Lesson 15 - The True Easter Story

Lesson 15 - The True Easter Story

Lesson for April 20, 2014

The True Easter Story

The resurrection of Jesus Christ coincided with the Jewish Feast of the First Fruits, where a portion of the harvest was gathered and given to the priest for the blessing of the entire harvest. This feast pointed to the resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ and was celebrated three days after the Passover. The Passover represents the Cross. Paul writes about the first fruits in I Corinthians 15:20-25. Jesus spoke of this when He described Himself as the grain of wheat that fell to the ground, and died that it might spring to life and bring forth much fruit. (John 12:23-24) However, the rest of the harvest (the Church) is still in place waiting to be “harvested.”

Prophecy

  1. Job 19:25-26 (1520 B.C.)
  2. Psalms 16:9-10 (1000 B.C.)
  3. John 2:19-22 (26 A.D.)

Participation by the Trinity

  1. The Father – Romans 6:4; Ephesians 1:19-20; Colossians 2:12; I Thessalonians 1:10
  2. The Son – John 10:10-13
  3. The Holy Spirit – I Peter 3:18

Order of Events

  1. The earthquake as the angel rolls away the stone – Matthew 28:1-2
  2. Three women come to the tomb – Mark 16:1
    1. Mary Magdalene
    2. Mary, mother of Jesus
    3. Salome
  3. Mary Magdalene leaves to find the disciples – John 20:1-2
  4. Mary and Salome see the angel – Mark 16:5-6
  5. Mary Magdalene finds Peter and John and returns to the tomb – John 20:2
  6. Peter marvels at what he had seen – Luke 24:12
  7. John believed Jesus had risen – John 20:8
  8. Mary Magdalene does not recognize Jesus Christ – John 20:11-18

Post-resurrection Appearances of Jesus Christ

Pre-ascension

  1. Mary Magdalene – John 20:14-17
  2. Other women – Matthew 28:9-10
  3. Peter – I Corinthians 15:5; Luke 24:34
  4. Two believers on the road to Emmaus – Luke 24:13-33; John 19:25
  5. Ten disciples (minus Thomas) – John 20:19-25
  6. Eleven disciples (with Thomas) – John 20:26-29
  7. Seven of the disciples by the Sea of Galilee – John 21:1-23
  8. 500 or more believers – I Corinthians 15:6
  9. James, the half-brother of Jesus – Galatians 1:19; I Corinthians 15:7
  10. Eleven disciples on the mount near Galilee – Matthew 28:16-20
  11. An unnumbered group of believers at the ascension – Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11

Post-ascension

  1. Stephen – Acts 7:55-56
  2. Paul on the road to Damascus – Acts 9:1-8; 22:6-11, 26:13-18; I Corinthians 15:8
  3. Paul in Arabia – Galatians 1:1-17
  4. Paul on several occasions – Acts 18:9-10, 22:17-21, 23:11; I Corinthians 9:1
  5. John on the Isle of Patmos – Revelation 1:12-20

Christ’s Resurrection Body

  1. Retained the nail prints – Zechariah 12:10; John 20:25-27
  2. Retained the scar of the wound in His side – John 20:25-27
  3. His body was recognizable as a human – Luke 24; John 20:26-29
  4. His body could be touched – Luke 24:39-40
  5. He breathed – John 20:26
  6. He carried on conversations – Luke 24; John 20:26
  7. His voice was recognizable – John 20:16
  8. His body had flesh and bones – Luke 24:39-40
  9. He ate – Luke 24:30, 43
  10. His body structure was different – John 20:19,26; Luke 24:36
  11. He could appear and disappear – Luke 24:17
  12. He could move vertically and horizontally – Matthew 28:10; Acts 1:9-10

Facts Regarding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

  1. His humanity was resurrected because it was His humanity that died – Luke 24:39
  2. The resurrection was evidenced by an empty tomb, which was witnessed by many - Matthew 28
  3. Religious leaders attempted to suppress information regarding the Resurrection – Matthew 27:62
  4. Jesus Christ is the only person in history to be resurrected
  5. Because of His resurrection, believers will also be resurrected – II Corinthians 4:14; Philippians 3:21; I John 3:1-3

Doctrinal Significance and Application of the Resurrection

  1. Indicates the completion of justification – Romans 4:25
  2. Jesus Christ becomes our mediator, equal with God and equal with man – Hebrews 7:25, 9:15; I Timothy 2:5
  3. Sets up our priesthood and Jesus Christ becomes our High Priest – Hebrews 10:5, 10-14, 7:28;I Peter 2:5-9
  4. Fulfills the Davidic Covenant – Psalms 89:20-37; II Samuel 7:8-16
  5. Christ could not be glorified without the Resurrection and the Holy Spirit could not have been given – John 7:39
  6. The Resurrection is the guarantee of ultimate sanctification – I Corinthians 15:20-23; I John 3:1-2; Philippians 3:21
  7. The doctrine of the Resurrection gives believers hope in this life – I Corinthians 15:19

The uniqueness of the Resurrection sets Christ apart from all religious leaders. The leaders of various religions are dead. However, Jesus Christ is alive. Furthermore, Christianity is not a religion it is a relationship with God. The word religion means to bind back, which is not how we are bound to God. We are bound to God by an act of faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

In the Person of Christ, God has manifested Himself to all mankind. This was planned in eternity past with each of us in mind. The purpose of this plan was to resolve the Angelic Conflict. The Angelic Conflict was Satan’s rebellion against God, attempting to overthrow God and become the Almighty. He also enticed one-third of the angels to follow him. In order to resolve this conflict and prove to Satan and his followers that God was just in sentencing them to the Lake of Fire, God created man. If only one person believed in Christ, choosing God over Satan, this would be enough proof that God is fair and just. As we know, many have believed and taken God’s salvation solution, unlike Satan whose doom is certain.

On the other hand, the fate of believers is also sure. God’s plan of sending His Son Jesus Christ as the payment for sin gives every human being the opportunity to avoid the Lake of Fire by believing in Jesus Christ. Since the Resurrection proves Christ conquered death (spiritual and physical), believers will also conquer death both spiritually and physically.

Christ also guarantees a life of meaning and purpose while we are here on earth when we tap into His power system. We are not talking about a system of legalism or tabooism designed to keep us from enjoying life (that’s what religion does). What we are talking about is a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe. Doesn’t it make sense that if God created us, that He also wants the very best for us? Of course it does! He has designed a plan specifically for each one of us. This plan, when properly executed, will allow us to solve any problem in life utilizing information found in His Word, the Bible. This is why it is so important to learn, believe and apply Bible doctrine to our daily experiences. However, this is potential only, depending on the volition of the individual believer.

A life lived in light of eternity takes on new meaning. When we live our lives utilizing Divine Viewpoint Thinking instead of Human Viewpoint Thinking, our failures are minimized and our successes are maximized. All of this is due to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead enables us to execute the Christian Way of Life. (Romans 6:4, 10-13)