Adult Sunday School

Lesson Date: July 16, 2006 Focal Scripture Passage: Matthew 20:17-19; 27:62-64; 28:1-20; Acts 2:25-31 AIM: To lead adults to learn that Jesus arose from the dead just as He promised, and to thank the Lord for perfectly fulfilling the prophecies concerning His resurrection.

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Write the word “DEATH” on the marker board or chalkboard. Ask: “How does death affect the plans of the person who dies?” (it interrupts or cancels them). If possible, tell about someone you knew who died unexpectedly, without achieving his or her career, family, or personal goals. Tell the class that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, grew to maturity in Galilee, and had an amazing ministry for three years throughout Galilee and Judea. His ministry touched many people, including many who were miraculously healed. In the prime of His life, however, He was brutally killed on a Roman cross. Some people, including His disciples, probably wondered why such a good man was cut down at such an early age. Tell the class today they will learn that Jesus arose from the dead, and that His resurrection was a direct fulfillment of Jesus’ own promises, as well as Old Testament prophecies.

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study): 1. Briefly review the study in Isaiah by reading the lesson titles of the previous lessons. Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 28:1-10. Ask the following questions. a. “What happened when the women were coming to the tomb?” (there was an earthquake, and an angel rolled the stone away from the tomb’s entrance). b. “What happened to the guards?” (they collapsed with fear). c. “What did the angel say about Jesus?” (“He is not here: for He is risen”). d. “What did the angel tell them to do?” (go tell the news to Jesus’ disciples). e. “Who did they see when they were going to tell the disciples?” (Jesus). f. “What did Jesus tell them to do?” (go tell the disciples to meet Him in Galilee). 2. Read Matthew 28:11-15. Ask: “How did the Jewish elders and chief priests try to cover up the news about Jesus’ resurrection?” (they bribed the guards, so they would say Jesus’ disciples stole His body). Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 28:16-20, and ask the class what Jesus told His disciples to do (tell others the Good News and lead them to faith in Him). 3. Remind the class that death unexpectedly interrupts the lives of many people, as you discussed during the introductory step of this lesson. Jesus’ life, however, was not interrupted or cut short by His death, because His mission on earth was to die on the

cross to pay the penalty for our sin. Rather than being interrupted by death, Jesus’ earthly ministry was completed by His death and resurrection. 4. Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 20:17-19. Ask: “What did Jesus clearly predict in these verses?” (His betrayal, death, and resurrection). This is just one of many such predictions Jesus made (Matt. 17:9; 26:32; Mark 8:31; 9:9; 9:31; 10:34; 14:28; Luke 18:33). Say: “If these predictions were secret and only known to His disciples, then the disciples might have actually made them up after He died and arose from the dead.” Read Matthew 27:62-64, and ask the class what these verses reveal about Jesus’ promises to arise from the dead (they were well known to the Jews). 5. The disciples had a hard time believing Jesus’ promises to rise from the dead, until it actually happened. Once it did, however, they realized His resurrection was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:25-31. Remind them that Peter spoke these words just 7 weeks after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection (and just 10 days after Jesus ascended to heaven). Peter quoted from Psalm 16:8-10, written 1,000 years before Jesus’ earthly ministry. Ask: “What did Peter realize these words from the Old Testament predicted?” (Jesus’ resurrection from the dead).

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the class that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, conquered death. He did this just as the Old Testament predicted, and just as He promised. Every other religion worships or follows the teachings of a dead leader. Christians do not worship or follow a dead leader – we follow the risen Lord Jesus Christ. He is alive today, having come back to life just as He promised He would. Ask: “In what ways can we apply the truth of this lesson to our lives?” Be sure the following are brought out:
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If anyone present has never accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord, they should do so today. Those who are already saved should thank the Lord for keeping His promise to arise from the dead. Those who are saved should thank the Lord for producing spiritual life in them, since they formerly were dead in trespasses and sins. Just as Jesus and the angel commanded the women, and as Jesus commanded His disciples, those who know Jesus Christ should tell others the Good News.

Encourage class members to apply the truths of this lesson to their lives in whatever ways they feel led. Lead a closing prayer of commitment and thanksgiving.

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