NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: Luke 24:36-43
- Whose testimony about Jesus do you most trust and why?
- What about the apostles’ testimonies about Jesus’ resurrection is most compelling to you?
- What impact does Jesus’ resurrection have on the way you live today?
Food for thought:
Jesus was a good man. That’s nearly a consensus opinion among those who have any knowledge of Him. Many confess that He was a good teacher, perhaps even a prophet. Likewise, most would concede He was unjustly crucified. But the resurrected Son of God? The majority jump ship before reaching that port. Even if they acknowledge the concept of a divine God, Jesus was just a man – a very special one, granted, but still just a man. And as we all know, dead men don’t return to life.
But as author and teacher Josh McDowell stresses, to accept that last statement requires that we ask: “Who would die for a lie?” Think of it. Those who knew Jesus best, who followed Him most closely, would willingly die for the claim He was alive. They were convinced to death that Jesus lived again. They had been eyewitnesses to all Jesus had done and said – and they had seen what had happened to Him at the hands of Roman soldiers. They, as well as soldiers who were around death for a living, knew Jesus had died. But they also were eyewitnesses to Him after His resurrection.
Not that these followers were an easy mark for some hoax. They had to be convinced of His resurrection. They knew He died. It was no problem for them to believe His body had disappeared from the tomb. But to believe He had returned to life? They were a hard sell at that point. They wouldn’t even believe each other.
Each had to be convinced by personal encounter with the resurrected Jesus. But once they saw Jesus for themselves, what a difference it made in their lives. The cowards became courageous. From cowering behind locked doors they began to proclaim His resurrection in public. From fear of retribution they boldly spoke in the faces of those whom they had feared.
From trembling at the consequences of being Jesus’ followers, they confidently followed Him all the way to their own deaths at the hands of His enemies – hardly the actions of those colluding on a lie!
MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at lifeway.com/masterwork .