejoice - all of these great benefits of being God's adopted sons and daughters are your free gifts! Express to God your belief in Jesus' resurrection. Express your desire to be forgiven by God.
The disciples were annoying Jesus by continually asking him about the coming of Israel's kingdom. In effect, Jesus told them to not worry about it because that was ONLY the Father's concern.
Jesus quickly returned to what was important, and what is still of the utmost importance today: Spreading the gospel and making disciples. Stop worrying about a national, earthly kingdom, because your hearts should be set on an eternal kingdom!
His last and most important command was to go out into all the world and make disciples. Anyone and everyone who follows Jesus Christ must, in one way or another, be involved in this mission. No exceptions. None. Don't make excuses. Don't whine. Find a missionary and support him or her. Find some way to help spread God's gospel of loving grace and forgiveness to the world.
This is why GraspingGod.com exists - to reach the ends of the earth with the gospel. Partner with me and let's grow the Kingdom of God together!
Jesus' resurrection opens a door of opportunity for you. Believing in Jesus as the Bible portrays him should be expressed in prayer to God. Seek his kingdom while it can be found. Waiting for the "right" day may literally burn you in the end.
Jesus wants disciples. He commands you repent and believe in him for eternal life.
Finally, there was one underlying prediction that Jesus subtly included in some of his appearances. John 21:22-23 uses the term, "until I return." This is Jesus' pronouncement that in due time he will return to earth. When that happens evangelism will be complete. That is both a glorious statement and a frightening statement.
The 2nd coming of Jesus will be anticipated, praised and welcomed by his real followers. His return will be despised and dreaded by lost, blinded, worldly people. The day heaven meets earth will be a day that divides the fake "Christians" from the real Christians. Jesus' second coming will place the goats on his left and the sheep on his right.
Wow! Prepare yourselves. Obediently follow our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Next lesson: The Ascension Of Jesus #2.22
Bible Study Questions:
1) Name some ways you, as a believer, can assist Jesus in evangelizing the world.
2) A real Christian will be excited when reading about the risen Lord Jesus. The true disciple will long to be with Jesus, and death will impart no fear in the heart of a Spirit-filled Christian. Does this reflect your thoughts?
3) Jesus' life fulfilled the Father's plan. Is your life fulfilling God's plan?
Inspirational Bible Verses:
Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.” John 12:44-50
Christianity does not hold the resurrection to be one among many tenets of belief. Without faith in the resurrection there would be no Christianity at all . . . Once disprove it, and you have disposed of Christianity. Michael Green
There are but two essential requirements: First: Has anyone cheated death and proved it? Second: Is it available to me? Here is the complete record:
Confucius' tomb: occupied.
Buddha's tomb: occupied.
Mohammed's tomb: occupied.
Jesus' tomb: empty.
Argue as you will. There is no point in following a loser. G.B.Hardy
I was baptized with the Holy Spirit when I took Him by simple faith in the Word of God. R.A.Torrey
The unconverted do not like to hear much about the Holy Spirit. Robert Murray M'Cheyene
Prayers of Thanksgiving:
Thank you for the resurrection hope!
You are to be praised.
Help me to yearn for holiness!
You are to be praised.
Show me thy word in full!
You are to be praised.
Use me to disciple the World!
You are to be praised.
Dear Jesus, my Savior, hear my prayers!
You are to be praised! Amen
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