Text: Matthew 27:57 – 28:15
Sermon: Rev. Matt Kennedy
1. [Lead-in] Can you think of a story that you’ve heard that seems almost unbelievable? Do you think the story was a bit embellished or has room for doubt?
2. [General] Why are the Gospels (and the rest of the New Testament) as pieces of evidence for Christ’s resurrection so important?
3. [28:1-7] Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene were first to arrive at the tomb (possibly with Salome and/or Joanna). Why did the woman arrive there first, and where do you think all the men and disciples were?
4. [27:57-60] Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin, making him a very popular and recognizable person in the first century. Jesus, who was just as popular, was laid in Joseph’s tomb. How does their combined fame and popularity strengthen the resurrection’s reliability?
5. [27:62-66] Why would Rome want to waste the time and effort of their military by sealing and guarding a tomb? How does this benefit the case for resurrection?
6. [28:11-15] In their failure to guard the tomb, Roman soldiers turn to the Jewish authorities and receive a bribe to spread false information. Where in the priests’ bribe does the logic sound unconvincing? In other words, why is the bribe false and contradicting?
7. [General] Consider suffering of the apostles after the resurrection. Every apostle receives slander and beatings, and all but one is executed for confessing and preaching the faith. [The other one is sent to exile.] Why would anyone endure such hardship and persecution?
8. [App] Considering what the first century followers of Jesus went through, how should we prepare ourselves to share the faith with others? Should we expect individual or organized persecution for what we say? Should we be scared for that time, or is it happening already?
9. [App] Why is the Resurrection considered one of the most central doctrines in Christianity?