Passage: Matthew 28:1-20
“Easter is indeed the great pledge of our hope, but simultaneously this future is already present in the Easter message. It is the proclamation of a victory already won. The war is at an end—even though here and there troops are still shooting…the game is won, even though the player can still play a few further moves. Actually, he is already mated. The clock has run down, even though the pendulum still swings a few times this way and that. It is in this interim space that we are living…The Easter message tells us that our enemies sin, the curse and death, are beaten…If you have heard the Easter message, you can no longer run around with a tragic face and lead the humorless existence of a man who no hope. One thing still holds, and only this one thing is really serious, that Jesus is the Victor.”
—Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline
How have you experienced wonder in your life?
Read Matthew 28:1-20. Consider what expectations and thoughts were going on in the minds of the women heading to the tomb and the disciples not at the tomb. How does Jesus engage with each of these groups?
Francis Collins, a leading scientist and the former Director of the National Institute of Health, responded to being asked about miracles with these comments: “I’m a scientist. When someone says that an event was a miracle, it’s natural for me to be skeptical, because until one has exhausted natural explanations, it’s probably not a good idea to say that was a miraculous event…But I do accept that in special moments God, who is supernatural, chooses to invade the natural world, and to us that appears as a miraculous event, and that includes especially the most important miracle for my faith, which is the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” How have you wrestled with the reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus?
The women in these verses were the first to learn of Jesus’s resurrection. How did they respond? What were they told to do with this good news? What purpose does the resurrection give to your life? Who is Jesus sending you to?
Our hope of heaven is secured in the reality of the resurrection. What situations or relationships in your current season do you need to intentionally remember the hope of heaven? What are the implications of this hope in your life?
Share with your group how they can be praying for you: what is weighing on you from this past week? What are you praising God for from this past week?
Lord, convince us and remind us of this good news. That you are faithful and good, you will perfectly keep all of your promises because you love us, because you lived, died, and rose again to save us. We are weary, we snap at those we love after a long day, we battle addiction, we aren’t who we want to be, we are vulnerable and limited, we wrestle and repent. We forget you are good. Gathered together we are your church, we are the ones you came to save, the ones you died and rose again to save. In our weariness, you call us to rest, to learn from you, to follow you, to enjoy life with you. Help us to trust your power to change our lives and make us new.