Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for April 9

Bible Studies for Life Sunday School Lesson for April 9

Jesus Rose Again to Give Me Life

John 20:1–2, 11–18

As I write this, we are on the threshold of one of my favorite days of the year: opening day for the major league baseball season. While opening day may not be recognized as a national holiday, millions will take time off work to go to a game in person or watch on television.

As a baseball enthusiast for almost 40 years, I have enjoyed the highs and the lows of being a lifelong fan of the Atlanta Braves. The great thing about opening day is the fact that all the teams are undefeated and filled with optimism. Each fan base is filled with confidence that this is the year their team will win the World Series. Of course, one team will celebrate and the other 29 will have to try again next year.

This Easter Sunday, we celebrate the original and greatest opening day of all time as Christians around the world remember the resurrection of Christ.

The silence of an empty and borrowed tomb located over 6,000 miles from the United States is still calling sinners to repent and believers to rejoice.

The tomb in which Jesus was buried was found empty. (1–2)

No one among us has attended a funeral service for a loved one and anticipated the remains of the deceased to be missing.

The women who made the trip that morning to the burial place were going to prepare a body for final internment.

They fully believed the Lord Jesus was dead. On top of their grief and heartache, they now faced confusion and fear. They suspected someone had cruelly stolen the body, and they did not know where to turn for help.

Jesus revealed Himself as alive. (11–16)

With so much that could be said about these verses, maybe one of the more obvious observations is the most helpful. I am grateful for the fact Jesus met them in their grief. Grief is something we will all eventually face. There is no way around it. Grief is not an illness to be avoided, it is an experience to be lived.

While the manifestations of grief are different for each person, there are common threads for us all. Great feelings of sadness, loneliness and shock are normal expressions we may experience in times of deep sadness. Grief is messy and unpredictable. I am comforted that Jesus is not scared of our grief and meets us where we are. The church should model this example of Christ and intersect with others who are hurting in silence. We share the reality with the original Easter crowd of 2,000 years ago that Jesus is alive.

The message of the resurrected Christ is to be shared with others. (17–18)

I mentioned earlier the assumption that no one expects a missing body at a funeral service. Certainly no one expects to talk to the person they thought was deceased. However, Mary Magdalene did just that. With news that amazing, how could she not share? She was among the first people in the world to share the gospel with others, and those others happened to be Christ’s own disciples.

Like Mary, we have an amazing story to tell others. The resurrection of Jesus transcends our grief and our hurt. Because of the first opening day at the tomb, we can celebrate every day.

By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi

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