The resurrection of Jesus is at the centre of the gospel and our faith. It shows the truth of his teaching, it proved Jesus to be the Son of God and it ultimately transformed the course of history. The importance can’t be emphasised enough.
1. What evidence is there to suggest that Jesus was really dead?
Joseph prepared the corpse, which would’ve shown the normal evidences for death.
2. Matthew includes some interesting detail about the request made of Pilate by the chief priests and Pharisees that isn’t in the other gospels. What does this show about the Jewish leaders’ perception of Jesus?
They knew that he had staked his whole ministry on his ability to rise from the dead.
3. How do the religious leaders unwittingly help fulfill the purpose of God?
In their efforts to protect Jesus’ body from theft, the enemies provide irrefutable evidence for the resurrection.
4. Why do you think Jesus appeared to the women first before his disciples?
- The women were the last to leave Jesus at his death and the first to find him alive.
- A reward for their love and devotion; a rebuke to the unbelief of the men who were his closest friends.
5. Evidence of the resurrection includes the empty tomb. The guards witnessed the earthquake which the angel employed to remove the stone and trembled in his presence. What’s strange about the guards’ instruction to the religious leaders?
They couldn’t have known who ‘took’ the body if they were really sleeping when it happened.
6. What’s significant about the resurrection? What does it mean for us today?
- The empty tomb established the credibility of Jesus and his teaching.
- Assured his identity as the Son of God (Romans 1:4).
- It demonstrates Jesus’ ability to save (Romans 4:25).
- It provides us with a measure of the power which is at work in us so that we can live the Christian life (Romans 8:11).
The disciples’ lives changes dramatically. Before the resurrection, they were a defeated group of men. After, they fearlessly proclaimed the gospel, even when facing opposition and danger.
7. Do we sometimes forget that Jesus Christ is alive and working among us?
Open for discussion.