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Experiencing God – Through the unknown and the known ( Bible Study)

Text: Matt 28:1-20

We know certain incidents in the Bible because we are told the entire story with all the connected episodes. But in real life this need not be the case always. As a student of the Bible we can take certain stances to understand lessons we might not learn otherwise. One such stance is to look at what meets the eyes of a visitor to a scene (such as the resurrection) and what does not! We can experience God even with those that meets the eyes! But a greater experience comes by knowing what does not meet the eyes!

I. Experiencing God – Jesus in the tomb (28:1-3)

- What are those things obvious to the eyes?

  • Garden tomb as a place of rest as prepared by Joseph of Arimathea.

  • Jesus placed in the tomb

  • Women who came to the tomb

  • A great earthquake when the angel descended

  • Angel rolled back the stone from the door and sat on it.

- What are those things not seen by human eyes?

  • Tomb as fulfillment of prophecy

Isa 53:9 – “And they made His grave with the wicked—But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.”

John 19:41 – “Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.”

  • Resurrection as fulfillment of prophecy

Psalms 16:10 – “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”

  • Women came due to deliverance

Mark 16:9 – “Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.

  • Creation trembled at the coming of an angel to open the tomb of the Creator

Matt 28:2 – “And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.”

  • Angel to announce His birth; another angel to announce His resurrection

Luke 24:4-7 – “And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? “He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, “saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

- How to experience God?

  1. Know that God who promised is able to do beyond what meets the eyes

  2. Know that things shake for a reason and a season

  3. Know that God who sent us for a reason will take us out once the mission is accomplished.

II. Experiencing God – Jesus Outside the tomb (28:4-15)

- What are those that meet the eyes and ears?

  • Guards became afraid and turned motionless

  • Jesus is risen through the words of the angel

  • Women running in fear and great joy

  • Guards going into the city

- What are those not seen by human eyes?

  • Guards with a mandate to guard – making the place very secure

Matt 27:62-66 – “On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ “Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.”

  • Disciples holed up in a room out of fear of authorities

John 20:19 – “ Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

  • Jesus gone to take the Old Testament saints from Abraham’s bosom to heaven

Eph 4:8 – “Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”

  • Lies spread about Disciples as well as God!

Matt 28:12-14 – “When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ “And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure”

- How to experience God?

  1. Trust that God’s power can reveal the truth no matter how many people may try to prevent it!

  2. Remember those who are in fear of their lives!

  3. Fulfill God’s mandate even if requires you staying away from the scene of action

  4. Study and observe what you hear or is told as the purported truth from a neutral perspective

III. Experiencing God – Jesus On the mountain (28:16-20)

- What are those that meet the eyes and ears?

  • Disciples are there on the mountain that Jesus appointed for them

  • Jesus spoke to them of what has been given to Him

  • Jesus gives the Disciples their mandate

- What are those not seen by human eyes then and there?

  • Doubtful disciples

Matt 28:17 – “When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

  • Scope of the authority given to Jesus

Acts 3:6 – “Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.

  • Trials and hardships awaiting them as they went ahead in obeying what Jesus asked them to do

Acts 5:40-42 – “And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”

- How to experience God?

  1. Obedience to God even when faith is all to go by

  2. Trustfully exercise the authority in Jesus Name as a disciple

  3. Push forward with what God has commanded even in the midst of trials and hardships.

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