Easter in Lake Country 2021 - "Seeing is Believing"

Series: Easter in Lake Country 2021

The New Testament eye witnesses of the resurrection tell the Easter story in a way that invites critical thinking. In fact, they practically beg the reader to be skeptical and to critically analyze the events of Easter Sunday. As Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, our teaching is useless and so is your faith.” John accomplishes this by recording how three different people “saw” the events of Easter. But there was one thing that none of them saw (yet) that was hidden in plain sight. They didn’t see that Jesus “had to rise”. He had to rise because it was impossible for death to hold him, because the sentence was paid. And once a person sees this, well, seeing is believing. 

Speaker: Jason Ewart

April 3, 2021

Jason Ewart

Lead Pastor

Follow Along with the Message


Easter in Lake Country 2021

“Seeing is Believing”

 

 

John 20:1-17

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying. Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

 

 

The issue is not whether you like his teaching but whether he rose from the dead.

 

 

John 20:9

(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 

 

 

Jesus had to rise because the penalty had been paid in full.

 

 

John 14:19

Because I live, you also will live.

 

 

 

Group Questions

 

  1. How was your Easter Sunday?

 

 

 

 

 

  1. If you grew up in church, were you ever given the impression that Christian faith is blind, and you just believe it because the Bible says it? What impact did that have on your faith development, especially in seasons of doubt?

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Why do you think the New Testament authors encouraged scrutiny of the Easter story? Are you surprised to know that the greatest predictor of whether children who are raised in church will stay engaged with faith in adulthood is whether they were allowed to express doubt?

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The implications of Easter are too good to ignore. What’s the most meaningful implication of Easter for you?

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What was most helpful for you from this message?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Our new four-week series “Back on Track” will help you regain perspective in areas of your life that may have drifted during the Pandemic. In May our series “We’re Moving” will cast vision for what to expect over the next 12 months at Hope.

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