The Death & Resurrection Of Jesus

This Resurrection Sunday, we journeyed through the profound story of Christ’s crucifixion and the joyous celebration of His resurrection. As we read from the Gospel of John, allow the familiar words to renew your spirit, and reflect on the diversity of perspectives offered by the four Gospels as they tell the greatest story ever told. It’s important that we tap into the intricate web of historical figures and cultural contexts that shaped the final moments of Jesus, exploring their roles in the poignant narrative that lies at the very heart of our faith.

 

In this sermon, we also trace the connections between the dawn of creation and the new beginning symbolized by Jesus’ resurrection. We delve into the emotions of the empty tomb discovery, the initial disbelief of the disciples, and how these events parallel the challenges and skepticism of our own faith journeys. Let’s not settle for a simple retelling but a true re-experiencing of these sacred moments. Jesus is inviting you to grasp the transformative power of the resurrection as it redefines our existence. 

 

Notice the parallels with the Creation Story too. In Genesis, on Day Six, God made humanity. On Day Seven He rested. In the story of Jesus’ death, we see that on the sixth day (Good Friday) God re-made humanity. On the seventh day, He rested (laid in the tomb). And on the 1st day of the (new) week He said, “Let there be light!” We have a new first day of the week, the celebration of the eighth day. A day of new beginnings! 

 

Quick takeaways from the Sermon:

  • The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are at the core of our faith, and revisiting this story can renew our spirit.
  • Understanding the cultural and historical context of Jesus’ time can deepen our appreciation of the Easter narrative.
  • Jesus’ resurrection signifies a new creation, inviting us to embrace transformation and live out the power of our renewed faith.
  • Encountering the risen Christ is about spiritual rebirth, impacting not only our knowledge but our entire being and relationship with God.
  • Gratitude and action are our responses to the resurrection, as we turn our personal trials into triumphs, celebrating the renewing power of faith. 

This week, let’s reflect on these points and consider how the resurrection story can continue to shape our lives. May we all carry the joy and power of this message into our daily interactions and embrace the changes within as we walk in the light of Christ. 

 

As a church, we at Revive Chicago desperately need an authentic encounter with the risen Christ. By His power, we begin a metamorphosis within, as we embrace the redemption offered to us and how it restores our connection with Jesus. Together, let’s turn our personal trials into triumphs, just as graves were turned into gardens, celebrating the renewing power of faith on this Resurrection Sunday.

 

Begin Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

Day 1: The Crucifixion Reading: John 19:16-27 

 

Devotional:

Today we reflect on the somber moments of Jesus’ crucifixion. As you read John’s account, ponder the gravity of what it meant for Jesus to carry His own cross to Golgotha. The sacrifice of Jesus is a portrayal of ultimate love and fulfillment of prophecy. In your quiet time, consider the significance of Jesus’ words to His mother and the beloved disciple, revealing His care for those He loved even in His final moments.

 

Reflection Question:

How does understanding the depth of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross challenge you to love and care for others in your life, even when it’s difficult?

 

Day 2: The Burial – John 19:28-42

 

Devotional:

In today’s passage, we encounter the burial of Jesus. This act was one of respect and love carried out by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. As you read, take a moment to consider the humility and bravery of these individuals who cared for Jesus’ body. Reflect on the significance of Jesus’ burial as it sets the stage for the resurrection.

 

Reflection Question:

What does the careful and loving burial of Jesus by Joseph and Nicodemus teach you about honoring God and standing firm in your faith amidst potential opposition?

 

Day 3: The Resurrection – John 20:1-18

 

Devotional:

The darkness of the tomb could not hold back the light of the world. Today, we celebrate the empty tomb and the resurrection of Jesus. Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the risen Christ transformed her grief into joy. As you meditate on this passage, let the reality of the resurrection ignite hope in your heart. Embrace the new life that is promised to you through Christ’s victory over death.

 

Reflection Question:

How does the resurrection of Jesus give you hope and strength in areas of your life where you need renewal and transformation?

 

Day 4: Doubt and Faith – John 20:24-29

 

Devotional:

Thomas’ doubt is a part of many believers’ journeys. His desire to see and touch the wounds of Jesus was met with compassion, not condemnation. Today, as you read about Thomas’ encounter with the risen Lord, ask God to strengthen your faith in the unseen. Trust in the promises of Jesus and the reality of His resurrection, even when doubts arise.

 

Reflection Question:

How can you follow Jesus’ encouragement to believe without seeing, and how might that faith manifest in your daily walk with Christ?

 

Day 5: New Creation – 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Devotional:

As we conclude our journey through the transformative events of the crucifixion and resurrection, we land on the promise of becoming a new creation in Christ. The old has gone, the new has come. Today, meditate on what it means to live as a new creation. Embrace the changes God is making in you and through you, and walk forward in the resurrection power that is at work within every believer.

 

Reflection Question:

In what practical ways can you live out your identity as a new creation in Christ, and how does this change your perspective on life’s challenges and opportunities?

End of Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

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