Made for More - April 21, 2019

Made for More

Week 3: Matthew 28:1-10

Jesus calls us to live on mission with him. Having a well-defined mission provides greater clarity, greater joy, and less fear in our lives. An important part of this mission is bearing witness to the truth of the Resurrection. This unique historical event revealed God’s plan for the world in a powerful and unprecedented way. He is doing a new thing and remaking all things new. Sin, death, and the fear that accompanies them are not the final word. The Resurrection demonstrates the power of God to transform us and our world both in this life and for eternity. This is good news. Actually it’s great news! And living on mission means believing it is true and sharing it with others.

Discussion Starter:

What Easter traditions did you celebrate when you were growing up?

Getting into the Text:

1.  (Matthew 27:55-61, 28:1) Drawing from these passages, describe the likely mental and emotional state of the women who were coming to the tomb early Sunday morning. What were they expecting to find? How were they mentally preparing for this moment? What was their own sense of how they were going to serve Jesus this day? (See also Luke 23:55 – 24:1)

2.  (Matthew 28:2-7) When people encounter angels in scripture, fear is a common reaction. Why is that? What are the angel’s first words? The Resurrection is an event that is as hard for people to believe today as it was for the original audience. What alternative explanations could someone give? (See Matthew 27:62-66 and 28:11-15 for an example.) How does Matthew’s account argue against many of those claims? Why do you think it was important for the angel to invite the women to look in the tomb for themselves?

3.  (Matthew 28:8) What do you think the women were thinking at this point in the story? What does it mean that they were experiencing both fear and joy in this moment? The fact that they ran is an interesting detail. What does it communicate?

4.  (Matthew 28:9-10) In-person encounters with the resurrected Jesus made a big impression on the early believers and gave them a compelling testimony. (See Acts 2:31-32, Acts 4:33, and 1 Corinthians 15:1-8) How would Jesus’ personal encounter with these women help them in their immediate mission to carry the good news to Jesus’ disciples? What role does your own encounter with Jesus play in spreading the good news to others in your life?

Application:

1.  By all appearances, prior to discovering the empty tomb things did not look to be going well for Jesus’ disciples. And yet God was doing a new thing beyond their ability to imagine. In what ways are you fearful, disappointed, or frustrated with your circumstances right now? Is it possible that God is doing something that you cannot imagine? How does the truth of the Resurrection give you hope for today?

2.  Jesus’ resurrection is a preview of the transforming work God does in our lives when we believe the gospel message. (Romans 8:11) It is also a preview of the bodily resurrection we will experience one day. (1 Corinthians 15:19-23) The instruction to go and tell others of this good news still applies to us today. How might you do that faithfully this week?