Youth Online Bible Study Easter Lesson, Living Proof

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1 Youth Online Bible Study Easter Lesson, Living Proof This lesson, Living Proof, is designed for study by youth in grades The lesson consists of two major sections for the teacher plus a student page. The two major sections of the teaching guide are What the Bible Says, which provides comments aimed at helping the teacher understand the Bible passage, and Teaching Plan, which offers guidance to the teacher in leading youth in studying the lesson. 1 Also included in What the Bible Says are application insights under the headings What the Bible Says to Me and What the Bible Says to Youth. What the Bible Says to Me focuses on application to the teacher, and What the Bible Says to Youth focuses on application to youth. Teaching Plan is organized under the headings Motivation, Examination, and Application. Numbered steps provide guidance for proceeding through the teaching plan. James Viator, the writer, serves as student minister at East Meadows Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas. He earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and his undergraduate degree is from East Texas Baptist University, Marshall, Texas. BAPTISTWAY PRESS Team: Ross West, Positive Difference Communications, Editor and Publishing Consultant; Jane Wilson, Youth Consultant, Bible Study/Discipleship Center; Dennis Parrott, Director, Bible Study/Discipleship Center; H. Lynn Eckeberger, Coordinator, Church Health and Growth Section; Charles Wade, Executive Director, Baptist General Convention of Texas 1 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New International Version (North American Edition), copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. Page 1 of 7

2 Living Proof Background Scripture John 20:1-18 Focal Scripture Text John 20:1-18 Main Idea Eyewitnesses testified to the fact of Jesus resurrection. Life Question Would I have believed it? Teaching Aim To lead youth to list reasons for believing that Jesus was resurrected What the Bible Says It takes faith to believe that someone could be raised from the dead, but without Jesus resurrection there is no salvation. The fact is we all have to determine whether we will believe it or not. Today s Scripture passage shares some powerful eyewitness testimonies to the reality of that resurrection. One Wild Morning (John 20:1-9) 20:1. It was the custom of the times to visit the tomb of a loved one following the loved one s burial. Since the laws prohibited visiting the tomb on the Sabbath (Saturday), we find in this verse that Mary had come before dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday). She could not wait a minute longer than she was required. Parallel Scripture accounts reveal that others were with her at this time (Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:1, 9-10); however, John mentions only Mary Magdalene. The significance seems to be that John wanted to tell of Mary s specific experiences at the tomb that day. To her shock and amazement, the stone had been removed. The Gospel of Matthew says that the heavy stone had been sealed and was guarded by soldiers (Matthew 27:62-66). 20:2. Mary must have assumed that those who opposed Jesus had taken his body. Without actually entering the tomb, Mary immediately ran back to tell Peter and John what she had discovered. She wanted the others to know what had happened. She also wanted the help of the others to figure out what really happened. Peter still appears to be the leader of the group even after his denial. This verse also reveals that Mary was not alone at the tomb. She stated, We don t know where they have put him! The idea that Jesus had been resurrected apparently had not even entered her mind. 20:3-5. The three of them Peter, John, Mary (John 20:10) headed back to the tomb. It is interesting that Peter and John were running. Mary s account must have been a shock to them, and they had to see it to believe it. John outran Peter to the tomb. Either John s youth enabled him to Page 2 of 7

3 run faster or he knew the way to the tomb better. Regardless of the reason, when John arrived he looked in but did not enter. Maybe being younger also caused him to hesitate or feel the need to wait for his companion out of respect. 20:6-7. Peter reached the tomb and immediately entered. While his experience of denial might have humbled him, it did not shake his boldness. Once he entered the tomb he not only saw the linen strips but also the burial cloth. The description of the grave clothes and their positioning is significant. The head cloth was separate from the linen that had wrapped the body. The implication may be that that the head cloth and the linen were lying there as if Jesus body simply had vanished. Or the point may be that they were arranged neatly, meaning that no one stealing the body would have left them in such a state. 20:8-9. John finally entered the tomb and saw the rest of the scene. As he contemplated the evidence, he began to realize what had happened. Verse 9 is a peculiar statement that at first glance would not make sense. How could they not understand when in the previous verse it is stated that John believed? What verse 9 clarifies is that it was not from the Scripture that John believed but from his eyewitness account. Remember that the Scripture they had at the time was only the Old Testament. John s belief in Jesus resurrection came from what he saw with his own eyes, not from what he had read or heard from the Old Testament. One Weeping Mourner (John 20:10-15) 20: The disciples headed back home. There is no doubt that they must have still been in shock, trying to make sense of everything they had experienced. Mary lingered outside the tomb, overwhelmed by the situation to the point of tears. Maybe she was weeping out of her grief or maybe she was weeping because she still did not know what had happened to the body of the One she loved so much. Curiosity overwhelmed her, and she took a look inside the tomb. When she did, she saw two angels sitting in the place where the body should have been. It is interesting that the Scripture does not indicate that she was afraid when she saw the angels. Grief can often deaden our emotions and hinder our responses. 20:13. The angels questioned her about her crying. The angels knew that she should be rejoicing over the fact that Jesus was no longer there but is alive. Mary did not yet understand and responded that she was crying because she did not know where they had taken Jesus. Her response reveals two things. First, she still believed that someone had taken the body. Second, she had a great love for her Lord. She was hurting not only because she did not know what had happened to his body but also because she had lost a loved one. 20: Jesus entered the scene. Mary saw him but did not recognize him as Jesus. Jesus spoke to her, and she still did not know who he was. She believed that he was the gardener and questioned his possible role in removing Jesus body. She was so consumed by her grief and possibly blinded by the tears that she failed to realize who he really was. One Wonderful Message (John 20:16-18) 20:16. Finally, in his loving manner, Jesus spoke Mary s name. When Jesus said her name, a flood of different emotions must have come over her. She had heard him say her name before in reproof, Page 3 of 7

4 forgiveness, sadness, joy, and love. There was no mistaking it now. She knew exactly who he was. This was the One she had been seeking, the reason she had been grieving. She yelled out in jubilation over her discovery. What a wonderful picture of the salvation experience. It is the picture of a person finally knowing who the Savior is. 20:17. Mary grabbed hold of Jesus in her excitement, but Jesus commanded her to let go of him. This statement is odd at first, especially in light of the fact that Jesus later invited Thomas to touch him (John 20:27). A better translation of this phrase is, Do not continue holding on to me.... The emphasis was that she needed to let go of Jesus at that point so she could do something else. That something else was to go and tell the others the wonderful news. Once we experience the lifechanging power of salvation, we are to go and tell others, not selfishly hold on to it solely for ourselves. 20:18. Mary went immediately to the disciples and told them everything that took place. She told them she had seen the resurrected Jesus and that he had spoken to her. He had given her a message for them. Her testimony of the risen Christ solidified in the minds of Peter and John what they had perceived in the tomb earlier. From Scripture we know that some doubted her story until they experienced the risen Jesus for themselves (20:25). That same message is for us. Christ is alive and has revealed himself to us. Will we believe it or not? What the Bible Says to Me God has revealed himself to us through Scripture and through the Holy Spirit. While we may not have a physical eyewitness account of the resurrection, our own spiritual experience is a real witness to the power of the resurrection. We all have our doubts at times about whether our words have any impact on those whom we seek to reach. This passage is a powerful reminder that they do. We may not ever get to see the impact, but we can continue to share our witness to the power of the resurrection. knowing with confidence that God will take what we share and use it to bring others to know and experience the resurrection of Jesus. What the Bible Say to Youth Our students are bombarded every day with all kinds of information. Some of it is true, but much of it is false. We need to help them critically evaluate the information so that they can know the difference. Too, we need to help our students understand that their personal spiritual experience can have a powerful effect on their unbelieving friends. Our students need to see that just as the testimonies of Mary and the disciples led many to believe, so can theirs. We need to help our students understand the authenticity of the resurrection found in Scripture and how to express that truth through how they share their story and how they live their lives. Page 4 of 7

5 Teaching Plan Motivation 1. Prepare beforehand to have an adult volunteer enter the room just as the class session has started. This individual needs to hand you the student sheets, possibly say something to you quietly, and then exit the room. Hand out the student sheets. Instruct the students to write under I Witness on the student sheet everything they can remember about the person who just came in. After a couple of minutes, have the students share what they have written. Once everyone has shared, bring the person back in the room and let the students see how well they did. Tell the students that each of us has a unique I witness to share. Explain to the students that today s lesson shares the eyewitness accounts of Jesus resurrection and you will be exploring the impact that a personal witness can have on those who may be skeptical. Examination 2. Call on a student to read John 20:1-4. Explain to the students that every day we have all kinds of information presented to us from teachers, parents, friends, the media, etc. Each time we hear or read about something, we have to process whether the information is true or false. Share the following statements with the class and have them decide whether the statement is true or false. The Hundred Years War lasted 100 years. (False; it lasted 116 years.) Gemini 6 was launched before Gemini 7. (False 2 ) An eighteen-wheeler has eighteen wheels. (True) Proxima Centauri is the closest star to earth. (False; the sun is the closest.) Explain to the students that Peter and John had the same decision to make. They decided that they had to see for themselves that what Mary had said was true. They took off running to the tomb to see this unbelievable reality with their own eyes. Many times we don t believe things that we are told unless we see them for ourselves. This is also true for those whom we are seeking to lead to Christ 3. Divide the students into groups of no more than five. Have the students read John 20:5-9 in their groups and answer the following questions (write them on a marker board): Why do you think John did not go into the tomb at first? Why do you think Peter went in immediately? Why do you think the information about the grave clothes is given? What do you think verse 9 means? 2 See Page 5 of 7

6 After the groups have had time to answer the questions, have them share their decisions. Once all the groups have had a chance to share, use the information about this passage under, What the Bible Says, to help clarify the answers to these questions. Or rather than doing steps 2 and 3, have the students rewrite verses 1-9 in today s language. Give the students the opportunity to present their work as creatively as they want. 4. Call on a student to read John 20:10-18 aloud. Ask the students: How would you have reacted to this experience? Would you have been afraid to see angels sitting in the tomb? Why do you think Mary did not recognize Jesus at first? Would you have recognized Jesus in that situation? Why did Jesus saying Mary s name make a difference? Use the information found under the heading One Weeping Mourner in What the Bible Says to help the students understand Mary s situation and response. And/or give the students time to read John 20:10-18 silently. When they have finished, have the group present the scene as a drama. And/or have the students divide into groups of three or four people each. Have them read John 20:10-18 in their groups. Give each group a sheet of white construction paper and colors and/or markers. Have the group draw a mural based on these verses. Once the students have completed their pictures, have them choose a spokesperson to explain their drawing. Post the drawings in the room to remind the class of the wonder and power of this eyewitness account. Application 5. Give each student a sheet of notebook paper. Have the students develop their own eyewitness account of the resurrected Christ. Give the following guidance: First, have them list all the facts related to the resurrection that the group has discovered in today s lesson. Second, share with the students that their own personal experience of Jesus is a powerful tool God wants to use to reach others who do not believe. Give them time to write down some of the specifics of their own experience with Jesus. Next, have them work to incorporate the two elements into a single testimony. It is important that they have a way to express their witness in a way that includes their own personal experience of encountering Jesus as well as the evidences found in Scripture. 6. Encourage the students to seek opportunities to share their eyewitness stories with others this week. 7. Close the meeting with prayer. Ask God to give you and each student the courage to share a witness for Christ s resurrection with someone who needs to hear the message of salvation. Page 6 of 7

7 Student Page, Living Proof I Witness In the space below write down as many details as you can remember about the person who just walked in and out of the room. One More Thing Practice sharing your witness this week with the people listed below. Use the space under each heading to evaluate your presentation. A Christian friend Your pastor or youth minister A family member Someone who needs to hear it Page 7 of 7

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