April 16 – 22, 2023
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 779–795; The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 3, 198–206
“Only He who is one with God could say, I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again. In His divinity, Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death.” The Desire of Ages, 785
1 “HE IS RISEN”
1.a. What happened after Christ had rested the Sabbath day in the tomb? Matthew 28:1–4
Note: “The angel approached the grave, and rolling away the stone as if it had been a pebble, he sat upon it. Then his voice was heard, Son of God, come forth; thy Father calls Thee; and Jesus came forth from the grave with the step of a mighty conqueror.” The Youth’s Instructor, July 28, 1898
“This was He who had been nailed to the cross. … Mountains piled upon mountains over His sepulcher could not have prevented Him from coming forth.” The Desire of Ages, 780, 781
1.b. What message did the women receive? Matthew 28:5–8
Note: “With combined wisdom and tenderness, the angels reminded the women of the words of Jesus, warning them beforehand of His crucifixion and resurrection. The women now fully comprehended the words of their Master, which at the time were veiled in mystery to them. They gathered fresh hope and courage.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 3, 200
2 CAPTIVES MADE FREE
2.a. What took place at the death and resurrection of Christ? Matthew 27:51, 52
Note: “As Christ arose, He brought from the grave a multitude of captives. The earthquake at His death had rent open their graves, and when He arose, they came forth with Him. They were those who had been colaborers with God, and who at the cost of their lives had borne testimony to the truth. Now they were to be witnesses for Him who had raised them from the dead.
“During His ministry, Jesus had raised the dead to life. He had raised the son of the widow of Nain, and the ruler’s daughter and Lazarus. But these were not clothed with immortality. After they were raised, they were still subject to death. But those who came forth from the grave at Christ’s resurrection were raised to everlasting life. They ascended with Him as trophies of His victory over death and the grave. These, said Christ, are no longer the captives of Satan; I have redeemed them. I have brought them from the grave as the firstfruits of My power, to be with Me where I am, nevermore to see death or experience sorrow.” The Desire of Ages, 786
“In this scene of the resurrection of the Son of God is given a lively image of the glory that will be revealed at the general resurrection of the just at the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Then the dead that are in their graves shall hear His voice and come forth to life; and not only the earth, but the heavens themselves, shall be shaken. A few graves were opened at the resurrection of Christ; but at His second coming all the precious dead, from righteous Abel to the last saint that dies, shall awake to glorious, immortal life.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1110
2.b. What did the resurrected ones do? Matthew 27:53
Note: “These went into the city, and appeared unto many, declaring, Christ has risen from the dead, and we be risen with Him. Thus was immortalized the sacred truth of the resurrection. The risen saints bore witness to the truth of the words, ‘Thy dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise.’ Their resurrection was an illustration of the fulfillment of the prophecy, ‘Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.’ Isaiah 26:19.” The Desire of Ages, 786
3 THE ROMAN GUARDS’ REPORT
3.a. What kind of report did the Roman guards take to the Jewish priests? Matthew 28:11
Note: “At sight of the angels and the glorified Saviour the Roman guard had fainted and become as dead men. When the heavenly train was hidden from their view, they arose to their feet, and as quickly as their trembling limbs could carry them, made their way to the gate of the garden. Staggering like drunken men, they hurried on to the city, telling those whom they met the wonderful news. They were making their way to Pilate, but their report had been carried to the Jewish authorities, and the chief priests and rulers sent for them to be brought first into their presence. A strange appearance those soldiers presented. Trembling with fear, their faces colorless, they bore testimony to the resurrection of Christ. The soldiers told all, just as they had seen it; they had not had time to think or speak anything but the truth. With painful utterance they said, It was the Son of God who was crucified; we have heard an angel proclaiming Him as the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory.” The Desire of Ages, 781
3.b. What was the attitude of the priests? Why did the priests fear the report in regard to Christ’s resurrection? Matthew 28:11–15
Note: “The priests overreached themselves. How could the soldiers say that the disciples had stolen the body while they slept? If they were asleep, how could they know? And if the disciples had been proved guilty of stealing Christ’s body, would not the priests have been first to condemn them? Or if the sentinels had slept at the tomb, would not the priests have been foremost in accusing them to Pilate?
“The soldiers were horrified at the thought of bringing upon themselves the charge of sleeping at their post. This was an offense punishable with death. Should they bear false witness, deceiving the people, and placing their own lives in peril? Had they not kept their weary watch with sleepless vigilance? How could they stand the trial, even for the sake of money, if they perjured themselves?
“In order to silence the testimony they feared, the priests promised to secure the safety of the guard, saying that Pilate would not desire to have such a report circulated any more than they did. The Roman soldiers sold their integrity to the Jews for money.” The Desire of Ages, 782
4 THE DISCIPLES AND CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
4.a. How did the disciples react when they heard the good news of Christ’s resurrection, and why? Luke 24:10–12; John 20:9
Note: “While the Saviour was in God’s presence, receiving gifts for His church, the disciples thought upon His empty tomb, and mourned and wept. The day that was a day of rejoicing to all heaven was to the disciples a day of uncertainty, confusion, and perplexity. Their unbelief in the testimony of the women gives evidence of how low their faith had sunk. The news of Christ’s resurrection was so different from what they had anticipated that they could not believe it. It was too good to be true, they thought.” The Desire of Ages, 790
“Trouble seemed crowding upon trouble. On the sixth day of the week they had seen their Master die; on the first day of the next week they found themselves deprived of His body, and they were accused of having stolen it away. …
“And all the time they might have been rejoicing in the knowledge of a risen Saviour. In the garden, Mary had stood weeping, when Jesus was close beside her. Her eyes were so blinded by tears that she did not discern Him. And the hearts of the disciples were so full of grief that they did not believe the angels’ message or the words of Christ Himself.” Ibid., 794
4.b. How can our own attitude, often similar to Mary’s, improve? John 20:11–13
Note: “How many are still doing what these disciples did! How many echo Mary’s despairing cry, ‘They have taken away the Lord, … and we know not where they have laid Him’! To how many might the Saviour’s words be spoken, ‘Why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?’ He is close beside them, but their tear-blinded eyes do not discern Him. He speaks to them, but they do not understand.
“Oh that the bowed head might be lifted, that the eyes might be opened to behold Him, that the ears might listen to His voice! ‘Go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen.’ Bid them look not to Joseph’s new tomb, that was closed with a great stone, and sealed with the Roman seal. Christ is not there. Look not to the empty sepulcher. Mourn not as those who are hopeless and helpless. Jesus lives, and because He lives, we shall live also. From grateful hearts, from lips touched with holy fire, let the glad song ring out, Christ is risen!” The Desire of Ages, 794
5 THE BENEFIT OF THE RESURRECTION FOR US
5.a. By what method did Christ unveil the key prophecies His emotionally-overwhelmed disciples needed to understand? Luke 24:13–27
5.b. What far-reaching results stem from the resurrection of Christ? 1 Corinthians 15:13–19, 51–58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18
Note: “We read in the Bible about the resurrection of Christ from the dead; but do we act as though we believed it? Do we believe that Jesus is a living Saviour, that He is not in Joseph’s new tomb, with the great stone rolled before it, but that He has risen from the dead, and ascended on high, to lead captivity captive, and to give good gifts unto men? He is there to plead our cases in the courts of heaven. He is there because we need a friend in the heavenly court, One who is to be our advocate and intercessor. Then let us rejoice in this. We have everything for which to praise God. Many judge of their religious state by their emotions; but these are not a safe criterion. Our Christian life does not depend upon our feelings, but upon our having a right hold from above. We must believe the words of God just as He has spoken them; we must take Christ at His word, believe that He came to represent the Father, and that the Father, as is represented in Christ, is our friend, and that He desires not that we should perish, or He would never have given His Son to die our sacrifice. The cross of Calvary is an eternal pledge to every one of us, that God wants us to be happy, not only in the future life but in this life.” The Review and Herald, March 8, 1892
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What impact did the news about the resurrection of Christ have upon the disciples?
2 Besides the women, who else helped to spread the good news?
3 What was the reaction of the Jewish leaders?
4 What is the role of Christ’s resurrection in our salvation?
5 What is the meaning of Christ’s resurrection to me?
Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.