Showing posts with label Resurrection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Resurrection. Show all posts

13 April 2017

Death Defeated

Theme: The Risen King

Objectives (from the D6 Fusion study guide)
Know: An angel rolled back the stone, revealing that Jesus was not in the tomb. He had risen from the dead.
Think: Be confident in my faith, knowing there is solid evidence for the Resurrection.
Do: Worship the risen Savior and spread the good news.

Scriptures: Matthew 28:1-15

Notes and questions
B1 Outline:
  • Jesus rises from the dead Matthew 28:1-10
  • Soldiers are bribed by chief priests Matthew 28:11-15
B2 Timeline
  • Jesus is crucified (Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday--probably Thursday)
  • Friday is special Sabbath, the Day of Preparation
  • Saturday is Regular Sabbath
  • Time runs from 1800 to 1800 the next day (“...evening and morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5).
B3 Facts about Messiah’s Resurrection
  • Sources
    • Bible
      • Four Gospels
      • Epistles of Paul
    • Secular: The Toledoth Jesu, a compilation of early Jewish writings, is another source acknowledging this. It acknowledges that the tomb was empty, and attempts to explain it away. Further, we have a record of a second century debate between a Christian and a Jew, in which a reference is made to the fact that the Jews claim the body was stolen. So it is pretty well established that the early Jews admitted the empty tomb. Link.
    • On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover! Link.  Search the document for the word “Yeshu.”
  • Prophecy
    • "For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption." (Psalm 16:10 NKJV) Compare Acts 2:25-28.
    • "O LORD, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit." (Psalm 30:3 NKJV)
    • For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40 [ESV]). So also Matthew 16:4, Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:23, Matthew 20:19, Matthew 26:32, etc.
  • New Testament teaching
    • "...whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it." (Acts 2:24 NKJV)
    • "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses." (Acts 2:32 NKJV)
    • “He was holy and good, but you rejected him, and instead you asked Pilate to do you the favor of turning loose a murderer. You killed the one who leads to life, but God raised him from death—and we are witnesses to this.” (Acts 3:14-15).
    • Shows
      • He is God. He is sinless. He has the principle of life in Him. “...and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Romans 1:4, NKJV)
      • Fulfillment of Scripture. See the prophetic verses above. Also, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, NKJV).
      • He has conquered death. Romans 6:9 with Ephesians 2:6
      • Proof and promise of our resurrection. The promise of a new body like Jesus’. Romans 6:5, 1 Corinthians 15:12-13, 21, 42.
      • We are justified. Proves His authority to forgive sin. Romans 4:25, 1 Corinthians 15:17
      • Gives us hope. 1 Corinthians 15:19
      • Is a picture of our new life. Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12
      • He is King of the Universe (and all). Revelation 1:17-18
  • Proofs
    • Many witnesses, the more the better. Among many passages--Thereafter He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, of whom the majority remain until now, but some have fallen asleep. (I Corinthians 15:6 [EMTV])
    • Hostile witnesses-- Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and taking counsel, they gave sufficient silver coins to the soldiers, saying, "Tell them, 'His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we were sleeping.' "And if this reaches the governor's ears, we will influence him and make you secure." So they took the silver and did as they were instructed. And this saying has been widely spread among the Jews until this day. (Matthew 28:11-15 [EMTV])
    • Recorded close as possible to the event. The Gospels were written in the first century.
    • It was well known. “Now when some days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea, and greeted Festus. As he stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix; about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, asking for a sentence against him. To whom I answered that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man to destruction, before the accused has met the accusers face to face, and has had opportunity to make his defense concerning the matter laid against him. When therefore they had come together here, I didn't delay, but on the next day sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought. Concerning whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought no charge of such things as I supposed; but had certain questions against him about their own religion, and about one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive[Emphasis--edit]. Being perplexed how to inquire concerning these things, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters. But when Paul had appealed to be kept for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be kept until I could send him to Caesar.” Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.” So on the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and they had entered into the place of hearing with the commanding officers and principal men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. Festus said, “King Agrippa, and all men who are here present with us, you see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and as he himself appealed to the emperor I determined to send him.” (Acts 25:13-25 [WEB])
  • Excuses
    • Swoon theory
      • Jesus didn't die. He passed out. The soldiers thought he was dead.
      • In the tomb He revived, moved the heavy stone out of the way, overpowered the Roman guards, and walked nearly a mile after being dehydrated for over 4 days, wounded, beat, bruised, etc.
      • Not exactly good logic or reason any victorious celebration.
      • Totally false
    • Hallucination theory
      • Jesus died and was buried.
      • The disciples believed so strongly that over 500 people had a mass hallucination of seeing him alive and victorious in Jerusalem.
      • The first mass hallucination that included followers and non-followers.
      • The list of witnesses (from “The New Evidence the Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell)
        • To Mary Magdalene: Mark 16:9, John 20:14
        • To women returning from the tomb: Matthew 28:9-10
        • To Peter later in the day: Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5
        • To the Emmaus disciples: Luke 24:13-33
        • To the Apostles without Thomas: Luke 24:36-43, John 20:19-24
        • To the Apostles with Thomas present: John 20:26-29
        • To the seven by the Lake of Tiberias: John 21:1-23
        • To a multitude of 500+ believers on a Galilean mountain: 1 Corinthians 15:6
        • To James: 1 Corinthians 15:7
        • To the eleven: Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-20, Luke 24:33-52, Acts 1:3-12
        • At the ascension: Acts 1:3-12
        • To Paul: Acts 9:3-6
        • To Stephen: Acts 7:55
        • To Paul in the Temple: Acts 22:17-21, Acts 23:11
        • To John on Patmos: Revelation 1:10-19
      • Totally false
    • Substitute theory
      • Jesus didn't die
      • The substitute died
      • A few days later Jesus shows up and proclaims that He has risen from the dead.
      • Pilate and the religious leaders didn't have a clue what Jesus looked like.
      • Jesus had a twin who volunteered to be crucified.
      • Totally illogical and false
    • Stole the body theory
      • The scared and cowardly disciples overpowered the Roman guards by showing up and scaring them.
      • After the guards fled from the disciples, the disciples removed the dead body of Jesus and proclaimed that He had risen.
      • Nobody saw Jesus walking around after the resurrection.
    • The dogs ate Jesus body theory.
      • After Jesus died, his body was thrown out into a ditch were some wild dogs ate his body.
      • No one could find Jesus body, so the disciples decided that Jesus has risen from the dead.
      • Eleven of the Apostles were put to death in the first century believing this lie.
      • This theory is not even good fiction. There is no proof, no witnesses, and no argument.
    • Resurrection was not physical; it was a spiritual resurrection.
      • Jesus died and was buried.
      • He rotted in a few hours and could not be found.
      • The disciples wanting a good story said that Jesus raised from dead and went to heaven.
      • No one saw Jesus do this including God.
      • No evidence, not even a little bit of thinking.
    • The wrong tomb theory.
      • Joseph of Arimathea, his servants, and the women were clueless to get around Jerusalem.
      • Joseph didn't even know where his tomb was.
      • The Romans guards or Jewish leaders didn’t know where the tomb was either.
      • When the disciples came looking for Jesus, they got lost, and found some grave that was empty, and decided that Jesus had raised from the dead.
      • The Roman soldiers, Jewish leaders, and Joseph of Arimathea became disoriented and couldn't find the grave with the dead body. They wanted to show everyone that Jesus body was in the grave, but no one knew where that grave was.
B4 Matthew 28:1-15

  • Parallel passages
    • Mark 16:1-8
    • Luke 24:1-12
    • John 20:1-10
  • When did the Sabbath end? (The previous sunset).
  • When did the two women journey to the tomb?
  • Who were the two women? (Mary and probably Mary the mother of James and Joseph. Matthew 27:56)
  • Who is already at the tomb? (The Roman guard. It was not the Temple Guard. The religious leaders had asked Pilate for a guard (Matthew 27:62-66).
  • What was happening at the tomb before the women arrived?
  • What happened to the guards?
  • Why was the stone rolled away?
  • What is the significance of holding Jesus’ feet? (Proves He is a real body, not a ghost/spirit).
  • Why did the Roman guards go to the chief priests and not Pilate? (Pilate would have had them killed for letting the “prisoner” go. These guards knew the chief priests could help them out).
  • Why did the priests give the guards this particular message?
  • How does the resurrection of Jesus Christ affect you today?

24 March 2016

From Misery to Mission

From misery to mission

sunday school

Theme: The resurrected Savior

Scripture: John 20:1-31

A1 Outline

B1 Jesus is gone John 20:1-10

B2 Jesus and Mary Magdalene John 20:11-18

B3 Jesus and disciples John 20:19-23

B4 Jesus and Thomas John 20:24-29

B5 Why John wrote John 20:30-31


A2 Notes and questions

B1 Jesus is gone John 20:1-10

C1 What day of the week were these actions?

C2 What approximate time did Mary come to the tomb?

C3 What was the first thing that Mary noticed?

C4 Who is the "we" in John 20:2? (Cometh Mary Magdalene.—St. Matthew has, “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary;” St. Mark has, “Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome;” St. Luke has, “The women which had come with Him from Galilee” (Luke 23:55), and enumerates them in Luke 24:10, as “Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and the others with them.” St. John speaks of only one of the group, who was specially prominent). From Ellicott's Commentary on this verse.

C5 Why did Jesus rise from the dead when it was dark?

C6 What is the most important thing about the tomb? (it is empty).

C7 What does this mean for the Christian?

C8 What does this mean for the non-Christian?

C9 Is there any evidence of this resurrection other than eye witness? (Yes, "Who Rolled Away the Stone?" By Frank Morison.

C10 Who was the faster disciple?

C11 Why did they run?

C12 Was there any importance in mentioning the linen strips and Jesus's head cloth?

C13 After John saw, he believed. What did he believe?

B2 Jesus and Mary Magdalene John 20:11-18

C1 What is Mary doing outside the tomb? Why?

C2 What did Mary see when she looked inside the tomb? Did John and Peter see the same?

C3 Why did the angels ask Mary why she was crying?

C4 Mary turns around and sees _______? Was this an hallucination?

C5 Why did Mary hold on to Jesus? (Possibly to examine him, to see if He was real or a spirit).

C6 Why did Jesus reply the way He did?

C7 What does it mean "...not yet ascended...?" (Possibly to go to the heavenly Temple and offer His blood as an atonement for sin).

B3 Jesus and disciples John 20:19-23

C1 What emotion were the disciples experiencing before Jesus showed up? Why?

C2 What was the first thing that Jesus said to the disciples?

C3 Why did Jesus show them His hands and side?

C4 What emotion did the disciples experience now?

C5 What was Jesus asking them to do?

C6 Did they already have the Holy Spirit?

D1 Jesus gave them the Holy Spirit for special work.

D2 They received the baptism later at Pentecost.

D3 Evidently this was a mission to govern the church that will begin soon. This was not a commission for all Christians. This time frame is still the Old Testament dispensation. They had already received the Holy Spirit for sanctification and to do miracles. The full outpouring would be at Pentecost.

C7 What is the meaning of John 20:23?

D1 Does it mean that I can go across the street, tell my neighbor that his sins are forgiven, and assure him that all his sins are forgiven and that he is going to heaven? (No)

D2 Does it mean that if someone robs a bank, that I can go to them and forgiven them, then the government will not prosecute? (No)

D3 Is this only for the Apostles (the 12)? (No, for one, Thomas, was not present).

D4 No Apostle ever was seen exercising this gift, so it cannot mean that they or the community of believers could forgive sins as God forgives sin.

D5 The College Press commentary has "John 20:23 has long been a problem. The Roman Catholic Church has used this verse to teach that the so-called successors of the apostles (the popes and priests) have the authority to forgive men of their sins. Such a doctrine is technically called “absolution.” Not even the apostles themselves had any authority of their own to grant absolution—the forgiveness of sins. One need only to turn to Acts 8:14-24 to find one example of an apostle being asked to grant absolution in the case of a man confessing his sin. The answer of the apostle Peter is, “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart shall be forgiven thee.” This passage in John 20:23 does not grant the apostles the power of absolution. The verbs apheontai (they are forgiven) and kekratentai (they are retained) of this verse are in the perfect tense in the Greek. Now the perfect tense means “an action having been completed in past time with a continuing result.” Literally translated John 20:23 would read, “whose soever sins ye forgive, they have already been forgiven them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they have already been retained.” It is very interesting indeed that in the other two instances where Jesus similarly commissioned the disciples (Matthew 16:19; Matthew 18:18) the verbs are also in the perfect tense! There the verbs are dedemena (has already been bound) and lelumena (has already been loosed).
In founding the church, declaring the will of God and preaching the gospel of repentance and remission of sins by the blood of Christ and men’s obedience to the gospel, the apostles merely declared on what terms, and to what people God extended forgiveness of sins. Whatever they preached on earth had already been decided in heaven. Only God can forgive sins. The apostles and all who have preached since are merely heralds of the covenant which has already been ratified, once for all, in heaven.
The apostles were given here by Jesus a symbolic prophecy of the special baptism of the Holy Spirit when He “breathed.” The literal baptism of the Spirit would come upon them on the day of Pentecost and would empower them with miraculous power in order to confirm the already-ratified message which they were to preach afterward. The Holy Spirit did not give them any inherent authority to grant absolution of sin. "

D6 Basically it has to do with preaching the Gospel.

B4 Jesus and Thomas John 20:24-29

C1 Why did Thomas respond this way? Can skepticism be a good thing?

C2 When Jesus came what did He tell Thomas? Why is this important? What about us?

C3 What is the most important part of Jesus's words to Thomas? (Stop doubting and believe).

C4 Is Jesus God?

C5 Is belief hard? What don't most people believe?

C6 Is there a special blessing for belief?

B5 Why John wrote John 20:30-31

C1 What do people have to do to have forgiveness of sins?

C2 What kind of life is the Apostle John speaking of? What is the alternative?

C3 Which comes first the believing or the life (which is forgiveness of sins, regeneration, rebirth, born again, etc.)?

17 April 2015

Sunday School—The Resurrection

The Resurrection




A1 Objectives

B1 Describe what happened a Jesus's tomb after His death.

B2 Explain why Jesus's Resurrection was necessary to secure our redemption.

A2 Scriptures

B1 Matthew 28:1-10 The Resurrection and the first ones to the tomb.

B2 John 11:25-26 Jesus speaks of the importance of His resurrection to Martha.

B3 John 14:19 The effect of the resurrection on His followers.

B4 1 Peter 1:3-9 The promise of a future life.

A3 Notes

B1 For objective #1 see A5

B2 Necessity of the Resurrection

C1 Proof of Jesus character ("...who was declared Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord," (Romans 1:4, EMTV)

C2 Proof of atonement. ("And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins!" (1 Corinthians 15:17, EMTV)

C3 Proof of our resurrection

D1 "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." (John 11:25, EMTV)

D2 "Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, and in which you stand, through which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Thereafter He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, of whom the majority remain until now, but some have fallen asleep. Thereafter He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. And last of all, as of one born out of due time, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than them all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain and your faith also is vain! And we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we bore witness concerning God, that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise—if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are to be pitied above all men." (1 Corinthians 15:1-19, EMTV)

C4 Proof of our justification ("Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was credited to him, but for us also, to whom it was going to be credited, those believing on Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up for our transgressions, and was raised for our justification."

(Romans 4:23-25, EMTV)

C5 Proof for preaching Gospel, that is, that it is truth. ("And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain and your faith also is vain! And we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we bore witness concerning God, that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise—if in fact the dead are not raised." (1 Corinthians 15:14-15, EMTV)

C6 Proof of our need for holiness. ("Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, so that the body of sin may be done away with, that we should no longer serve sin. For he who has died has been justified from sin. But if we died with Christ, we believe that we also shall live together with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, no longer dies. Death is no longer master over Him. For what death He died, He died to sin once for all; but what life He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, consider yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:4-11, EMTV)

C7 Proof for our new body at our resurrection.

D1 "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:11, EMTV)

D2 "For our citizenship exists in heaven, from which also we eagerly await for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body, that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subject all things to Himself." (Philippians 3:20-21, EMTV)

D3 "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." (1 Corinthians 15:44, EMTV)

C8 Proof for our hope ("Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," (1 Peter 1:3, EMTV)

C9 Proof of new life.

D1 "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4, EMTV)

D2 "having been buried together with Him in baptism, in which also you were raised together through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12, EMTV)

C10 Proof that Jesus is the Judge ("because He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed, having given proof to all, by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:31, EMTV)

B3 Jesus's sovereignty

"Arminian theology strongly affirms the sovereignty of God in all things. Arminian scholar Roger Olson writes,

"CLASSICAL Arminianism goes far beyond belief in general providence to include affirmation of God's intimate and direct involvement in every event of nature and history. The only thing the Arminian view of God's sovereignty necessarily excludes is God's authorship of sin and evil. Faithful followers of Arminius have always believed that God governs the entire universe and all of history. Nothing at all can happen without God's permission, and many things are specifically and directly controlled and caused by God. Even sin and evil do not escape God's providential governance in classical Arminian theology. God permits and limits them without willing or causing them."

The point of difference between Calvinism and Arminianism is the definition of sovereignty. On the Calvinistic view, sovereignty means meticulous control (i.e., theological determinism), while on the Arminian view, God's sovereignty necessarily means His complete freedom and authority (or right) to act any way He so wills. On this view, God certainly has the freedom and authority to exercise meticulous control over every minute detail (though the Arminian can't see how this doesn't necessitate God's authorship of sin), but He also has the freedom and authority to not exercise meticulous control. For the Arminian, if God chooses to not exercise meticulous control, that decision is itself a sovereign decision. As (Arminian) apologist J. P. Holding writes,

"SOME Calvinist commentators point to various passages of specific events such as the selling of Joseph into slavery (Gen. 45-50), the crucifixion of Christ (Acts 2:23), and the military actions of the Assyrians (Is. 10). And they are not wrong to do so. Yet one cannot falsely generalize from these particulars and assume that God chooses to exercise His right of sovereignty in the same way for things like the moving of a finger. Perhaps He does, but perhaps He does not; perhaps He does at some times, but not at others.

Yet to suggest such a thing hardly removes any sovereignty from God, for a simple reason that I have yet to see dealt with by a Calvinist commentator (though I may see it in the future): The decision to do nothing is itself a sovereign decision."

Thus, the Arminian concludes that even if God decides to do nothing in a given scenario, that decision is an exercise of, rather than an abdication of, His sovereignty. Arminian theologians Jerry Walls and Joseph Dongell write... Read the rest here

B4 Jesus's omnipotence

Only he that can do all things else cannot deny himself: He cannot counteract himself, or oppose his own work. Were it not for this, he would destroy all sin, with its attendant pain in a moment. He would abolish wickedness out of his whole creation, and suffer not trace of it remain. But in so doing he would counteract himself; he would altogether overturn his own work, and undo all that he has been doing since he created man upon the earth. For he created man in his own image: A spirit like himself; a spirit endued with understanding, with will or affections, and liberty; without which, neither his understanding nor his affections could have been of any use, neither would he have been capable either or vice or virtue. He could not be a moral agent, any more than a tree or a stone. If, therefore, God were thus to exert his power, there would certainly be no more vice; but it is equally certain, neither could there be any virtue in the world. Were human liberty taken away, men would be as incapable of virtue as stones. Therefore,(with reverence be it spoken,) the Almighty himself cannot do this thing. He cannot thus contradict himself, or undo what he has done. He cannot destroy out of the soul of man that image of himself wherein he make him: And without doing this, he cannot abolish sin and pain out of the world. But were it to be done, it would imply no wisdom at all; but barely a stroke of omnipotence. Whereas all the manifold wisdom of God (as well as all his power and goodness) is displayed in governing man as man; not as a stock or stone, but as an intelligent and free spirit, capable of choosing either good or evil. Herein appears the depth of the wisdom of God, in his adorable providence; in governing men, so as not to destroy either their understanding, will, or liberty. He commands all things, both in heaven and earth, to assist man in attaining the end of his being, in working out his won salvation, so far as it can be done without compulsion, without over-ruling his liberty. An attentive inquirer may easily discern, the whole frame of divine providence is so constituted as to afford man every possible help, in order to his doing good and eschewing evil, which can be done without turning man into a machine; without making him incapable of virtue or vice, reward or punishment. John Wesley On Divine Providence

A4 Questions

B1 Matthew 28:1-10

C1 Verse 1

D1 What day is this? (Sunday. It is the day after the Sabbath).

D2 What time of day is this? (At dawn break).

D3 How many hours since Jesus died? (Approximately 36 hours).

D4 Is this 3 days and nights? (Yes).

C2 Verse 2

D1 What caused the earthquake? (An angel came from heaven).

D2 Who rolled the stone away? (The angel)

C3 Verse 3

D1 How is the angel described?

D2 Does this sound like a witness to the events?

C4 Verse 4 What were the guards doing? (Fainted from fear)

C5 Verse 5

D1 What language did the angel speak? (Their language)

D2 How come the women didn't faint? Are women tougher than men?

D3 Why did the angel say, "Don't be afraid?"

D4 How did the angel know they were looking for Jesus?

C6 Verse 6

D1 The angel states, "He is not here." So where was he? (Stay tuned)

D2 What proof does the angel offer that Jesus is not there? (Come and see)

D3 Does Jesus keep His word? (He arose just as He said He would).

C7 Verse 7

D1 What does the angel tell the women to do? (Leave here and go tell the disciples)

D2 What are they to tell the disciples? (He is risen and go to meet Him in Galilee like He told you to do)

C8 Verse 8

D1 How fast did the women obey? (Fast they "quickly" left and "ran" to tell the disciples)

D2 What two emotions did the women have? (Fear and joy)

D3 What were they afraid of?

C9 Verse 9

D1 What did they see as they were running? (Jesus)

D2 What did Jesus say? (Rejoice) Why did He say this?

D3 Why did they hold His feet? (Bowing before Him and showing respect and submission)

C10 Verse 10

D1 What did Jesus tell them? (Don't be afraid).

D2 What were they to tell the disciples? (Go to Galilee)

B2 John 11:25-26

C1 What is the importance of the resurrection?

C2 What is the importance of believing Jesus?

C3 Is there hope for those who believe when they die?

C4 Is verse 26 a genuine offer to all people or only a few elite?

B3 John 14:19

C1 Who will see Jesus after He rises from the dead?

C2 Will we who believe live again?

C3 How does this happen?

B4 1 Peter 1:3-9

C1 Do we earn this "living hope"? (No, it is by His mercy)

C2 What is hope? (Faith is believing someone/something, hope is an expectant emotion)

C3 What are the four things about this inheritance that we are to receive? ("...incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in the heavens for you").

C4 Who or what guards our faith? (The power of God)

C5 When is our salvation to be revealed?

D1 At the last of time. This is the rapture.

D2 JFB commentary has "...the last day, closing the day of grace; the day of judgment, of redemption, of the restitution of all things, and of perdition of the ungodly."

D3 Some understand this to be when Jesus returns to earth (see 1 Peter 1:7), and others believe it to be the Day of Judgment.

C6 Does this knowledge help us in our day to day trials?

C7 What do trials accomplish in our lives? (May us for Christ-like in the same sense that gold is purified in fire).

C8 Did the people Peter writes to see Jesus? (Not in this life)

C9 Why do people believe? (God initiates salvation. Jesus has done all the work. We believe. It is related to humility. We can choose to believe or not believe).

C10 What kind of joy is this? (Great and glorious. Some understand this joy to have an effect on a believer, that is, an "unnatural" effect on us).

C11 What is the outcome of our faith? (Salvation)

C12 What is salvation? (Mercy and grace. Mercy in that we do not get what we deserve, and grace in that we receive this gift).

A5 Other notes

Resurrection--True or False


Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead or was it a vision?


Bart Ehrman, the famous apostate, atheist, deconverted Christian, holds that it was only a vision, so also others (for example Francis Maloney, "The Resurrection of the Messiah: A Narrative Commentary on the Resurrection Accounts in the Four Gospels" as reported by Kermit Zarley in his blog).


Kermit Zarley brings reasonable logic for believing this view is false (see the reference link above).


How many post-resurrection appearances in the NT gospels are we talking about? In my book, I state that there either nine of ten. None of them are described as a "vision." Rather, I think the authors clearly present their narratives with the purpose of causing their readers to think that these were historical events that actually happened, thus certainly not visions that people only think in their minds. But in saying this, I need to address Luke 24.13-43.

Luke's says that on the first Sunday afternoon following Jesus' crucifixion death, two of Jesus' disciples were walking from Jerusalem seven miles to the village of Emmaus (Luke 24.13). Luke says, "While they...

This is well worth reading.


So how many people saw Jesus alive after His resurrection? It was at least 520 people. It is never enough for some folks, but these passages of Scripture were written in the first century and seem most reasonable.


What about where Jesus tells Mary to not touch Him, but later He invites the apostles to touch Him? Is this a contradiction? Many have written about this, but here is my opinion which is partly based on M. R. DeHann's argument.


  1. Jesus rose from the dead.

  2. Mary Magdalene sees Him.

  3. Jesus wants her to be the first witness. It is not written as to why, but it seems reasonable to me that since women in those days were not considered to be reliable witnesses, Jesus wants to show the world and especially the Apostles that women are very reliable witnesses. Jesus scolds the Apostles even for their unbelief of NOT believing the women.

  4. Jesus ascends to heaven to present His blood in the heavenly Temple.

  5. After completely His priestly ministry there, returns to earth when He visits/appears to the people. First He appears to other women, then Peter, the two on the Emmaus Road, then the 11.


The Post-resurrection appearances of Jesus

  1. Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11, John 20:11-18

  2. Mary Magdalene, Salome, and Mary the mother of James (Matthew 28:9-10, compare with Mark 16:1)

  3. Peter (Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5)

  4. Cleopas and the other disciple on the Emmaus Road (Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-35)

  5. Ten Apostles with Thomas absent (Luke 24:36-43, John 20:19-25)

  6. Eleven Apostles, including Thomas (John 20:24-29)

  7. Seven Apostles at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-25)

  8. Eleven Apostles at some mountain in Galilee where Jesus told them to meet Him. (Matthew 28:16-20)

  9. Over 500 brethren who were together at one time. (1 Corinthians 15:6)

  10. James, His half-brother (1 Corinthians 15:7)

  11. With the Apostles for a meal. (Luke 24:44-49, Acts 1:3-8)

  12. His ascension. (Acts 1:9-11, Mark 16:19, Luke 24:50-51)

  13. Paul (Acts 9:1-6, Acts 18:9-10, Acts 23:11, 1 Corinthians 15:8)