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Matthew, Mark and Luke
Lesson 27
Jesus Rises from the Dead and Ascends to Heaven

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Reading assignment for this lesson: Matthew 28:1-20, Mark 16:1-20, Luke 24:1-53

Jesus was crucified on a Friday, and His body was hastily placed in a tomb before the Sabbath began at sunset. On Sunday morning, some women went to His tomb and discovered that it had been opened and Jesus' body was missing. Soon after, the women saw Jesus alive again, and He spoke to them. That evening, He appeared to His astonished and bewildered disciples. Over the next forty days Jesus was seen numerous times by his disciples and others.

Jesus' resurrection from the dead is the central event of Christianity and is celebrated on Easter Sunday. Jesus' defeat of the power of death gives us hope that we, too, can overcome death and live eternal life with God.

The original Gospel of Mark ended abruptly at 16:8, after Mary Magdalene and two other women discovered the empty tomb. Verses 9-20 were added perhaps 100 years later and consist mostly of material taken from the other three Gospels. No one is sure, but it is presumed some early Christians wanted to "fill in" the appearances of the resurrected Jesus that are found in the other three Gospels.

1. a) Why did Mary Magdalene and some other women go to Jesus' tomb early on Sunday morning?
b) What did they find when they got there?
c) What were they instructed to do? (See Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18.)

2. a) Who was first to see Jesus in person after he rose from the dead? (See Matthew 28:1, 9-10, John 20:1, 14-17
b) Why was that unexpected?

3. When news of Jesus' resurrection began to circulate, the religious leaders who had opposed Him were no doubt in a panic. What inconsistencies do you see in the "cover up" story they bribed the guards to tell? (See Matthew 28:11-15.)

4. Emmaus was a village about seven miles (eleven km) from Jerusalem, but its exact location is uncertain. The eleven remaining apostles were still in hiding, but Jesus joined two other disciples as they were walking on the road to Emmaus. Why didn't they recognize Jesus as He walked and talked with them? (See Luke 24:13-35, John 20:14, 21:4.)

5. What things did Jesus do to convince His eleven fearful apostles that he was not just a ghost? (See Luke 24:36-42.)

6. What was Jesus' attitude toward his apostles, all of whom had deserted Him out of fear? (See Matthew 28:10, John 20:17-19.)

7. What instructions did Jesus give His apostles about preaching the gospel message? (See Luke 24:45-47, Acts 2:36-38.)

8. Matthew mentions a similar meeting with the eleven apostles in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20). What instructions did Jesus give His apostles at that meeting?

9. What did Jesus mean by "stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high?" (See Luke 24:49, John 14:25-27, 15:26-27, Acts 2:1-4.)

10. a) How did Jesus depart from the disciples for the last time?
b) What assurance did Jesus' followers receive from the two divine messengers? (See Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:1-14)

11. What does Jesus' resurrection mean to Christians? (See Romans 1:1-4, 4:25, 6:1-10, 8:9-11, 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, 1 Thessalonians 4:14.)

12. What does Jesus' resurrection mean to you?

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