April 12, 2020 Easter – Mark 16; Acts 2
Lesson Date: April 12, 2020 – Easter Sunday
Focal Scripture Passage: Mark 16:1-8, 14-15; Acts 2:22-41
AIM: To lead students to discover how the resurrection of Jesus Christ dramatically changed the lives of the disciples and others, and to respond to the resurrection in faith and commitment.
Before class: Think about ways our daily lives have been changed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Perhaps bring pictures of empty restaurants and sports venues, empty shelves at grocery stores, or people wearing masks. You could use these pictures as visual aids.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Greet guests warmly and thank them for coming. Give them a copy of the Sunday School Member Quarterly.
Ask: “What are some ways the COVID-19 outbreak changed our day-to-day behavior?” Allow a few moments for students to name such changes. They could name the following: canceled sporting events, school closings, people working from home, shortages of household supplies, people being more conscious of hand washing and other matters of hygiene, church services and other public events canceled, etc.
Ask: “Would you agree that COVID-19 caused a drastic change in our behavior?” (yes). Stress the fact that almost everything about our everyday life changed because of a microscopic virus. In fact, we’ve never seen or experienced anything like it before. Nothing in modern times has brought about so many sweeping changes in such a short time.
Tell the students today’s lesson is about an event that caused even greater and longer lasting changes than coronavirus.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the students that we have been studying the Old Testament book of Ezekiel.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the danger of pride).
- Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Prov. 16:18).
- Tell the class today’s Easter lesson is from Mark 16 and Acts 2. Next week we will return to the book of Ezekiel.
- The Resurrection Changed the Women.
- Tell the students Mark 15 records the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus Christ.
- Read Mark 16:1.
- Ask: “Why were the women going to Jesus’ tomb?” (to anoint Jesus’ dead body in accordance with the customs of the Jews).
- Ask a volunteer to read Mark 16:2-3.
- Tell the class the women went to the tomb at sunrise of the first day of the week (Sunday).
- Ask: “According to verse 4, what did they wonder?” (who would roll the huge stone away from the entrance of the tomb so they could go in).
- Read Mark 16:4-5.
- Ask: “What did they discover when they approached the tomb?” (the stone was already rolled away from the tomb entrance).
- Ask: “What did they see when they went into the tomb?” (an angel in the appearance of a young man).
- Ask a volunteer to read Mark 16:6-8.
- Ask: “What did the angel tell them about Jesus?” (He had risen from the dead).
- Ask: “What did the angel tell them to do?” (go tell the disciples that Jesus was alive).
- Tell the students that the women went out quickly and spread the Good News.
- Summarize: The resurrection of Jesus Christ changed the women from sorrowful mourners into amazed bearers of Good News.
- The Resurrection Changed the Disciples.
- Tell the class that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and two men. These eyewitnesses reported back to the disciples, but the disciples didn’t believe their stories.
- Read Mark 16:14-15.
- Ask: “Who appeared to the disciples as they were eating?” (Jesus).
- Ask: “What did He say to them?” (He chastised them for not believing the eyewitnesses who testified that He was alive again).
- Ask: “What did Jesus tell them to do?” (go and preach the Gospel to everyone they could).
- Ask: “Did the disciples do that?” (yes; see v. 20).
- Summarize: The resurrection of Jesus Christ changed the disciples from skeptics into bold evangelists.
- The Resurrection Changed Those Who Heard the Gospel.
- Tell the class that Jesus appeared to His disciples and others numerous times over the next forty days, after which He ascended back to heaven.
- Explain that the day of Pentecost was an important Jewish religious celebration. Thousands of Jews from all over the world gathered in Jerusalem. It was about ten days after Jesus ascended.
- Peter addressed the crowd.
- Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:22-24.
- Ask: “According to verse 22, what had the Jews seen Jesus do?” (miracles and wonders and signs).
- Ask: “According to verse 23, what had the Jews done to Jesus?” (delivered Him to the Romans to be crucified).
- Ask: “What does verse 24 say that God did?” (raised Jesus from the dead).
- Ask: “What does the last part of verse 24 tell us?” (it was impossible for death to hold Jesus).
- Read Acts 2:25-28.
- Tell the students that Peter quoted what King David wrote about Jesus in Psalm 16:8-11.
- Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:29-31.
- Ask: “According to verse 29, where was David when Peter spoke these words?” (dead and buried).
- Ask: “According to verse 31, what was David speaking about in Psalm 16?” (the resurrection of Jesus Christ).
- Read Acts 2:32-36.
- Ask: “According to verse 32, to what did Peter and the other disciples bear witness?” (that God had raised Jesus from the dead).
- Ask: “According to verse 36, what does the resurrection prove about Jesus?” (that He is both Lord and Christ: He is God and the promised Messiah).
- Ask a volunteer to read Acts 2:37-41.
- Ask: “What does verse 37 tell us about how the people reacted?” (their hearts were pricked to the point that they wanted to know what they must do).
- Ask: “What did Peter tell them in verse 38?” (repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ).
- Ask: “According to verse 39, who is the promise of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ for?” (everyone the Lord calls).
- Ask: “According to verse 41, how did the people respond?” (they gladly received Peter’s message; 3,000 were saved and baptized into the new church).
- Summarize: The resurrection of Jesus changed 3,000 Jews from haters of Christ into redeemed followers of Christ.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the students that far greater and more long lasting than the coronavirus, the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything. In fact, it is the pivotal event of all of human history. Those who receive and believe the Good News of Christ’s resurrection are changed forever.
Review the lesson by reminding the class that the resurrection changed the women from sorrowful mourners into amazed bearers of Good News. We also saw that the resurrection changed the disciples from skeptics into bold evangelists. Finally, the resurrection changed 3,000 Jews from haters of Christ into redeemed followers of Christ.
Ask: “What about you? Have you been changed by the miraculous power of Christ’s resurrection? Has Jesus saved your soul and changed the direction of your life?”
Tell the students if they answered, “yes” to those questions they should strive to live out their faith on a day-to-day basis. Ask the class to briefly brainstorm this question: “What are some ways the resurrection of Jesus impacts my daily life?”
Tell the students if they’ve never placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation they should do so now. Briefly explain the plan of salvation. Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Urge any who do not know Jesus to repent of their sins and turn to Him for salvation. Voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Remind the students that those who learned about the resurrection boldly told others. Tell them to ask the Lord to make them bolder witnesses this week.
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