Why The Resurrection Matters
Passage: Luke 24:36–24:49
Community Group Questions: Luke 24:36-49 "Why The Resurrection Matters"
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Read Luke 24:36-49 aloud as a group, and then work through the following questions:
- When Jesus appears to his disciples in his resurrected body, at first, they are terrified, and they think that he is a ghost (a “spirit” – vs. 37). What does Jesus do to convince them that he’s an embodied person? If you were in the disciples’ shoes, would you find Jesus’ demonstrations compelling? Why or why not?
- Why is the physical, embodied, resurrection of Jesus so important? What does it teach us about God’s heart for both the spiritual and material world? What does it teach us about God’s love for his people’s souls and bodies?
- According to a number of Biblical passages (like 1 Cor. 6:14, 1 Cor. 15:22-23, Rom. 8:11), Jesus’ bodily resurrection is a guarantee and “preview” of the bodily resurrection of all God’s people one day, when their souls are given resurrection bodies equipped to live in the “new heavens and a new earth” (see 2 Pet. 3:13, Rom. 8:21). Assuming this connection, what can we expect that our own resurrection bodies will be like, as we look at the “clues” from Jesus’ resurrection body?
- Have you ever had the impression that God’s ultimate aim is to leave us in heaven as disembodied spirits who live forever on the clouds? How does the bodily resurrection of Jesus correct that picture and make eternity so much more exciting?
- In verses 44-48, Jesus walks the disciples through the Old Testament Scriptures, and “opens their minds” to show them how he fulfills them in his death and resurrection! Can you think of some passages that Jesus may have brought them to? (suggestions: Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, the story of Jonah, 2 Samuel 7). Does it strengthen your faith to realize that the patterns and predictions of the Old Testament Scriptures point ultimately to Jesus? How are you encouraged by this idea?
- According to verses 46-47, Jesus shows the disciples a Scriptural “pattern” of suffering, resurrection, and then the preaching of “repentance and forgiveness of sins” to the nations. In your opinion, how does the resurrection of Jesus relate to forgiveness? For you personally, how does beholding the risen Christ give you great assurance that God has forgiven your past, present, and future sins in Christ?
- In verse 49, Jesus says that the “promise of the Father” – that is, the Holy Spirit – would come upon the disciples to “clothe them with power.” Consider the following statement: “The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you!” (Romans 8:11a). If the same power (i.e. the Holy Spirit) that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us as Christians, how should that change our lives day by day? What would our lives look like if we really believed that Jesus’ resurrection power was operating within us?
Prayer suggestion: Thank God for raising his Son to life again and giving us his life. Thank him that he cares for both our souls and our bodies and will redeem them both. Thank Jesus for the comprehensive forgiveness he has provided to us. Ask him for greater awareness of his Spirit within us and for more power to live and witness for his glory.