By Luke Johnson | January 1, 2013
TALK ABOUT IT: (10 minutes)
List as many stories of death and resurrection as you can from books and movies. Think together with your leaders about those stories.
(Give questions to leaders.)
- What’s going on in the story? Why does the person die?
- What kind of character is the person who dies? Really important person in the story?
- What’s the reason for the death? What does the death accomplish?
- What allows the person to come back to life?
- What does the resurrection of the person accomplish? (Why does it matter that the person came back to life and didn’t just die? Does the person change? Does the person’s resurrection change the story in ways that a death alone couldn’t have changed?)
Forget about Jesus’ resurrection for a moment.
TALK ABOUT IT: Think about how Jesus’ death happened.
Are there elements in the story of Jesus’ death that make him look like a hero?
How would his death look to someone who doesn’t know anything about him or his mission?
(He’s just a guy with some ideas, and now he’s getting arrested and put to death.)
- Not recognized as a hero
- Captured by his enemies
- Dragged before the authorities
- Treated like a criminal
- Whipped, beaten, mocked (crown, robe, plaque, “King of the Jews”)
- Killed like a criminal, naked on a cross
- Ridiculed by bystanders
- Looks like Jesus headed to a useless death. Romans put him down as an insurrectionist, trouble-causer.
Compare Jesus’ death and resurrection with deaths and resurrections in books and movies
TALK ABOUT IT: How is Jesus’ death/resurrection similar to what you listed from books and movies? How does Jesus’ death/resurrection differ?
Jesus’ death isn’t obviously victorious. It doesn’t ‘solve’ anything in that moment. He just gets killed.
Iron Man closes the hole in the universe and stops the alien invasion.
Edmund’s betrayal is paid for; Aslan takes away his guilt.
Batman saves Gotham by removing the bomb.
Superman removes the kryptonite island from the earth and ends Lex Luthor’s tyrannical plans.
Harry Potter stops Voldemort from killing everyone at Hogwarts (he chooses to sacrifice himself in order to save his friends).
Gandalf fights the Balrog and allows the Fellowship of the Ring to get away.
Jesus just dies.
He didn’t do something obvious. He even seems weak on the cross.
He dies before the other two guys die.
(His legs don’t get broken because he’s already dead. John 19:31-34)
Why do you think Jesus dies this way? What else do we know about Jesus before he dies?
LOOK IT UP:
- Mark 10:44-45
- Luke 9:46-48
- John 13:1-5
- Philippians 2:5-8
Jesus could’ve had a glorious death that impressed people. Instead his death was really gruesome and offensive. Why do you think he chose to die like this?
Jesus dies like a slave, not like a hero
Why? How does God treat people who act like this? What does God think of servants?
LOOK IT UP:
- Psalm 118:16-24
- Philippians 2:9-11
Uncrappification is Coming!
Jesus’ resurrection changes how the universe works. God has broken into history and given a real promise that everything will be made new. All the crap we deal with will one day be uncrappified.
Jesus’ victory over death happens in the weirdest way -- It proves how powerful God is, and how secure his promise is that he is going to make everything new and fix all that is wrong.
Easter isn’t just a time to dream about how God might change the world in the future -- it’s a time to remember that he’s already doing it!
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
“Resurrection” in Books and Movies (question sheet for leaders)
What’s going on in the story? Why does the person die?
How important to the story is the person who dies?
What’s the reason for the death? What does the death accomplish?
What allows the person to come back to life?
What does the person’s resurrection accomplish?
(Why does it matter that the person came back to life and didn’t just die? Does the person change? Does the person’s resurrection change the story in ways that a death alone couldn’t have changed?)