Introduction: Last week, we ended our study with those who crucified
Jesus admitting that He was the Messiah. What a mistake! What do you
do when you wrongly kill someone? How do you fix this? Let’s dive
into our lesson and learn the good news about “fixing” Jesus’ death
and what it means to us!

  1. The Burial

    1. Read Matthew 27:57-60. Would Peter, or any of the eleven
      disciples, have requested Jesus’ body?

      1. If you say, “no,” why not? (Too dangerous. Perhaps
        they might be killed like Jesus.)

      2. What level of danger to Joseph existed because of his

        1. Do you think he worried about the danger?

    2. Read Matthew 27:62-64. How closely had the Jewish leaders
      followed the burial of Jesus? (They knew He was in a tomb
      and where it was.)

      1. What does this tell us about the “danger to Joseph”
        issue? (It was real.)

      2. What worried the Jewish leaders?

      3. On what charge had Jesus been found guilty by the
        Jewish leaders? (Review Matthew 26:60-64.)

        1. Were the Jewish leaders really worried about
          Jesus’ body being stolen?

          1. If so, was this a realistic fear?

          2. Consider this idea from the point of view
            of one of the eleven disciples? If you
            were a disciple, would you want to steal
            Jesus’ body?

      4. Notice the timing of this. “Then next day” refers to
        Friday evening – the beginning of the Sabbath. What
        kind of business is this for the strict Sabbath-keeping Jewish leaders?

    3. Read Matthew 27:65-66. What reasons do you think Pilate
      had for agreeing to post a guard and seal the tomb? (They
      all worried Jesus might really come to life.)

  2. The Resurrection

    1. Read Matthew 28:1. Matthew has the perfect opportunity to
      mention that the “Old Testament Sabbath” had now passed
      from significance and the new Sabbath, the Lord’s Day,
      will now begin. Why does he still use the old terminology?
      (Matthew gives no indication that the resurrection of our
      Lord results in a new day of worship.)

    2. Read Matthew 28:2-4. How many angels from heaven does it
      take to “rescue” Jesus from the grave? (The text shows us
      that the “secure as you know how” of man ( Matthew 27:65)
      turns out to be nothing when it comes to the power of one
      of God’s angels.)

      1. What is the lesson for you when you face problems
        based on the schemes of people?

      2. Notice that the angel “sits” on the stone. Why is
        that? (I love this mental picture! He was easily in

    3. Read Matthew 28:5-6. Who are the witnesses to what the
      angel has done? (The women ( Matthew 28:1) and the guards
      ( Matthew 28:4.)

      1. Why does the angel say only to the women “Do not be
        afraid?” Is this because women are naturally more
        fearful? (The male guards were so afraid they became
        “like dead men.” ( Matthew 28:4) What we see here is
        an important life lesson. God wants to take the fear
        out of our life. But, an important part of being
        without fear is being on the “right side.”)

      2. Notice the angel says that Jesus has “risen, just as
        He said.” Why does the angel make that note? (This
        points back to the central theme of the trial and the
        controversy: will Jesus be able to rise in three
        days? He said He could. Now He proves it.)

      3. The angel offers to show the women where Jesus had
        been laying in the tomb. Why? (Heaven is building its
        “case.” Jesus said He would rise in three days. The
        place where He was buried is empty. A heavenly being
        attests to this.)

    4. Read Matthew 28:7-9. What further proof of Jesus’
      resurrection do we find?

      1. Why did Jesus appear first to these women? Why not to
        His disciples? (Read Matthew 27:61 and Matthew 28:1.
        I think they never left Him until after his burial.
        The next morning, after Sabbath, they came to
        continue the vigil at His tomb.)

        1. What is the lesson for us in this?

    5. Read Matthew 28:10. What promise does Jesus make to His
      disciples? (That He will appear to them, too.)

      1. Why not just appear to the faithful women? (I’m sure
        in that culture the testimony of two distraught women
        would be discounted.)

    6. Read Matthew 28:11. Imagine for a minute what is going
      through the minds of the Jewish leaders. What do they now

      1. Read Matthew 28:12-14. Why do this? Why not repent?

  1. The Reaction

    1. Read Matthew 28:16-17. On what basis would they doubt?
      They had seen Jesus!

      1. If the main purpose of the book of Matthew is to
        confirm belief in our risen Lord, why does it confess
        that some of the disciples doubted?

    2. Let’s list all the reasons why the disciples should have
      had no doubt about Jesus’ resurrection?

    3. Read Luke 7:11-12. What do we learn about this widow? (She
      was now alone. She lost both her husband and her son.
      Either she or her son were well-liked: a large crowd came
      out. Likely, she faced a difficult economic future.)

    4. Read Luke 7:13. What does this tell us about the heart of
      Jesus? Does He care when tragedy comes to your family?

    5. Read Luke 7:14-15. Friend, is this the God you want to
      serve? The God who gives sons back to mothers?

      1. What lesson should the disciples have learned from
        this? (Since the disciples knew that Jesus had the
        power to raise the dead to life, it makes it hard to
        understand how they would doubt that Jesus had been
        resurrected. Perhaps the torture and taunts He
        suffered had a large impact on their minds.)

    6. Read John 11:25. This is part of the account of the
      resurrection of Lazarus. Would the disciples have heard
      Jesus’ claim here?

      1. How could they distinguish the resurrection of
        Lazarus and the son from Nain from Jesus’ own

    7. Read John 5:21. Who does Jesus say holds the power of
      life? (Both the God the Father and God the Son.)

      1. How is this an answer to the doubts of some of the
        disciples? (Assume that they misunderstood Jesus’
        torture and death: they thought this occurred because
        He did not have the power or authority to stop it.
        Whatever Jesus’ power, God held the power of life. I
        think the doubts of some of the disciples were based
        on emotion more than logic.)

  2. The Result

    1. Read John 5:26-27. Why does Jesus’ status as the “Son of
      Man” entitle Him to judge? (This refers to the victory of
      Jesus over death. Jesus lived a perfect life, died for our
      sins, and this gives Him authority to grant judgment on
      eternal life and eternal death.)

    2. Read John 5:24-25. When do those who hear and believe gain
      eternal life? (We can “cross over” to eternal life right

      1. Notice that those who hear the word of God during
        life, also hear it during death!

    3. Friend, would you like to have eternal life? If you listen
      to Jesus, confess your sins, and believe in what He has
      done for you, you can have eternal life right now! Why not
      accept eternal life today?

  3. Next week: The Heart of the Cross.