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Week 40: Jesus as the Resurrected One

1. Week 40: Jesus as the Resurrected One

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2. Recap & Preparing for CG

Daily Reading for Week

  • Luke 10-11, Psalm 117 
  • Luke 12-13, Psalm 118  
  • Luke 14-16, Psalm 119:1-32  
  • Luke 17-18, Psalm 119:33-64  
  • Luke 19-20, Psalm 119:65-96  
  • Luke 21-22, Psalm 119:97-128  
  • Luke 23-24, Psalm 119:129-152  

Resources for Week

3. Focus of time together

To reflect on the uniqueness of the resurrection accounts in the Gospel stories and to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with the same wonder and electricity the disciples must have felt when they realized Jesus was alive again.

4. Ground rule / goal / value for the week

Goal: The goal for this week is to experience a quiet, restful space where we can hear from the Holy Spirit. As a community, try to remove any potential distractions so you can fully immerse yourself in the resurrection story.

5. Connection and Unity Exercise (Mutual Invitation)

When you think of the resurrection, what is your initial response? Do you remember the first time you heard the resurrection story?

6. Opening Prayer

Have someone open your time in prayer and ask for the Holy Spirit to reveal new and beautiful layers to the story of Jesus’ resurrection.

7. Intro to Discussion

Over the past 5 weeks, we have seen the ingenious and beautiful ways the Gospel writers have infused their narrative biographies of Jesus’ life with the Old Testament Scriptures. Jesus was at once something entirely new and paradigm-busting AND also something entirely old whose identity, actions, and teachings were seeped in the history, legacy, and story of Israel. 

This week, we will look at the account of Jesus’ resurrection from the Gospel of Luke. The past 5 weeks, we have jumped back and forth between a Gospel passage and the Old Testament passages it quoted, alluded to, or echoed. This week will be different, focused solely on the mysterious account of Jesus’ resurrection and interaction with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. One of the striking features of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection is how few echoes there are of the Old Testament compared to the rest of each Gospel. Not that they are entirely devoid of allusions — Luke includes in the Emmaus story Jesus unpacking literally the entire Old Testament in order to show how it points to Him, after all. But as you read the accounts, it is clear something new, mysterious and entirely unexpected had happened. One can almost hear the straining in each Gospel writer’s recollections, decades later, still flabbergasted by the wonder of it all, still trying to work out what exactly did happen.

One of the tragedies of Christianity today is that the resurrection has ceased to be a wondrous, unfathomable moment in history and instead has become a theological idea a person believes. It has lost the sheer mystical incomprehensibility it had for the disciples and early followers of Christ. Today, as we hear the stories of Jesus coming back from death itself, may our hearts burn within us and would we be similarly overwhelmed and full of the same baffling hope of the two disciples Jesus spoke with on the road to Emmaus.

8. Large Group Discussion

Movement 1 (30 minutes):

Before you begin reading, sit for 1 minute in silence. As the Scripture is read, savor each portion of the reading, constantly listening for the Holy Spirit to reveal any words or phrases that particularly stand out and compel you as you hear this story.
 
Slowly read Luke 24:1-35:
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, 

“Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 

“What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him,and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Movement 2 (30 minutes):

Sit in silence for another minute, reflecting on what you just heard. Then, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the part of the story you find most mysterious and/or confusing. Have someone read the passage again slowly.

Read Luke 24:1-35:

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, 

“Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 

“What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him,and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Questions for Interacting with Scripture:

These questions are to help us slow down to taste and notice Scripture, savor its richness, and meditate on its complexity of meaning.

Sit for 5 minutes in silence and meditate on the word or phrase that compelled you most from this story.

  1. What is it about this particular phrase you find compelling? 
  2. Why might the Holy Spirit have highlighted it for you? 
  3. Feel free to journal your response.

9. Small Group Discussion

Using Mutual Invitation, invite each person to share the word or phrase they were most compelled by in this story of Jesus’ resurrection and why you think the Holy Spirit may have invited you to reflect on it.

10. Closing

Pray for one another, asking the Holy Spirit to continue to reveal this coming week the significance of the word or phrase He gifted you, and thank God for the wonder of the resurrection.