WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THE RESURRECTION MAKE?
ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
I believe Christianity, not because “it works for me,” for as Paige Benton Brown said: “many times, so to speak, it doesn’t.”
On this earth, we will have trouble. God has a wonderful plan for our lives, but it may include martyrdom.
I BELIEVE IT BECAUSE IT IS TRUE!
This is the basis of our faith, and we are going to bask in it all week. Next week we start new study I’m as excited about as anything we’ve done so far. (Watch for an e-mail announcement!)
We will finish this Lenten series with a message from Mike Reeves, who has so beautifully led us through Lent. This time he is not talking about the Reformers or the Puritans but about the resurrection. He talks about Christ being the firstfruits and asks a related question: “Why did He rise from the dead on the third day?”
Keller Sermon: A Spirit Hath Not Flesh and Bones (Some of you may prefer Keller because he is easier this week, but my questions will be on Reeves. But feel free to listen to this one instead or also and to share.)
(Below: Doubting Thomas by Caravaggio)
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- How did God meet you last week on Resurrection Sunday?
Monday: Jesus Rose Physically
Ever since the beginning people have tried to dismiss the physical resurrection of Christ, for our whole faith hangs on this. As Paul wrote, “If Christ is not raised, our faith is in vain.”
3. What evidences does Scripture give for a physical resurrection of Christ in Luke 24:
A. John 20:17
B. John 20:24-29
C. Luke 24:36-43
D. 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 (This may have been the first Christian creed)
4. If you have time to listen to Keller’s sermon, share any insights you get today or later in the week.
I loved how Keller said, “The stone was not rolled away so Jesus could get out (for His resurrected body, though physical, could go through walls) but so the women and the disciples could get in. — You thought it was so He could get out — didn’t you!”
Tuesday: The Books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets
5. On the road to Emmaus, Jesus showed the two that Moses, the psalms, and the prophets (their Scriptures) all showed that the Messiah had to die and rise again. So here’s the challenge for you — find an example from each!
6. Share one fulfilled prophecy that particularly “causes your heart to burn within you.
Wednesday: Christ was the Firstfruits
7. Begin listening to Mike Reeves. Why did J. R. Tolkien call the resurrection a eucatastrophe?
8. Reeves talks about the many ironical things that were said during the crucifixion, which we have covered — but he had an interesting take on Mary thinking he was the gardener. What was it?
9. What contrast does Reeves make between the 1st and 2nd Adam? (1 Corin. 15)
10. What are some scriptures Reeves mentioned in connection with Christ rising on the 3rd day? He mentioned a new one for me from Genesis. Do you remember what it was?
Thursday: Reeves — Beyond Condemnation and Christ was Beyond the Cross
11. Keep listening to Reeves and share your insights about what the resurrection means to you!
Friday: Reflections from You
How refreshing it has been to travel with you through the Puritans. Thank you for traveling through to the end. I realized I move in and out of righteousness when I trust in myself and not Christ. I have seen awakening in many of you, and want to share a few of your quotes. This is always dangerous, for I cannot quote everyone — so give me grace!
Sharon: I was told growing up that when we sin it is revolting to God and so my thinking was I needed to do something above and beyond asking forgiveness to win God’s favor back…works/righteousness. It is so freeing to know that “He runs towards us when we sin.” As Ortlund said at the end of chapter 7, “The sins of those who belong to God open the floodgates of His heart of compassion.” Compassion!? God has compassion towards me when I sin…wow!
Bev: This thinking has really changed my perspective on his Christ responds to me in my sin and others around me living in sin.
Nila: Quoting: His advocacy on our behalf rises higher than our sins.
Mary: (In answer to the question — are you seeing Jesus differently?) The hiss of the evil one has been so slow and subtle I hadn’t noticed that I had started to think of Jesus as upset, disappointed, and distancing Himself from me. And because I was listening to those lies, I was pulling away from Him. I’d like to think that knowing what I know now, I would put those wrong thoughts out of my mind once and for all. But I have the feeling I will have to be diligent to root them out as they crop up. I can see myself needing to have help bringing my actions and reactions into line with the truth… In the past, when I’ve faced a choice, I’ve felt Christ warning me that I could choose what I want, but I might experience a distance from Him. I took that to mean that He would withdraw from me, but now I’m wondering if what He was really saying is that I would be removing myself from Him. And that makes a lot of sense to me, because when I would turn back to Him, He was right there.
Rebecca: I too thought He backs away when we are sinning-but Song of Songs came to mind-Chapter 5 and 6. So I just read it again…Oh my. Could it be that he wasn’t backing away rather she had union with Him, but her communion was frosty-and His pursuit -thrusting His hand through the door and leaving his myrrh on the door was part of His presence and caused her heart to beat harder for Him. He turned her frosty heart into panting after Him. So he never truly left her-rather He was in his garden browsing-picking Lillies. Huge..His response to her in 6:4-9 is telling..How He saw her and loved her even though she sinned against Him.
Bing: I think I was like Bernard of Clairvaux thinking that Jesus backs away from me when I sin. Now, the Spirit has clarified his great love for me in that He runs towards me when I do so. This is kind of like the clarification of the verse that says, … God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ died for sinners not the righteous! So, Christ died for me while a sinner and He has continued His efficacious ministry by loving me, running to me, when I sin. It makes sense that His faithfulness is timeless, and not dependent on my poor “performance”.
Lizzy: It’s been impacting my heart—breaking down old lies again, and again. Defaults are so strong. My desire to please and “be good” in order to be acceptable, lovely…as a young child I believed He really loved me for me—He’s bringing me back to that place.
Susan: There were some things in this chapter (10) that moved me to tears. One was on page 98, about how you feel when you come to Jesus with your sins: “They unexpectedly find him with open arms to embrace them, ready forever to forget all their sins as though they had never been. In other words, when we come to Christ, we are startled by the beauty of his welcoming heart.” I thought….I remember that’s how it was when I first came to Him and He became real to me. I couldn’t have made it up.
It was lovely to read and think about the beauty of His heart, and as the author said, we should “romance the heart of Jesus.” When he said that Jesus’ heart is the heart that “walks us into the bright meadow of the felt love of God”, I thought about Song of Songs, when he wants her to come with him….see, the rain is over….the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming….come away with me! When I don’t feel loved and cherished, here is where I can turn. He is waiting for me, always.
Laura: Quoted much from Sibbes including: There is more righteousness in Him, than there is sin in me.
Dawn: I’ve been very struck by the illustration of our sin being sickness and how as a parent you are naturally more drawn to your child in pity when they are sick. You don’t turn away from them or get angry with them for being sick…The argument (that I am lovely to Him) is indisputably clear — I need to remind myself of it.
I personally was really struck by Reeves disputing the Bernard of Clarivoix quote about God being a shy lover and backing away when we are in the arms of another. That’s a quote I used in He Calls You Beautiful on The Song of Songs and now regret!
12. Any reflections on the above?
13. What is your take-away this week and why?