God’s Victory Validated
Readings for the Week: Isaiah 65:17-25 Psalm 118:1-2 ,14-24 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 John 20:1-18
April 21, 2019
- According to pastor and theologian, Darrell W. Johnson, “Most Christians tend to think of the crucifixion as a defeat and the resurrection as the victory.” (It is Finished: Meditations on the Death of Jesus, p. 55) From the Good Friday service sermon, how is the crucifixion the victory?
- If the crucifixion is the victory, how is the resurrection the confirmation, or validation, of God’s victory. What does the resurrection confirm?
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:19-26. What does Christ’s resurrection mean for you?
- Words of accusation, and words of fear are devilish strategies that attempt to undermine the hope instilled in you by the resurrection of Christ. How are accusations and fears threatening your resurrection hope? You may decide to pause to pray for each other’s struggles with accusation and fear.
- Read John 20:1-18. Mary Magdalene is a first witness to the resurrected Lord. Imagine yourself announcing to your fellow Christ-followers, “I have seen the Lord.” What testimony would you give? How have you seen the Lord? How have you come to know him? What are you experiencing in him? One way God reveals himself to others is through your witness.
- Close your small group time by reading Isaiah 65:17-25, then use this reading as a springboard for prayer. Reflect back to God the things he is reminding you of.
Here is Your King
Readings for the Week: Psalm 118:1-2,19-29 Zechariah 9:9-12 1 Timothy 6:12-16 Luke 19:28-40
April 14, 2019
What are some of the ways that reflecting on the kingship and messianic element of Jesus’ identity help to prepare us for Holy week?
In what ways is the exultation of Jesus in the triumphal entry (Luke 19:29-40) the same as the exultation of an earthly ruler? In what ways are they different?
How do you understand the glory of God?
Read these three passages: Luke 2:8-20, Luke 19:36-40, and Rev 7:9-10. What do these passages have in common? How do they differ in their emphasis on glory?
What are some of the ways that we bring glory to God?
How central is the glory of God to your understanding of the spiritual life?
In what ways does the focus on His glory impact how we live?
Following Jesus with Others into Love
Readings for the Week: Psalm 126 Isaiah 43:16-21 Philippians 3:4b-14 Mark 2:2-12
April 7, 2019
Read aloud Mark 2:1-12 and then discuss the following questions:
- The four stretcher-bearers appear to be making it a priority to pursue three different categories of relationships in their lives:
- with Jesus
- with others following Jesus
- with those yet to experience Jesus’ healing and forgiveness
Which of these three types of relationships do you find it the easiest to nurture? Which do you find it hardest to give attention to?
- Jesus remarked the faith of the four stretcher-bearers. Think about your own life. What are some of the things that have helped build your faith in Jesus over the years? What are some things that have made it harder for you to exercise faith in Jesus?
- What might it look like for you and a few friends to pick up the corner of someone’s stretcher and help them to encounter Jesus?