THE RESURRECTION IS REAL
Could any reasonable person really believe Jesus was resurrected from the dead? Does faith require you to simply “take a leap,” or is there proof of who Jesus claimed to be? And why does it matter? What could the truth of the resurrection mean for our faith and our lives as a whole?
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. Consider one of your favorite historical heroes. How do you know what is written about him or her is true? How do you determine that?
2. Have you ever been certain of something beyond a shadow of a doubt, even when others weren’t so sure? What made you so certain? What kind of evidence do you look for in order to convince you of the veracity of certain claims?
3. Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt forced to love the other person? How did that make you feel? What does it mean to you that our God is one that will never force us to love Him?
4. Read Matthew 26:55-56. We learned this week that the disciples scattered when Jesus was arrested, and only after Jesus rose from the dead did they once again became bold in their faith, even to the point where some of them were killed themselves for their support of Jesus and His message. Why do think the disciples initially fled? What do you think made the disciples go back to their old lives a day or two after Jesus died? And why do you believe the disciples became bold in their faith only after Jesus’ resurrection?
5. Read John 20:24-29. Have you ever felt like it was difficult to have faith without tangible evidence? What situations in your life or claims about God have you questioned and desired hard evidence for? How do you combat these types of faith issues? This week, pray about what practices you can put into your life on a regular basis that will help you strengthen your faith. Share about your goals with your friends, family, life group, and/or running partners.
Matthew 26:55-56 – In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
John 20:24-29 – Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
As you look to dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, consider joining us for some of our upcoming events, guest speakers, and helpful resources.
Check out well-known author and speaker Lee Strobel’s book a Case for Easter. Lee Strobel will also be one of our featured guest speakers during Gateway’s Voices series this Summer, so make sure to join us on August 4th! Also join us next week, April 28th, when biochemist and former skeptic Dr. Fazale Rana speaks about the powerful scientific evidence for God’s existence and the reliability of the Bible. And don’t miss our live Q&A on May 5th! We’ll address questions about God, faith, the Bible, and more. To submit questions for the Q&A, head to the Gateway app. To download the app, search “Gateway Church Austin” in your app store.
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/study-god