Message Review - Sunday, April 16

Series: BIOS of a Savior 

Bible Passage: Mark 16:1-8

Other Pertinent Scripture: Parallel passages: for Mark 16:1-8 see Matthew 28:1-8; Luke 24:1-10; John 20:1-10

Luke 24:36-48; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 17-23, 54-57; 2 Corinthians 4:8-12; Romans 1:4, 6:5-11, 8:11; Philippians 3:8-11; Colossians 1:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:14 

series summary: 

    The gospel of Mark is a documentary account of the life of Christ. Like other ancient biographies, which were called a BIOS or “life,” Mark’s account speaks to us about the actions and events of a man’s life. But this is no mere man Mark is presenting. This is the holy man who is wholly God, the one who has unique authority to call us to follow him. 

    As a church, everything about Stonehouse centers on this BIOS - his life, his teaching, his authority, his suffering and his victory. 

a note on this week’s text: 

    The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an absolutely essential truth for those who follow Jesus. If Jesus did not actually rise from the dead then we who follow Jesus “are of all people most to be pitied” for our “faith is futile and [we] are still in [our] sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:19 & 17) These are strong words from the apostle Paul but when you pause and think about it they are indeed true. 

    If Jesus made the claims he made and then died and that was the end of him, then we should treat him as any other philosopher, sage, teacher, guru or religious advisor… we can chose to take or leave his words. But, if he did make the claims he made and then died and in fact did rise again from the grave “just as he told you” (Mark 16:7) then his words cannot be dismissed as those of a lunatic or a liar… they are the very words of God and they demand a response. 

    What Jesus said is true is most certainly true and it is the most important truth to ever be declared. He is God. He was sent from God. His mission was clear… he came “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Without that ransom we are trapped in our sins, guilty of rebellion against the one true God and we are hopeless to stand before the holy God. 

Additional resources: 

The following is a clear & concise article about why the resurrection of Jesus matters: 

        “Why The Resurrection Matters” by Bill Bright 

Suggested discovery/discussion questions: 

1. Mark goes to great lengths to give supporting evidence in his recording of the death and resurrection of Jesus. He mentions people by name and title to ground these events in actual history and relate them to the experiences of people that could verify each part of his story. (Paul does much the same thing in 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 as do the other gospel writers.) Why do you think Mark did this? How do these facts help establish the truth of the resurrection and defend against false claims that it did not happen? Are there other passages of scripture that help us know that Jesus did in fact die on the cross and that he did in fact bodily rise from the tomb? 

2. Even with all of the evidence in Scripture, the resurrection is possibly one of the most contested facts in history. We are swimming in a sea of skepticism and doubt about the resurrection of Jesus in our time and culture. If we’re honest with ourselves, we might find that sometimes we too wrestle with doubt about what Mark presents to us here at the end of his gospel. Have you ever wrestled with doubt and disbelief about the resurrection? How should we face these doubts? What might lead us to doubt the resurrection? Is there something in our hearts that would lead us to perhaps not really want the resurrection of Jesus to be true? Why is the truth of the resurrection so important? What does the resurrection prove? What is lost if the resurrection did not happen? How does the truth of resurrection apply to our lives? 

3. The resurrection firmly establishes and validates the cross of Jesus Christ, it does not erase it… Because Jesus rose from the dead—never to die again—everything that his death on the cross achieved for us is confirmed and applied to those who believe in him. In his resurrection we see that Jesus is indeed God and that even death cannot hold back his power. What comes to your life when you put your faith in Jesus? in his death and his resurrection? How do these truths impact your life? What kind of assurance do you have because of Jesus’ victory over death? 

4. One of the amazing truths of resurrection is that we are united to Jesus in it! Paul states that “if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom. 6:5). This is a most glorious truth and it’s the basis for our assurance of eternity in the presence of God. Jesus was the “firstborn from the dead” (Col. 1:18, et. al.) meaning that we will follow him in resurrection… physical death is not the end for us! We will live again like him! This truth of our future changes everything about today. What will you live like if your eternity is secured in Jesus? Does a future resurrection for you make you look at this world differently? your purpose? your relationships? How does knowing Jesus change the way you look at death? 

5. Because we see both the cross and the resurrection as true realities for Jesus we must also understand that both the borne cross and the empty tomb will be realities for us as his followers. In Mark 8, 9, and 10 Jesus communicated that the path of discipleship is one where we would bear our cross, die to ourselves, fight sin, endure hardship, walk in humility, and be leaders only through serving others at great cost to ourselves. This is our cross. The assurance of resurrection does not remove these realities from our lives… it redeems them and makes them glorious. We must be careful not to embrace resurrection without embracing the cross. How does the truth of resurrection bring comfort while we are bearing our crosses? What might it look like to embrace only resurrection and not the cross? How would this negatively affect us? Can you see ways where this would compromise the truth of the gospel? 

6. The empty tomb means that death had no hold on Jesus. He defeated death because the power of death was connected to sin and Jesus dealt with sin on the cross. As people of the cross and the empty tomb, while we will still face death in this world, we know it is not final. When we face death and its effects we are shaken but not undone, “struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:9). The watching world can see that we have a different reality to stand on when they see this happening in our lives. As we bear our crosses we are not without hope, and so in this world, though we have our troubles, we have something deeper to tap into, we have the assurance of resurrection and the power of the Spirit alive in us. This turns our wounds and scars into something glorious, just as the wounds and scars of Jesus, after resurrection, are glorious in that they point to his completed work on the cross for us. Are you facing death or the effects of death (pain, heartache, sickness, fear, etc.) right now? Have you faced them? What does the power of resurrection do in our lives when we face these things? How does our future hope change the way we go through these things? Can you point to a time where through death/pain/sorrow God gave you an opportunity to share the gospel? 

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