February 15, 2010
[Annemarie and Paul taught this to 10.5 children on Saturday 20 February 2010 — part 7 of our current series of 9 on “Two Ways to Live” ]
- breakfast snack
- Singing Psalms and hymns — Begin learning hymn 2 from the augment (see Materials section below)
- Break with small snack — shoes off
- activity — there is a paper activity HERE; [other?]
- Review of today’s lesson
- Exercise books: Draw point 5 of 2wtl: scripture beneath text will be: “By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.” (1 Corinthians 6:14)
- Singing Psalms and hymns
- Closing prayer
- name cards
- exercise books
- stickers for name cards / exercise books
- map showing Jerusalem, Bethany, Galilee:
- [coloring page; coloring felts] a simple drawing of three men walking to Emmaus, or a drawing of strips of linen in an empty tomb would be nice, but I cannot find anything respectful that is a decent drawing
- Psalms and hymns; new hymn to learn, on 4×6″ print for each child as below. This is “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” (Augment Hymn 2) by Charles Wesley, 1739; the music (free of copyright) is by Lyra Davidica, 1708; original photo in print below is copyright © 2010 Chris Akatosh, used here by permission; Chris captured this “newly emerged damselfly as it slowly pumped up its wings in the early morning sunshine, in readiness for its maiden flight:”
[Subject: the tomb and the resurrection; We will teach the ascension next week.]
Last week we learned about the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. The day He died on the cross was a Friday.
Today we will learn that after He died, Jesus was put in a tomb, and on the third day, which was a Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead. He stood up in His body and left the tomb. The word “resurrection” means rising from the grave.
Resurrection is not about a ghost coming out of the grave. It is about a real body, that you can touch.
Jesus appeared to His followers and students many times during a time of forty days. Then He ascended into heaven where He now sits at the right hand of God.
You will remember from the last class that after Jesus bowed His head and died on the cross, the earth shook and rocks broke. The Roman soldiers and others standing around were afraid. The people ran back to their homes in Jerusalem.
Many women, who were friends of Jesus, were watching from a distance, including a woman named Mary Magdalene. During His time as Teacher on this earth, Jesus had removed seven demons [evil spirits] from Mary Magdalene.
Now, there was a rich man named Joseph. He was a member of the Jewish council, but he had not agreed with their decision to have Jesus crucified. In fact, he had secretly been a follower and student of Jesus. This Joseph owned a brand new tomb in a garden near the “Place of a Skull” where the Roman soldiers had crucified Jesus. A tomb is a place for holding a dead person. Joseph had cut this tomb into a rock.
As the sun went down in the sky that Friday night, [not so secretive any more,] Joseph went boldly to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus Christ.
This surprised Pontius Pilate! Was Jesus already dead? Pilate asked the Roman commander in charge of the crucifixion if Jesus had been dead for long.
When the commander [centurion] said that Jesus was dead, Pilate ordered soldiers to allow Joseph to have the dead body.
Since the Jewish Sabbath day of rest was soon upon them, Joseph did not want to carry Jesus very far, so he would put Jesus in the newly cut tomb because it was nearby.
Joseph took Jesus down from the cross. A man named Nicodemus was with Joseph, and had about seventy-five pounds of funeral spices. Nicodemus was also a Jewish teacher who had secretly believed in Jesus. Joseph and Nicodemus wrapped the body in strips of clean and expensive linen cloth, along with the spices. This was the usual thing for Jewish people to do before burying a dead body in a grave.
The two men laid the body of Jesus in the new tomb. Then Joseph rolled a large stone across the door of the tomb, and they left.
Two women were sitting across from the tomb, and they were watching carefully where Jesus was laid. Both women were named Mary, and one of them was Mary Magdalene. They went home to prepare some spices for the burial of Jesus; however, they planned to rest on the Sabbath (Saturday).
The next day, which was Saturday, the leaders of the Jews went together to Pontius Pilate.
“Sir,” they said, “we remember that while [Jesus] was still alive that [liar] said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and [pretend] that he has been raised from the dead.”
Pilate said to them, “Take soldiers with you and make the tomb as secure as possible.”
So, they went to the tomb, sealed the stone that was over the door, and posted soldiers to guard it.
They would have “sealed the stone” by pouring warm wax over both the stone door and the rock doorway. Then they would imprint a name into the wax while it was still soft. This way, if someone rolled the stone away to steal the body of Jesus, the hardened wax seal would break, proving that somebody had moved the stone. Nobody would be able to make a new seal with the same signature imprinted on it.
You might see a bottle or container at the grocery store that says, “Do not use if seal is broken.” The seal does not need to be strong; however, the container cannot be opened without breaking the seal. A broken seal is a warning that someone has opened the container.
Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath day– the Jews rested on Saturdays because God created the world and everything in it in six days and rested on the seventh day. The women who loved Jesus also rested on this day.
b) Sunday Morning Dark
[Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John– by the time I got to this part, which only John’s gospel explains, I became confused about Mary’s first (alone) visit to the tomb in the dark, seeing the stone rolled away, and her awareness that Jesus had risen (“I have seen the Lord!”), in contrast to her behavior on the second visit [Matthew] that night/morning with the other two women when she still seemed to be planning to anoint His body, and wondering who would roll the stone away. Perhaps after the first (dark– John’s account) visit, Peter and John simply believed the body to be missing, while Mary knew Christ was risen but still intended to anoint Him anyway. It is scriptural that none of them were particularly clear about what was going on, nor were they connecting the events to scriptural prophecy. Nevertheless, to avoid my own errors, I am skipping the account of Peter and John running to the tomb in the dark, and Mary mistaking Jesus for the gardener.]
April 2011 note: John does not record Mary visiting “alone” (see John 20:2 “we do not know where they have laid him”); therefore, the confusion above is resolved by understanding the visit of John 20:1 as being the same as the visit recorded at Matthew 28:1.
c) Sunday Morning Sun Rising
The Sabbath day was over, and it was Sunday morning, the start of a new week.
As the sun began to rise, the two women named Mary who had watched Jesus being laid in the tomb, along with a third woman named Salome [Sah-LOW’-me], bought some spices and oil.
They went to the tomb so that they could anoint the body of Jesus with the oil, but they were wondering who would roll away the stone for them.
The women found that the soldiers were still there, guarding the tomb.
As they watched, an angel of God came down from the sky, which caused a large earthquake.
The angel went to the tomb and rolled away the large stone.
He looked like lightning and his clothes were as white as snow.
The guards were very afraid of this angel. The Bible says they “were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.”
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ [Remember,] I have told you.”
The women went inside the tomb and were alarmed to find a young man sitting there, dressed in a white robe. But it was not Jesus. This young man said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus who was crucified.”
He continued talking to them, saying, “[Jesus] is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
Feeling surprised, afraid, and joyful all at the same time, Mary Magdalene and the other two women left the tomb at once, and ran to tell the disciples and all the believers [Luke 24:9]. On their way, Jesus suddenly met them! He appeared first to Mary Magdalene.
“Good morning!” He said.
The women came up to Him and held His feet, worshipping Him.
The Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
[Show Jerusalem and Galilee on map.]
When they arrived, other women joined them [Joanna, etc.], and they found the men still crying because Jesus had died.
Mary Magdalene told them that Jesus had risen from the grave, and that she had seen Him on the way. She told these men that they needed to go to Galilee where He would meet them.
But the men did not believe what Mary said.
The women kept telling these things to the disciples, but they refused to believe. It seemed like nonsense. [Luke 24:11]
d) Bribes and Lies
Meanwhile, some of the soldiers who had guarded the tomb went into Jerusalem city, and told the Jewish leaders everything that they had seen early that morning.
These ruling Jewish priests met with the Jewish elders and made a plan.
They gave a lot of money to these soldiers who had seen the angel roll away the stone. They commanded the soldiers to tell a lie– they told them to say, “We fell asleep in the night, and Jesus’ disciples came and stole His body from the tomb while we were sleeping.”
The soldiers were probably happy to get the money, but they were worried that the Roman governor might hear this lie and think that they had fallen asleep when they were supposed to be guarding the tomb! However, the Jewish leaders had a plan for that as well.
They said to the soldiers, “If Pontius Pilate hears about this, we will bribe him so that you will not get into trouble.”
Do you know what it means to bribe someone? [To offer someone a payment/gift for them to do something that is wrong.]
We do not know, but they might have planned to offer money to Pontius Pilate so that he would not punish the guards.
Now that we know what a bribe is, we can see that these same Jewish leaders had also bribed the tomb guards. They had told them to lie, and had given them money in return.
[Bribery is a wicked thing that happens all the time. People love money enough that they will lie, they will cheat, and sometimes they will even kill to get it. The Jewish leaders did not invent evil. Sometimes we even catch ourselves making an evil plan. No wonder we need to be saved!]
Anyway, those soldiers who had guarded the tomb took the money from the Jewish rulers, and went and told the lie about what happened. When Matthew wrote his part of the Bible about thirty years later, he said that this lie was still being told among the Jews!
e) Two Christians on the Road
Two other Christians were the next to see the resurrected Jesus, on that same Sunday.
These two men were walking to a village in the country, about eleven kilometers from Jerusalem. [Historians have not decisively figured out where Emmaus is on the map.] They were talking about the arrest and execution of Jesus, and everything that had happened in Jerusalem.
The resurrected Jesus came to them and began walking with them. He looked different from how He appeared to Mary and the other women. One part of the Bible says that these mens’ eyes were kept from recognizing Him.
“What things are you talking about?” Jesus asked them.
The two men stopped. They looked sad.
One of them, named Cleopas [CLEE’-ah-pass], answered, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem [for the Passover] who does not know what things have happened these past few days?”
“What things?” Jesus said.
They said, “Things about Jesus from Nazareth, who was a prophet. He was mighty in everything He did before God and before people. We were hoping that He was the Christ sent to Israel, but our Jewish leaders had Him arrested and crucified. It is now the third day since this happened.”
“What’s more,” they continued, “some women from our group of friends have told us something strange. They went to the tomb early this morning and could not find Jesus’ body. They said they even saw angels who told them He was alive.”
So Jesus said to them, “You foolish people… you are so slow to believe what the prophets said!”
Then Jesus taught Cleopas and his friend. He explained many things that Moses, Samuel, David, Micah, Isaiah, and other prophets had written long before Jesus was even born.
When they got near their village, the two men begged Jesus to stay with them, because it was getting dark.
So, Jesus went into one of their houses with them, and sat down by a table. He gave some bread to the men. As He did this, “their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.”
After He vanished, they were surprised that they had not realized all along that this was Jesus. They said to each other, “It even felt like our hearts were on fire while He talked to us, and helped us understand the Bible!”
They immediately went right back to Jerusalem, where they found the believers there gathered together in a locked room.
They said, “It is true! The Lord has risen [...]“
They told the men everything that had happened, and how they had recognized Jesus when He gave the bread to them.
f) Appearance In Jerusalem
While the two men who had just arrived from the village were still talking, Jesus appeared right in the middle of the room with all the disciples and believers.
“Peace be with you,” Jesus said.
This scared them, and they thought they were seeing a ghost.
“Why are you upset?” asked Jesus, “And why are you doubting what you see? Look at my hands! My feet! It is me! Touch me and see that I am not a ghost. Ghosts do not have flesh and bones.”
They were confused, happy, and amazed.
“Do you have anything to eat?” Jesus asked.
They gave Him a piece of cooked fish, and He ate it while they all were watching. Do you think a ghost can eat food?
Jesus said to them, “What is happening is everything that was already written about me by Moses, by the prophets, and in the psalms. It all needed to happen.”
Then Jesus gave them the ability to understand the scriptures [the Bible]. He said, “It is written that Christ must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. Good news about His work is to be announced, first in Jerusalem, and then to all the world– Even as my Father sent me, so I also am sending you.”
He led them out to Bethany, and then left them. [See Bethany on map.]
Eight days later, Jesus came back to them in the same house, appearing in the middle of the locked room. This time the disciple named Thomas was with them, who had missed the first visit, and therefore [just like all of them] still did not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead.
He said to Thomas, “Touch my hands with your finger. Believe!”
Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord, and my God!”
g) In Galilee
From that Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus appeared to Christians at different times and places for forty days before He went to heaven and sat down at God’s right hand. [We will be learning about that in the next lesson.]
Often when the disciples saw Jesus, they did not realize it was Him at first.
Peter and some of the other men eventually went to Galilee, as Mary Magdalene said they must.
One day, they went up a mountain, and into a building, which was probably a home of one of Jesus’ followers. There, sitting at a table, they saw Jesus.
They worshipped Him, but some of them were not sure what to do [Greek: distazō = wavered/hesitated/doubted].
Jesus shamed them [Greek: oneidizō = insulted/reviled] for refusing to believe others who had seen Him.
He appeared to them again when they were fishing on the Sea of Galilee. [See map.] He helped them catch fish, made a fire, and ate fish and bread with them.
Sometime after this, Jesus visited more than five hundred Christians at the same time.
He told His disciples that everyone who believes the teaching of the good news about Him and is baptized will be saved. He said that He will always be with them.
A short time after Jesus had ascended into heaven to rule as the King of kings, apostle Peter said this to his fellow Jews [Acts 2:22-32]:
Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man [who God proved to you] by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. [King] David said about him:
‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will live in hope,
because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ [from Psalm 16]
Brothers, I can tell you confidently that [our father] David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him [...] that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, [David] spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ — Background Material for Adults
a) Some Important Facts About His Resurrection
- The third day after Jesus’ death on the cross, His body rose from the grave;
- This was a powerful work of God’s Spirit, proving:
- That Jesus was the Son of God; (Romans 1:4)
- That Jesus had conquered death; (Romans 6:9)
- That we too may live a new life; (Romans 6:4; 1 Peter 1:3)
- That God accepted the death of Jesus as payment for our sins;
- That the accusations against Christ were false. (1 Timothy 3:16)
- Jesus’ new body did not have the imperfections of our present body. (Philippians 3:10-11, 20-21.)
b) Primary Scriptures
- Matthew 27:57 – 28:20;
- Mark 15:42 – 16:16;
- Luke 23:50 – 24:53;
- John 19:38 – 21:14;
- Acts 1:1-8; 2:22-32;
- 1 Corinthians 15:5-7.
c) Some Secondary Scriptures
- Jonah 1:17; 2:10; (See Matthew 12:40 “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.“).
- Psalm 16:10 as quoted in Acts 2 (see lesson conclusion above);
- John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’“;
- Romans 1:4 “[Jesus] was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.“;
- Romans 6:4 “[...] just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”;
- 1 Corinthians 6:14 “By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.”;
- 1 Corinthians 15:42-50 “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. [...] Just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”
- 1 Peter 1:3 “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead [...]“;
- Revelation 1:18 “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
 Disciples: Any students or followers of Jesus; sometimes this word is used to refer specifically to the twelve apostles only. We have not taught the children about the twelve apostles yet.