April 16, 2017 – Easter – Luke 24

Lesson Date: April 16, 2017

Focal Scripture Passage: Luke 24:1-9, 36-53

AIM: To lead students to describe the resurrection power that is at work in the lives of all believers, and to ask God to use His mighty power to enable them to overcome their struggles and to live for Him each day.

 

Before class: Write the following scripture references on index cards or small pieces of paper: Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:19-20. Enlist some volunteers who are comfortable reading aloud to look up the verses and be prepared to read them when called upon. Have enough copies of the “Luke 24 – Easter 2017 Handout” available for your anticipated attendance. Write the word “Power” on the marker board or chalkboard.

SPECIAL NOTE: Sunday is Easter, so anticipate a larger than normal attendance. Expect guests to be present. Prepare your class members to greet and welcome guests. Stress to your members to be friendly. Assign some class members to be ready to escort guests to the Worship Center, nursery, or children’s classrooms. Be sure you have some extra quarterlies on hand to give to guests when you invite them to come back next Sunday.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the word “Power” written on the board. Ask: “Who are some of the most powerful people on earth?” (the President, other world leaders, some very wealthy people). Ask: “What are some of the most powerful man-made devices on earth?” (the space shuttle, nuclear bombs, aircraft carriers, fighter jets). Ask: “What are some of the most powerful natural forces on earth?” (gravity, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, flood waters).

Tell the class all of the things they have named are very powerful forces. Ask: “Do any of those powerful people, devices, or natural forces have the power to restore life to a person who has been dead for three days?” (no). Ask for a show of hands from the students who have ever been to a funeral. Ask: “Have you ever seen a dead person come back to life and get up out of the casket?” (of course not). Tell the class today’s lesson is about resurrection power, which is far greater than all the other powers on earth.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (God’s plan and purpose for salvation).
    • Ask if any volunteer would be willing to quote last week’s memory verses (Eph. 2:8-10).
    • Explain to the guests that we are involved in a six-month-long study of the New Testament book of Ephesians, but today we are having a special Easter lesson from the Gospel of Luke.
  2. The Women Went to the Tomb.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Luke 24:1-3.
    • Use the following outline to explain why the women went to the tomb:
      • Jesus’ body was hastily placed in the tomb on the evening before the Sabbath.
      • The Sabbath officially began at sundown, so no work could be done after that.
      • Because of the rush, normal burial preparations, such as washing and anointing the body, had not been completed.
      • On the morning after the Sabbath, the women went to the tomb to complete the burial preparations.
    • Ask the students to imagine going to the funeral home for the funeral of a family member, only to discover that his or her body is missing.
    • Ask: “How do you think the women felt when they found Jesus’ body missing?” (surprised, bewildered, violated by whoever stole His body).
    • Read Luke 24:4-7.
    • Ask: “What did the angels tell the women?” (that Jesus had risen from the dead, just as He had previously told them He would do).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Luke 24:8-9.
    • Ask: “What did the women do with this amazing news?” (they went and told others).
  3. The Risen Christ Appeared to His Disciples.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Luke 24:36-43.
    • Ask: “How did Jesus prove to His disciples that He was really alive in a physical body?” (He told them to look at Him and touch Him, and then He ate in front of them).
    • Ask: “What was the response of the disciples?” (joy and amazement).
    • Ask: “By what power do you think Jesus arose from the dead?” (the power of God).
    • Read Luke 24:44-45.
    • Ask, “What did Jesus do so the disciples could understand the scriptures?” (He opened their understanding).
    • Remind the class that it is impossible for the human mind to comprehend the things of God unless He enlightens us and gives us understanding (1 Cor. 2:14).
  4. The Risen Christ gave Instructions and a Promise to His Disciples.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Luke 24:46-53.
    • Ask: “What did Jesus say would be preached?” (the gospel of repentance and remission of sins)
    • Ask: “Who did He say would tell others about His resurrection?” (the disciples were to spread the good news).
    • Ask: “According to verse 49, what did Jesus promise the disciples would receive?” (power from God).
    • Note that the disciples, who were frightened and hiding when Jesus was crucified, became bold witnesses after the resurrection.
    • Ask: “What made the change in them?” (God’s power at work in their lives).
  5. Resurrection Power.
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Ephesians 1:19-20.
    • Ask: “What power is at work in us?” (the same power that raised Jesus from the dead).
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Romans 6:4.
    • Ask: “Since Christ was raised from the dead, how should we walk?” (in newness of life).
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read 2 Corinthians 13:4.
    • Ask: “What enables us to live for Jesus?” (the power of God).
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Galatians 2:20.
    • Ask: “According to this verse, who lives within us?” (Jesus Christ).
    • Ask: “What empowers us to live the Christian life?” (Jesus Christ living within).

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the class’ attention to the word “Power” written on the board. Remind them of the different examples of power named in the introductory step. Ask: “What power is at work in the life of the believer?” (the same miraculous power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead). Ask: “How would you describe that power?”

Give each student a copy of the “Luke 24 – Easter 2017 Handout.” Read the first scripture quotation and ask the class what it means. Read the second scripture quotation and ask what it means. Ask: “What do these two verses tell us about how much we need to depend upon God’s power at work in us?”

Ask the following questions for students to answer silently:

“What is the greatest struggle in your spiritual life?”

“Is it hard for you to live a holy life and resist sin?”

“Is it hard for you to be faithful to your church?”

“Is it hard for you to lead your family to faithfulness and godliness?”

Tell the class the Bible makes it clear that all believers have Christ’s resurrection power within. That is true for all believers, but only for believers. Those who do not know Jesus Christ must rely on their own fleshly strength to make it through life the best way they can. Invite any who are not Christians to turn from their sins and place their trust in Jesus Christ – and Jesus Christ alone – to save them and make them new.

Tell everyone that through Christ’s resurrection power they can handle whatever life and the devil throws at them. They can do “all things” when they rely on the resurrection power within. Encourage them to ask God to use His mighty power to enable them to overcome their struggles and live for Him each day. Lead a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read 2 Corinthians 12:9. Encourage everyone to memorize that verse. Tell the students to place their “Luke 24 – Easter 2017 Handout” somewhere they will see it every day. Invite them to communicate with you during the week about how Christ’s resurrection power helps them handle their struggles. Next week we return to the book of Ephesians. Invite guests to come back next Sunday.

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