Easter, March 27th, 2016
Warm Up: What is your favorite type of movie? Do you always want a Hallmark ending or do you like movies that leave you hanging?
Background: Personally, I like and hate movies that leave you hanging; where issues are unresolved and you know that there is going to be a sequel. As much as I hate to admit it I prefer movies that end in such a way that issues are resolved and everything is tied up with a nice bow at the end… But life doesn’t always work like a Hallmark movie, does it? Maybe this is one of the reasons that we tend to avoid Mark’s telling of the resurrection scene. It kind of leaves us hanging…
Read About It: Mark 16:1-8
- Mary and Mary were never far away from Jesus from the time he was arrested to the time that he was buried. What does this tell you about the faith of these women?
- What does this tell us about the role of women in Jesus’ life and ministry?
- For what purpose did the women return to the tomb after the Passover? What issue troubled them as they made their walk to the tomb? What does this tell you about what they expected to find at the tomb?
- How did they respond to the young man in the white robe when he told them, “He is risen”? If you had been them, would you have had trouble believing him?
- The angel gives the women very specific instruction as to what they were to do once they left the tomb? What was it?
- Why does the angel take time to single Peter out from the rest of the disciples? What stone was blocking Peter’s path?
- When the women leave the tomb, what do they do? Or more specifically, what do they seem to fail to do? Why would they keep quiet about such wonderful and amazing news?
- What troubles you about Mark’s ending when compared to the other gospels? If you had written it, how would the ending have been different?
Discussion from the Message: We know that the women later come to belief and tell the others what happened but they had to roll away a few stones of their own in order to do it. Pastor Steve said, “Resurrecting Jesus isn’t our job. Meeting Him and telling others about him is.”
- Has a stone of fear or unbelief ever kept you from sharing? What kind of help do you need to roll that stone out of the way?
Pastor Steve said,
- What is it? What personal stones are blocking your path to Jesus and to growth right now? What stones keep you from sharing the good news with others? Fear? Doubt?
- What spoke to you the most from last Sunday’s message? Why that?
- What challenged or caused you to think the most?
Reflect: Mark does not offer us a detailed description of the resurrection and other eyewitness accounts in the hopes that we would believe. He does not answer the skeptic who demands, “Show me the proof and I will believe.” Instead, he simply offers us the facts. Will we be willing to stake our lives on it as others have done before us or will we demand something more from God before we will make a commitment?
Right now, are you living as if the resurrection is a reality in your life? If so, how has the resurrection become real in your own life?
“True faith requires something more than peering inside of an empty tomb and believing that something happened. It requires rolling away our stone of unbelief and coming to our own conclusion that not only was it real but it is real. It requires rolling away our stone of unbelief and allowing it to happen in us.”