Tom Scott - 31/03/2013

John 20:1-9

e-study for April 1, 2013

Happy Easter to all our Canadian friends who might be reading this e-study. Hopefully you had a wonderful day with family and friends! Easter is such an important moment in history. It is hard to put into words the magnitude of what occurred on that first Easter morning when Jesus stepped out of the grave. Everything changed in that moment. That is the message that we have to share with the world today. It is a message that people desperately need to hear. Our hope of eternal life is bound up in an empty tomb. Let me share five questions with you that are meant to help us reflect on the message that I shared for Easter. If you did not have an opportunity to hear it; the message is up on our website. Here is a link to that website:

1. The message began with a look at what happened to Jeff Bush one night while he was on his bed. Underneath his Tampa, Florida home a sinkhole opened up and swallowed Jeff and his bedroom whole. In just a matter of seconds everything was gone. Jeremy, his brother, rushed into the hole, but there was no way for him to rescue his brother. Just like that Jeremyís world was forever changed. Do you remember a moment in your life when you were faced with your own mortality?

2. On Sunday morning the first group of individuals to make their way to the tomb were some of the women who had been followers of Jesus. The second group consisted on Peter and John, who rushed out to the tomb to see what was going on. When they got to the tomb, they went in and found an empty grave. John chapter 20 and Luke chapter 24 describe the reaction of these two men to what they discovered. How would you summarize their reactions?

3. During the second half of the sermon I attempted to prove that the resurrection indeed happened using evidence from the scriptures. The first piece of evidence was the very words of Jesus. On several occasions Jesus made reference to his death, burial, and resurrection. A second piece of evidence is the officerís story which we read in Matthew chapter 28. Why would these professional soldiers go around Jerusalem telling people that they had fallen asleep and that the disciples must have stolen the body?

4. The third piece of evidence that I present in the message dealt with the number of witnesses that saw Jesus after his resurrection. When we read First Corinthians chapter 15, we find a list of individuals who could testify to having seen Jesus. Verse six tells us that Jesus appeared to more than 500 of the brothers at the same time. In a Jewish court of law only two or three witnesses were necessary to prove a point. Why is it that people deny the resurrection when there were so many witnesses that were ready to proclaim the truth about what they witnessed?

5. For the final piece of evidence we should look no further than the empty tomb. When Peter went into the tomb with John, they found the grave clothes lying there as if Jesus just floated out of them. Careful attention is given to the placement of the napkins that would have covered Jesusí head. Tomb raiders would not have left these items behind; nor would they have stolen the body with two guards posted outside the grave. There is solid evidence that the story of the resurrection is true. Paul says that our hope of resurrection from the dead is tied to Jesus. What is the greatest obstacle to our believing that Jesus has indeed been raised from the dead?

We have one more sermon in the series on Itís Empty. Join us Sunday morning as we look at the empty room that the disciples left behind following the ascension of Jesus Christ. Have a great week in the Lord!


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