Sunday School – April 4
April 3, 2021 | Kelly Herndon
Easter: Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection
Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are essential to the Christian faith. If we teach Jesus as a respected teacher and miracle-worker who claimed to be the Messiah and who was crucified on the cross—but who was not resurrected—then we are teaching the Jesus of Judaism. If we teach Jesus as a wise teacher and prophet who ascended into heaven—but who was not crucified—then we are teaching the Jesus of Islam.
Jesus came to earth to save us from our sins. (Matt. 1:21) He died to show God’s love to us (Rom. 5:7-8) so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Jesus died so that we would be forgiven. (Eph. 1:7) Jesus died to bring us to God. (1 Pet. 3:18)
The time between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning must have been dark hours for Jesus’ disciples. Fear, doubt, and confusion certainly overwhelmed their thoughts. Jesus, their Lord, was dead. He had been unjustly arrested, falsely accused, and severely beaten. Even worse, He had been killed in a horrible manner: by crucifixion.
The story doesn’t end there. Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb. The tomb was sealed and guards watched over it. The Jews remembered Jesus’ claim that He would rise from the dead (John 2:19-21), and they made sure no one could steal His body and insist He had risen. Imagine their surprise when Jesus did rise from the dead!
Jesus’ resurrection gives us joy and hope for our own resurrection. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will raise our bodies to life. (Rom. 8:11)
As you share this Bible story, emphasize the gospel: the good news of who Jesus is and what He has done. We do not worship a dead Savior. Jesus is alive! Sadness turns to joy. There is hope for sinners.
Jesus’ death and resurrection is the center of the gospel. Jesus died to pay for our sins. Jesus is alive! God gives hope and true joy to everyone who trusts in Jesus.
Bible Passage: Matthew 26-28; John 20 (ESV)
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