Happy Easter, youth group family!
We continue to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I'm hopeful that you and your families are able to truly step into the majesty and reality of the empty tomb, bringing Spirit-filled resurrection and new life to those around you. 

This week we wrap up our "Risen King" series with a guest teacher, Brian Elder! This is not his first rodeo to our Wednesday night gatherings, and we're grateful to welcome Brian back to once again open up God's word to us, diving into the reality and power in the resurrection of Jesus. 

Below are some of Brian's primary talking points, key passages he'll take us through, and some questions that you can use in conversations with your student(s) at home. We'll see you on Sunday and/or next Wednesday!

The resurrection and the historical fact that Jesus is risen is a story that is far too great for even the most skeptical person in the world to completely ignore.

 Read 1 Peter 1:3-9

 1) Risen Christ confirms the redemption of our past
1 Peter 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

It could be easier for someone to understand the death of Christ and the cross -  Jesus died and he took my place- but still be confused why the resurrection was necessary.

-        We are all sinful and in need of a substitute to satisfy the justice of God because God is holy and cannot allow sin into his presence so he must provide a substitute to take on our sin for us so that we can be with him

Here we see not only in 1 Peter but also in 1 Corinthians 15 how the resurrection is not just an nice ending or the cherry on top to the cross of Christ but a necessary, true, historical event that we desperately need to be united to God

We have an enemy -- Not a fake enemy that is decorated in a red costume and horns but a real one that seeks to accuse us before God.

  • 1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

  • Revelation 12 - the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God

How do we stand against these attacks? We must look to the resurrection!

2) Resurrection grants us joy in our present circumstances
Read 1 Peter 1:4-7

We all – whether now, recently, or in the near future - are going through some kind suffering.

The message of the resurrection is that this present world matters; that the problems and pains of this present world matter; that the living God has made a decisive bridgehead into this present world with this healing and all-conquering love; and that, in the name of this strong love, all the evils, all the injustices and all the pains of the present world must now be addressed with the news that healing, justice, and love have won the day. That’s why we pray “thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven”...  N.T. Wright

The content is too counter-productive to be legend.

It is typical to say that the followers of Jesus made up stories of his life to promote their movement. But why make up a story that:

a) Jesus died on a cross crying out that God had forsaken him? 
b) In Gethsemane he wished he could avoid the cross?

c) The first eyewitnesses of the resurrection were women?

    • All of these elements were highly offensive to all first century readers. The only historically plausible reason that these incidents would be put in these accounts is that they happened.

3) Resurrection offers hope for the future in life and death 
          -   Jesus makes resurrection possible for us physically and for us to live “resurrected”

Read 1 Peter 1:8-9

Discussion Questions:

  1. When did the reality of the resurrection first impact you? If it hasn’t yet, what about the resurrection is difficult for you to grasp? The “realness” of the miracle? The meaning of it? Something else? (John 20:24-29)

  2. In what ways does the resurrection provide hope for you today? In the future?

  3. In what ways do you see the power of the resurrection at work in your life through the Holy Spirit? (Romans 8:11)

  4. How can the message of the resurrection offer hope to someone who is far from Christ? How would you explain the message and hope of Easter to someone if they asked?