Great Expectations Sunday School Training- Part 2 and 3

What expectations should drive a Great Commission Sunday School Class? What is an open group? What is a closed group? How can we use our classes to help people takes steps toward Christ? Enjoy part 2 and 3 of the Great Expectations Sunday School training.

Watch Session 1 if you missed it!

Great Expectations Sunday School Part 1

What expectations should drive a Great Commission Sunday School Class? What is an open group? What is a closed group? How can we use our classes to help people takes steps toward Christ? Enjoy part 1 of the Great Expectations Sunday School training.

Great Expectations Sunday School Part 1

What expectations should drive a Great Commission Sunday School Class? What is an open group? What is a closed group? How can we use our classes to help people takes steps toward Christ? Enjoy part 1 of the Great Expectations Sunday School training.

Part 2 and 3 can be found below.

Luke- Week 18- Day 3

(4)  And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:  (5)  And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?  (6)  He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,  (7)  Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.  (8)  And they remembered his words, 

Luke 24:4-8

Explanation:

They were perplexed.  This is a basic description of their state of mind at this moment.  This must have been a very emotional time for them.  They were coming to the tomb in grief.  Then they find the tomb empty, and it brought about confusion.  What had happened?  Where was Jesus body?  Who took it?  Wasn’t crucifixion enough?  What possibilities came to mind as questions at that moment?

Then something even more incredible happened.

The appearance of two men in shining garments seemed to have happened suddenly.  This startled them, as you can imagine.  The sight and experience were such that they immediately got to the ground.

These angels ask the question of Easter.  It is the question of Resurrection Sunday.  “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”  This was the possibility that they may not have considered, or if they did it was beyond their wildest dreams. 

He is not here.  He is not at the grave.  He is not in the grave.  He is not in the grave clothes.  He is risen.  He got up.  He left the seplechure.  He is alive.

And you should have expected it.  This should have been the first and most likely possibility you considered when you saw the empty tomb.   Why?  Don’t you remember what He predicted?

“The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

They could have asked, “Don’t you remember that he said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will lift it up.”?

They could have asked, “Do you know the scripture that says in Isaiah 53:9-10?”

“(9)  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.(10)  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.”

Isaiah 53:9-10

Why would you look for the man who raises the dead among the dead? 

He was asked, “You saved others why don’t you save yourself.”  He prolonged His days and ours through resurrection power!  This was predicted, and it came to pass.

Application:

If Jesus rose from the dead:

– He is God.

– He is the only way to God.

– Everything He said was true.

– The Old Testament is true.

– The New Testament is true.

– We can be saved!

Response:

Do you believe the resurrection of Jesus Christ as a historical fact?

Luke- Week 18- Day 2

(2)  And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

(3)  And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

Luke 24:2-3

Explanation:

Now think about the reality of their discovery.

They came and found the stone rolled away.  The tomb was empty!  This was the undeniable reality.  There was no body. 

What an incredible finding.  They did not expect the stone to be rolled away.  They expected it to be closed.   They did not expect the body to be gone.  They expected it to be there.  They thought that Jesus was dead, but He was not.

Now if you and I find an empty tomb today we would conjecture everything but the supernatural.  We would think that someone exhumed the body.   We would think that someone took it.  We would make every kind of naturalistic explanation, and investigate what happened, never even thinking the supernatural as an explanation.

And what is amazing is that God, in His infinite wisdom, orchestrated the events of Jesus’ death burial and resurrection to make every possible naturalistic explanation of the empty tomb implausible. 

First, Jesus was obviously dead.  He died at the hands of Roman executioners.  They knew death.  He was pierced until blood and water flowed.  This was a sign that death had happened. 

Secondly, He was laid in a tomb, wrapped in grave clothes, with a giant stone put in front of the mouth of the tomb. 

Matthew tells us something about the setting of the tomb before the resurrection. The stone in front of the tomb was quite large.  The stone was sealed and was guarded by Roman soldiers.

(62)  Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

(63)  Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

(64)  Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

(65)  Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

(66)  So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

Matthew 27:62-66

These would have all been obstacles that a recently crucified man would not have been able to manage on His own.  The grave was guarded by Roman soldiers who would have paid a severe price to lose the body. 

Finally, that early body of believers right in Jerusalem made the foundational claim that since Jesus rose from the dead, He substantiated His claim to be God and could forgive sins because of His atoning death on the cross.  What would have killed that movement was to present the body of Christ, and it never happened.  In fact, these men who had been cowards previously, were bold in the face of persecution and even death.

Yes, the tomb was empty.  No, they did not expect it.  Nothing has been more significant in all of history than that fact.

Application:

You can believe the Gospel, not just because the Bible claims it, but because there are historical and logical reasons that back up the claims.  Jesus Christ is who He said He is.  By believing we can have eternal life in His name.

Response:

The most important response you and I will have is the response to this fact.  If you have placed your faith in Jesus, rejoice in the resurrection.  Jesus said in John 14:9, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.”

If you have not placed your faith in Christ, do it today!