Monday, April 14, 2014

“The Third Day” Adult Sunday School Lesson

International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday April 20, 2014

Purpose: To walk in the hope of Jesus’ resurrection on the third day

Bible Lesson: Hosea 6:1-3, Luke 24: 1-12

Hosea 6:1-3 (CEB)
(1)"Come, let’s return to the Lord; for it is he who has injured us and will heal us; he has struck us down, but he will bind us up. (2) After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, so that we may live before him. (3) Let’s know, let’s press on to know the Lord; whose appearing is as certain as the dawn; who will come to us like the showers, like the spring rains that give drink to the earth."

Luke 24: 1-12 (CEB)
(1) Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, the women went to the tomb, bringing the fragrant spices they had prepared. (2) They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,(3) but when they went in, they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. (4) They didn’t know what to make of this. Suddenly, two men were standing beside them in gleaming bright clothing. (5) The women were frightened and bowed their faces toward the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? (6) He isn’t here, but has been raised. Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee, (7) that the Human One must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and on the third day rise again." (8) Then they remembered his words. (9) When they returned from the tomb, they reported all these things to the eleven and all the others. (10) It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles. (11) Their words struck the apostles as nonsense, and they didn’t believe the women. (12) But Peter ran to the tomb. When he bent over to look inside, he saw only the linen cloth. Then he returned home, wondering what had happened.

My Thoughts by Burgess Walter

It is easy for us 2000 years later to look back at the events and wonder how the disciples and others could have missed it. But, when we put ourselves in their shoes, it is more than likely we too would have missed it.

The event the angels are referring to took place just after the feeding of the five thousand and Herod had some questions about who this Jesus was. It was also at the time of Peter’s great confession, when Jesus asks, “who do you say that I am” and Peter answered, "The Christ sent from God."

It was in that discourse of Luke 9:22 where Jesus told the disciples what was going to happen. (22) He said, "The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected—by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts—and be killed and be raised on the third day." Now considering what Jesus said after that, about being a follower …. "All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me. (24) All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will save them". Maybe we can understand how the disciples missed the point about him being killed and raised from the dead on the third day.

Again, very much after the fact, Hosea’s prophecy seems relevant. If we just look at the prophecy for the third day reference we are missing a more important lesson. Hosea, writing at the time of exile, is offering hope for those that have rejected God. He paints God as both judge and redeemer. Without the hope offered, we will live a miserable life of separation from God. Hosea’s message is: (3) Let’s know, let’s press on to know the Lord; whose appearing is as certain as the dawn; who will come to us like the showers, like the spring rains that give drink to the earth."

Hosea sees a new time when we will live in the presence of God, when God will join man on earth and become the “Human one.”

I think much can be made of the fact that the original message was entrusted, to the women that followed Jesus. This goes against everything we know about the culture of that era. Women were not allowed to testify in courts and had little say in government or society. Yet the women seemed to recall Jesus’s words more readily than the rest of the disciples.

Maybe it is just a coincidence but it was Peter, the one that made the great confession about Christ, (and also the one that denied Christ 3 times) that left the room and ran to the tomb to see for himself. Interestingly Peter did not get an angelic greeting, he only saw the burial clothes. Certainly a test for Peter’s faith.

As you read the story, who do you identify with more; the women, the apostles, or Peter?

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