Easter Sunday: Resurrection and Victory
Sermon Date: April 16th, 2017
Readings: Luke 23: 50-24:12
Jesus has been tried, crucified and we pick up the story as he hangs dead on a cross. Luke does not tell us the impact that this has on his disciples, but only that those who knew him stood at a distance. Here Luke notes the women for special mention, perhaps because of their significant role in the verses we will look at today. One of the characteristic elements of Luke’s Gospel is the way he notes the role of women throughout his narrative.
Have you ever had a light bulb moment? What was it? What impact did it have on your life?
Questions: (see “Helpful Hints” at the end of this section)
Read Luke 23 verses 50-56:
1. What marks Joseph out as a ‘good and upright man’?
2. How does Joseph respond to the situation?
3. How do the women respond to the situation?
4. How do you respond to the reality of Jesus’ death?
5. What does our expectation of the coming kingdom of God look like today?
Read Luke 24 verses 1-12:
6. This story is very familiar to most of us. As you read it together what stands out to you?
7. The two men, who are evidently understood to be angels say ‘why do you look for the living among the dead?’ What do you make of this announcement of the resurrection?
8. What do you make of the responses of the disciples (men and women)?
9. In light of this passage what does it mean to live as people of the resurrection?
In this passage we see the remarkable power of God as he defeats death for us. The women immediately rush to share the news, who are you hoping to share this news with? Take time to pray for them at the end.
We trust in a God who is victorious over sin and death. Are there things in your life in which you need to ask for God’s victory to show itself? Lead your group in a suitable time of prayer. This may be confession (private or in the group) or prayer for those who are sick among you. You will know what is most appropriate for your group.
Keep your eyes open this week for signs of God’s coming Kingdom, and be like Joseph and the women, ready to serve God in those places.
Feedback on anything from last week’s actions.
Helpful Hints for discussion questions:
1&2. In today’s passage we meet Joseph of Arimathea, this is Luke’s only mention of him. He must have been absent at Jesus’s condemnation because ‘all’ those present voted for his execution (Luke 22:70, Mark 14:64). He is waiting for the kingdom of God. He is a man of faith, and chooses to treat Jesus’ body with the honour a prophet would deserve. In Matthew 27:60 we learn that this is the tomb Joseph had prepared for himself. Rock hewn tombs like this one were expensive to dig, consequently this was a very generous gift.
3 The women are diligent in their treatment of Jesus’ body, these faithful Galilean women hurry to place the body in the tomb before the start of the Sabbath, but leave the anointing of the body until after the Sabbath. It sounds like they didn’t have very much time so they came back to finish a job that would usually have taken more time. Note their obedience to God’s law in resting on the Sabbath day.
7. It is an extraordinary opening line, but this manner of asking questions should remind us of Jesus, who so often asked his disciples questions as part of his teaching. The angel them goes on to explain that Jesus’ has risen, and to remind them of his teaching.