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Scripture Story: Matthew 28:2-4, 11-15.

Commentary: The Desire of Ages or Humble Hero, chapters 80, 81.

resurrection power

Photo by Hiskia Missah

keytext

“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.” (Matthew 28:2-4, NIV)

flashlight

“When Jesus was laid in the grave, Satan triumphed. He dared to hope that the Savior would not take up His life again. He claimed the Lord’s body, and set his guard about the tomb, seeking to hold Christ a prisoner. He was bitterly angry when his angels fled at the approach of the heavenly messenger. When he saw Christ come forth in triumph, he knew that his kingdom would have an end, and that he must finally die” (The Desire of Ages, p. 782).

what do you think?

Why are you amazed by Christ’s resurrection story? (Check one.)
Death is the one permanent state from which no one can escape.
The resurrection of Jesus proclaims victory over sin and death and gives us hope that when Jesus returns our mortal bodies can take on immortality.
We all want to live again after we die.
Resurrection at Jesus’ coming offers hope and meaning to our mortal lives.

did you know?

When the angel of of the Lord spoke to Jesus in Joseph’s tomb, “the Savior came forth from the grave by the life that was in Himself” (Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 785). Jesus’ power over life and death not only assured our salvation, but gave us the blessed hope that like Christ, we too will one day be raised back to life to live in peace with God.

INTO THE STORY

“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.”

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

“While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do y o u look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” ’ Then they remembered his words.

“When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.

“Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.” (Matthew 28:2-4; Luke 24:1-12, NIV)

OUT OF THE STORY

Read through the narrative of Jesus’ resurrection closely. Try to see it with fresh eyes. Put an X by something that was new to you. What hadn’t you noticed before?

Why do you think the earth quaked when the angel came to open the tomb of Jesus? What does this tell you about the significance of Jesus’ resurrection?

Jesus foretold His resurrection. Why didn’t the disciples believe that Jesus had risen when they heard the news?

Many people claim to worship on the first day of the week (Sunday) because Jesus rose on that day. Is there anything in this week’s Out of the Story that tells us to worship on Sunday as a memorial of Jesus’ resurrection?

When the women came seeking Jesus, the angel asked, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” Think for a moment. Do people today look for the living among the dead through movies, music, the occult, etc.? Explain.

punch lines

“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:14-17, NIV).

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, NIV).

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die’ ” (John 11:25, NIV).

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9, NIV).

further insight

“A restored creation, a redeemed race, that having conquered sin could never fall—this, the result to flow from Christ’s completed work, God and angels saw.” —Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 769

connectingtolife

Sabbath

Read Genesis 3:1-4.

Now that you’ve completed the What Do You Think? activity, write a sentence below explaining why you chose the answer that you did.

What do the verses in Genesis 3:1-4—specifically verse 4—tell you about why many people are fascinated by the idea of life after death? What do you think Satan meant by “You will not surely die”?

Satan still uses this lie to convince men and women that there is life after death, that we won’t “surely” die. But what does the Bible say in Ecclesiastes 9:5? Until God calls people back to life at Jesus’ return, the dead are dead.

Sunday

Read 1 Corinthians 15:14-17.

After reading the Into the Story section, explain what you think would have happened if Satan and his fallen angels had successfully sealed off Joseph’s tomb, preventing Jesus from rising again.

In rising from the dead, Jesus broke Satan’s power over all created things—forever!

Monday

Read Matthew 28:2-4.

This Sabbath’s Key Text is essential to understanding the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice for sin. Think about it. Did Matthew really need to record that the angel sent from heaven to open the tomb of Jesus caused an earthquake when he landed on earth? Wasn’t Jesus’ resurrection fireworks enough? What’s with the “special effects”?

Read Matthew 27:45-53. What happened in nature on the day that Jesus was crucified?

Jesus’ disciples grieved His death at Calvary, but they were not alone. All of heaven yearned to see Jesus raised back to life. And when the signal was given, the angel of God left heaven like a bolt of lightning!

Tuesday

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

This week’s Flashlight quotation from Ellen White opens a window into Satan’s devious machinations. Satan never would have tempted Jesus as powerfully as he did if he had not known that Jesus was the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Kill the Savior, and the world dies.

Satan became the “accuser in chief” of all humanity, constantly accusing us of breaking God’s law. Since Jesus’ sinless life met the demands of God’s law, and His perfect death paid the price for all our sins, Satan’s last hope to prevent the salvation of humanity was to prevent Jesus from ever rising again. The Resurrection made Christ’s life and death effectual for us.

Wednesday

This week’s Punch Lines texts begin with perhaps the most important verse in all of Scripture. To whom was Jesus speaking when He stated that He was the resurrection and the life (John 11:25)? What was the event that led Jesus to make this startling statement?

Notice how closely Romans 10:9 ties belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ to salvation. Can you be saved if you do not believe that Jesus was raised from the dead? Explain your answer.

Jesus’ resurrection is our hope for the future!

Thursday

Read John 11:25.

What does Jesus’ resurrection mean to you? Do you ever think about it during the day? When was the last time that you got into a discussion about it?

Read 1 Corinthians 15:55. To believe in the Resurrection is to believe that God has power over life and death—over your life and over your death. If God is controlling your life, should you be afraid of anything?

List two fears that you would like to turn over to God right now.

Friday

Read 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.

The life that Jesus lived fulfilled the demands of God’s perfect law, the law that Adam and Eve broke when they sinned. The death that Christ died paid the price for Adam and Eve’s sin and the sins of the entire world.

Together they give us the assurance that we are saved. Together they are “the good news” of salvation.

this week’s reading*

The Desire of Ages or Humble Hero, chapters 80, 81. *Humble Hero is a special adaptation of The Desire of Ages, created for you by the Ellen G. White Estate and Pacific Press. Get more information about it at http://www.cornerstoneconnections. net/article/191/about-us/conflict-of-the-ages-companion-books# .URlhF1rBO9s. By following the weekly reading plan, you will read at least one book of the Conflict of the Ages series each year.