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Easter Sunday: Sounded Like Nonsense
1. He Told You: After asking, “WHy do you seek the living among the dead?” the two angels told the women who visited Jesus’ tomb, “He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you ”
(Luke 24:6-7). The synoptics record three separate passion predictions (Luke 9:21-22, 43-45; 18:31-34). What do you notice about these predictions? Why did Jesus tell them? Why did He need to repeat Himself? How did they respond? Are there any truths Jesus has had to teach you over and over again? What makes this particular teaching hard to believe for you?
2. Too Good to Be True: When the women reported to the apostles what the angels told them (Luke 24:11), their report “sounded like nonsense” (NIV, NLT), “seemed like an idle tale” (ESV), “appeared before them like folly” (BLB). Compare this account, of ‘good news’ which seemed too good to be true, with a similar account of disbelief in Acts 12:1-17 (esp. vv. 5, 15). In light of the empty tomb, does the phrase ‘too good to be true’ apply anymore to followers of Jesus? Nevertheless, have you ever prayed a prayer you didn’t believe God would answer?
3. Must: The angels reminded the women at Jesus’ empty tomb, “Remember how he told you … that the Son of Man MUST … be crucified and on the third day rise” (Luke 24:6, 7). That word “must”
(gk. δει, dei ) is important for Luke. Study his usage of that word in Luke 2:49; 21:9; 24:44 and Acts 4:12; 5:29; 16:30. What does “must” mean? Why “must” Jesus go to the cross? What made it absolutely necessary? Could there have been another way (Matt. 26:39)?
4. Remember: Luke records that after listening to the angels, “[the women] remembered [Jesus’] words” (Luke 24:8). The gospel of John makes a special use of this concept of “remembering.” Read the following accounts of the disciples “remembering” in John 2:14-17, 19-22; 12:12-16. What did they remember? What sparked this remembering? Was this moment accidental ( just so happened to remember ) or intentional ( divinely-orchestrated, Spirit-directed remembering )? Have you ever remembered something very important and deeply relevant which you read in the Bible or heard in a sermon at just the right time? What does this say about the way God has designed His words to function in our lives?