God's Eternal Plan - Lesson 10
- The student can describe the events that happened at the tomb early on Sunday morning.
- The student can list at least five appearances Jesus made after His resurrection.
- The student can explain what Paul says about the importance of the resurrection to Christianity.
- The student can list three objections some give to the resurrection and give opposing evidence.
- The student can list five reasons why one should believe in the resurrection ofJesus.
- The student can draw the pictures showing the progress of the unveiling of the mystery to this point.
- Have ready the Written Review over Lesson 9 and the Worksheets for Lesson 10.
- Be ready with the following songs if you have time for this: "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" and "Up From the Grave He Arose."
- Prepare the cards to hand out on which people will have verses to read. They should be ready with their verse when called upon.
- Have a board on which you can write key words and passages as you move through the lesson.
There are very strong reasons to believe that Jesus rose from the dead and we should want to share this information with others.
Lesson Plan for Teaching the Class
- Welcome visitors and make them feel included.
- Sing the song "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" which you studied in the last lesson.
- Remind the class that you are studying the unfolding of God's Eternal Plan which He gradually revealed and that we are nearing the climax of that mystery.
- Say together the topics of the lesson you have studied thus far, adding the title of today's lesson.
- We want to read several passages that will help us picture the story of Jesus' resurrection. When I call for your passage, please read it loudly where all can hear. Matthew 28:1_7; John 20:11_18; Luke 24:13_22; Luke 24:33_35; Luke 24:36_43;John 20:26_31; John 21:1. Paul summarizes the appearances in 1 Corinthians 15:3_
- Q: Name the different places where Jesus appeared to people? A: In the garden, in rooms in Jerusalem, on a road to Emmaus, at the Sea of Galilee (Tiberius), and other places. Some were in Judea and some in Galilee.
- Read Matthew 18:16_20. Q: What does Jesus commission the apostles to do? A: To go, to make disciples, to baptize believers, to teach all that He had taught them. (Teacher: explore each of these points a bit.) Think of how bold it was to tell these eleven men to get a message to the entire world. Q: What could we be doing to do a better job of carrying out this commission? A: Possible answers:do more to connect with our community; getting to know our neighbors better so we can influence them for Christ; upgrading our evangelistic outreach, etc..
- Q: What explanations do those who oppose the resurrection give about the tomb and how likely are they? A: That Jesus was not really dead and he revived in the tomb, moved the stone, and made the appearances. Then He disappeared. Not likely that He could go through all the beatings and the crucifixion experience and not be dead. Plus, the Roman soldiers said He was dead and thrust a spear in His side to make sure. Or that the disciples stole the body, but that is what the guard was to repent. And why would the disciples steal the body and then die for what they knew was false. Or that the women went to the wrong tomb, saw it was empty, and spread a false report that He had been raised. The women saw the burial and knew where it was. Plus, if there had been another tomb where the body was, the Jewish leaders would surely have produced the body to quell this growing movement.
- Q: What are some reasons to believe the resurrection story? A: (1) The eyewitness reports. These meet the criteria for a good witness. They were where the event happened, they gave their report in the time and place where it happened which gave opponents the opportunity to refute it. They had nothing to gain and much to lose by affirming this event. (2) The empty tomb. That the body was missing is a certainty because the Jewish leaders would have produced the body to prove the message wrong if they could have. So who had the body? The Jews or Romans didn't have it or they would have produced it. The disciples didn't have it because then they would have known they were telling a false story and would not have given their lives for it. (3) The change in the lives of the apostles. They scattered on the night of the arrest. They didn't understand. They were afraid. But fifty days later they stand in public and declare that Christ has been raised in front of those who crucified Him. Only having seen the risen Lord could have produced such a change. (4) The existence and spread of the church. It is highly unlikely that a small band of followers with no money, no position, no army, and no power could have spread the message about Jesus to the known world of their day (Colossians 1:23) if they had known the message were false. And how, then, would they have been so convincing.
- (Teacher. If you have time, you can read the following reports.) The case for the resurrection is certainly strong and has been believed by millions who have heard the story over the past 2,000 years. But there is still one more reason to add to these we have seen. And that is the stories of four critics who started out to prove the resurrection untrue. Dr. Simon Greenleaf, who founded Harvard's School of Law, wrote a famous book on legal evidence. A student challenged him to put Jesus' resurrection to the tests in his book. After studying the resurrection and applying his tests of evidence, His conclusion was that it is "impossible that the apostles could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus Christ actually risen from the dead."Dr. Frank Morrison, a British lawyer, set out to write a book disproving Jesus' resurrection. After three years of research and writing, he concluded that Jesus actually did rise from the dead and he chronicled his account in the book Who Moved the Stone? C. S. Lewis began his adult life as an atheist, but fifteen years later he wrote "Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call 'real things' …namely, the actual incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection."Then there was Lee Strobel, a journalist who set out to discredit the Christian faith. After his study, he wrote The Case for Christ in which he presents the evidence for faith in the resurrection. Four men of great ability who were disbelievers but who, after careful study of the evidence, became believers in Christ's resurrection.
- The memory verse for this lesson comes from Matthew 28:6 and is the words of the angels to the women: "Here is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."
- If you have time, study the words to the song "Up From the Grave He Arose"and then sing the song.
- (Teacher: If you have time, review the pictures to this point. They are shown here for your convenience.)Now is a good time to reconnect with our pictures and review the story of "the mystery" which started in God's mind before the world began and unfolded throughout many centuries.The G and the happy face tell us that God created human beings in fellowship with Himself. Adam and Eve were in the garden where they "walked with God" and enjoyed a close relationship with Him. And, the picture also represents that all of us, at the time of our birth, started out in fellowship with God. As we are born we are without sin and thus, are in this close relationship with God.We learn from the Bible that God created humans with the power to choose. We are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27) which means we are thinking, choosing beings-unlike birds, and animals, and fish. We also noted that God gave Adam and Eve, the first human creatures, the power to choose. Genesis 2:16 says that God told Adam he could eat of all of the trees except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of that tree he must choose not to eat.Humans have used their power to choose sin. Eve and then Adam ate of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6). But not only did the first human beings chose sin, but so have all of the rest of us, for "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23). So we all are subject to the consequences of being sinners.What happens when people choose sin? There is separation! When Adam and Eve sinned, they were cast out of the Garden of Eden signifying that they were now separated from God. And, says the Bible, when we sin, we are also separated from God (Isaiah 59:2). This separation from God is eternal and so continues even after we die. To be separated from God means that a human being will spend eternity in this state of separation and that means a most unpleasant status for eternity. As Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death." Sin carries a consequence, spiritual death. Once our sins separate us from God, nothing we can do will undo our sins. So if anything is to move us back into fellowship with God, He must do it. So will He punish us or forgive us? God is just and must punish our sin, but He is also loving, and wants to forgive our sins. What will He do? God will put into effect the eternal plan which He developed before the world began, the mystery which Paul said had finally been unfolded by his time. That plan involved choosing a family and then a nation through whom He could bring to earth His only Son. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16). His coming to earth to live a perfect life and then to be killed on the cross as a "sinner" was God's Eternal Plan in action. This story tells us why Jesus died on the cross. But what if He had died and stayed dead? Then God's Eternal Plan would have failed. He needed not only a sacrificed Christ, but a resurrected Christ as well. It is only a risen Christ who can bring people back to God.So we believe not only in a crucified Christ but in a resurrected one.
- Q: What should this reaffirmation of the resurrection do for our faith? A: It should increase our not only our faith but our commitment to spread the message, just as it did with the apostles. We should prepare ourselves to teach and defend this crucial element of the Christian faith.
Evaluation and Assignment:
- Use your worksheet to prepare for the Written Review over the next lesson.
- In your family, discuss the lesson, particularly the reasons to believe in the resurrection.
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