A. The Tomb Is Empty (Early Sunday Morning)
Notes: The women coming to attend to the body were the first to hear the staggering angelic announcement that "He is not here, for He is risen"! They carry that message to the unbelieving apostles; Peter and John hasten to visit the empty cave. Note that there was absolutely no expectation on the part of any of Jesus's disciples that He would rise from the dead, a reality which makes their testimony concerning His resurrection the more undeniable.
Questions/Observations: In the preaching of the gospel in the book of Acts, the resurrection is emphasized more than the death of Jesus. Clearly, the fact of the resurrection is absolutely central and essential to the gospel message (1 Corinthians 15). Why do you think this is?
B. Jesus Appears Five Times on the Day of His Resurrection
- To Mary Magdalene, who is given a message to carry to the disciples
- To the other women who had come to the tomb
- To two disciples traveling to Emmaus who are joined by Jesus but do not recognize Him until they break bread with Him
- To Simon Peter (referenced in Luke 24:34 and 1 Corinthians 15:5 but not narrated)
- To the astonished disciples (Thomas absent)
Questions/Observations: The Bible does not record all of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, but those it does record powerfully make the point that He had really and physically returned from the dead.
C. The Soldiers Report to the Jewish Authorities
Scripture: Matthew 28:11-15
Notes: The Sanhedrinists demanded that the Roman guards testify that Jesus's body had been stolen by His disciples.
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