Because of the resurrection, all things are possible.
Lesson 59 from The HOPE Study Guide
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
– 1 Peter 1:3
…with God all things are possible.
– Matthew 19:26
After making certain that Jesus was dead, the soldiers allowed His body to be taken down from the cross. By the end of the day, His body would be laid in a tomb, which would be sealed with a very large stone. At the insistence of the religious leaders, soldiers would be posted to guard the tomb. For those who loved Jesus, this was a time of great confusion and loss.
On the morning of the third day after Jesus had been crucified, a group of women went to visit the tomb. They were not the first. Earlier that morning, an angel of God descended from heaven. The soldiers guarding the tomb were struck with fear, and the angel moved the stone that sealed the entrance.
The tomb was empty! Just as He promised, Jesus had risen from the dead!
– The HOPE, Chapter 11
OBSERVE & CONSIDER
The past few lessons have dealt with some “meaty” teaching about the resurrection of Jesus. Now, let’s take what we’ve considered in those lessons, and make it very personal. Reading the account from The HOPE above, and considering what you have already learned, try to put yourself in the place of those who loved Jesus. For those who loved Jesus, this was a time of great confusion and loss.
Jesus had filled His followers’ hearts and minds with many hopes and dreams. This wasn’t just a popular religious leader that was being buried in the tomb; this was the One who had given meaning and purpose to every aspect of their lives. When He died, something in them died as well. Their reason for living was buried behind the huge stone that sealed the entrance to His tomb.
Have you ever experienced the death of your dream of something that inspired and gave meaning to your life? Perhaps someone told you your dream was impossible, or the circumstances of your life changed or became so difficult that you could not see any way to follow your dream. Whatever changed, when it did all hope of your dream seemed dead.
Of course, we know as we read on in the resurrection account that Jesus was raised, and so were the hopes of those who loved Him! But beyond all the theology, beyond all the historical proof of its reality, there is something profoundly personal about the resurrection of Jesus. Because of the resurrection, we can know that with God nothing is impossible! No matter what anyone says, no matter how difficult your circumstances, even if your dream appears to have died…with God nothing is impossible! Jesus’ resurrection from the dead brings hope to the discouraged heart!
ASK & REFLECT
- Have you ever experienced the death of a precious dream? What did that dream mean to you? Why did it die? How did you feel when it died? How do you feel about it today?
- Is there anything in your life that is unfinished – something for which you have given up hope? While not every dream we dream, or hope to which we aspire, is from God, this world is not a friendly place for even the dreams and aspirations that God places in our hearts. Sometimes a dream must die, so that when it is resurrected, we will know it was from God, and He will be glorified. Is there something in your life that needs to be resurrected? What might it be?
DECIDE & DO
After what you’ve read in this lesson, you might need to set aside some quiet time and ask God to speak to your heart. Perhaps the dreams God placed in there have been so deeply buried that you’ve lost sight of them altogether. You may have given up or forgotten – but remember: no tomb is so great that it can contain God’s resurrection power! Allow that power to roll away the weight of your doubt or fear, and resurrect the dreams He gave you. Pray that God’s reality might become your reality.
If it might be helpful, consider making the following prayer your own:
I have seen your power displayed in the resurrection of your only Son, Jesus. You are truly the God of the impossible. Death and loss are heart breaking, but Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat fall to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed, but if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). What seems hopeless and final to me may not look the same to you. I have lost ________________________________, but because you are the God of the resurrection, I have not lost hope in you. It is because of your great love that I am here praying this prayer. Your mercies never fail; they are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22–23) I ask you to resurrect in my life those things that will give you glory! I will see Jesus’ empty tomb as a reason to hope, and keep on placing my faith in you every day of my life.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
- Ray C. Stedman, The Living Hope. (© Discovery Publishing, a ministry of Peninsula Bible Church, 1995). (http://www.raystedman.org/thematic-studies/christmas-and-easter/a-living-hope). Retrieved December 1, 2006.
- Max Lucado, He Still Moves Stones. W Publishing Group, 1993, 1999.