In 1 Corinthians 15: 3b-8 (ESV), it says, “…Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.”
The bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest event in history, and it is essential to the Christian faith. There is no Christianity without the Resurrection. Therefore, our faith stands or falls on whether this event actually happened.
In the first four books of the New Testament, Matthew (chapter 28), Mark (chapter 16), Luke (chapter 24), and John (chapters 20-21) give us their accounts of the Resurrection and show us multiple evidences of its reality. In addition, each gospel writer contributes various details that, when combined, give us the complete picture of what happened on that first Resurrection Sunday.
As you teach children about the Resurrection of Jesus, there are six essential facts you must help them to learn and understand.
1) The Resurrection of Jesus is not make-believe. It is not fiction. It is not a fable. It is not a myth. Jesus was a real person, who died on the cross for the sins of all who would believe in Him, and His physical Resurrection happened at a specific place and time in history.
2) The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit resurrected Christ under the Authority of God the Father (Romans 8:11; Acts 2:24, 32). Jesus did not raise Himself. The Greek definition for “risen” means to be raised or awakened. Therefore, the Resurrection of Jesus was accomplished by God.
3) God resurrected Jesus in bodily form. In other words, the crucified body of Christ that went into the tomb on Friday was the same human body, though a glorified One, that God brought back to life on Sunday.
The proof of Jesus’ bodily Resurrection is found in God’s Word. Remember, that is where we go for TRUTH. After Jesus came out of the tomb, He appeared to people and was visible and seen by them (Acts 1:3). He spoke, and His words were understood (Luke 24:36-49; John 20:21). He ate food (Luke 24:41-43; John 21:12-13). Jesus also invited His disciples to see and touch the wounds in His hands and feet (Luke 24:39; John 20:20, 27). The Scripture says that Jesus breathed on His disciples as a sign that they would receive the Holy Spirit in the days ahead (John 20:22). To be sure, following His Resurrection, Jesus was a living, breathing person in the flesh.
4) Our Christian faith is not based on the empty tomb; it is based on the appearances of Jesus after His Resurrection. During the forty days between Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension to Heaven, the Scripture describes at least ten appearances of Christ.
- Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene at the tomb (Mark 16:9; John 20:11-18).
- Jesus appeared to the women on the road (Matthew 28:9-10).
- Jesus appeared to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-22).
- Jesus appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34).
- Jesus appeared to 10 of the 11 disciples, with Thomas absent (Luke 24:36-43; Mark 16:14; John 20:19-25).
- Eight days later, Jesus appeared to the 11 disciples with Thomas present (John 20:26-31).
- Jesus appeared to seven disciples by the shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-25).
- Jesus appeared to more than 500 disciples (I Corinthians 15:6)
- Jesus appeared to James (I Corinthians 15:7).
- Jesus appeared to the apostles when He ascended to Heaven (Acts 1:3-11).
5) Even the day of worship for the Church was moved from Saturday to Sunday following the Resurrection (Mark 16:9; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2).
6) In summation, the meaning of the Resurrection of Jesus is this, a) God was satisfied with the sacrifice for sin that Christ offered on the cross (I John 2:2, 4:10; Romans 3:25). b) Jesus conquered Satan, sin, and death for all who put their faith in Him (Hebrews 2:13-14, I Corinthians 15:3; 2 Timothy 1:10; I Peter 2:24). Because Jesus lives, all believers will be resurrected, too (John 11:25)!
FOR YOUR MINISTRY TOOLBOX
1) Review all of the Scripture listed in the Show Notes, as there are many passages I did not mention in this podcast. If your podcast provider does not publish the Show Notes, go to our website at www.cmikids.com and look for Episode 11. You will find all of the Bible verses listed there.
2) Avoid trivializing the Resurrection of Jesus by bringing the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts into your children’s ministry. The Easter Bunny is mythology, and Easter egg hunts are a tradition. Neither is Biblical or has anything to do with our Lord’s Resurrection, so I encourage you not to introduce them to kids at church.
TAGS: Matthew 28:1-15; Mark 16:1-14; Luke 24:1-49: John 11:25, 20:1-29, 21:1-25; Acts 1:3-4, 2:24, 32, 20:7; Romans 3:25, 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 16:2; 2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:13-14; I Peter 2:24; I John 2:2, 4:10; Jesus; Resurrection; Teaching Children;
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