This week Jesus reminds us of the importance of the resurrection for our lives.
To start your group, have everyone share something that God is doing in your life this past week.
3 Simple Questions for individuals and Small Groups:
1. How did the Holy Spirit use this week’s sermon to convict you?
2. How did the Holy Spirit use this week’s sermon to encourage you?
3. What is one thing you will do this week in response to the sermon?
Going Deeper with your group:
Read Mark 12:18-27.
Some background on the passage:
- The Sadducees were priests with great power and prestige.
- They did not believe in the resurrection of the dead or an afterlife. They did not believe in angels, and they only believed the Torah (first 5 books) to be true.
- When the Jewish temple was destroyed in AD 70, the Sadducees faded from history.
- The argument that the Sadducees are making is one from the law of Moses. The law is called Levirate Marriage. If a woman’s husband dies, then her husband’s brother should marry her and produce an heir. The Sadducees present an absurd scenario where the woman marries seven brothers, all of whom die and leave her childless.
The idea is that in the afterlife she cannot be married to all seven brothers, therefore there must be no afterlife. The question seems to be forcing Jesus to either deny the afterlife or deny the law of Moses.
1. Read Exodus 3:6. When Jesus confronts the Sadducees he tells them that they do not know the scriptures or the power of God. Jesus then quotes Exodus 3:6.
How does Exodus 3:6 prove the eternality of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? How does the eternality of these Patriarchs point to a future resurrection?
2. In Exodus 3:6 God is referencing his covenant promise to Abraham. In the sermon we said that there is eternal life because God makes eternal promises. What eternal promises has God made to us concerning salvation and eternal life? Do these promises comfort/encourage you?
3. Read John 11:25-26. Jesus declares that he is the resurrection and the life. How is this a claim of divinity? How does this make Christianity different from every other religion?
(Think: Jesus doesn’t teach us how to achieve resurrection- his claim is to BE the resurrection.)
4. When we receive Jesus Christ we receive his future bodily resurrection and his divine life.
True Christianity therefore is a spiritual resurrection that results in love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, etc. without pride in success or despair in failure.
False Christianity is simply moral reformation that often results in pride or despair.
Have you experienced true Christianity? Do you judge your Christianity on your moral goodness or on an inner change of heart?
5. Jesus’ teaching on the resurrection reveals to us that there will not be marriage in heaven. This means that marriage and sexuality are not our ultimate reality.
If you are married- have you made an idol of marriage? How does this truth challenge you?
If you are single- have you made an idol of marriage? How does this truth challenge you?
6. Your sexuality is also not your ultimate identity. How can Jesus’ teaching about the resurrection free you from the pursuit of sexual pleasure for a season and encourage you to live in light of eternity?
7. In the sermon we said that the resurrection changes everything. As a group think through each of these implications of our future bodily resurrection and our current spiritual resurrection. Which ones stand out to you? Why?
a. The resurrection proves the power and faithfulness of God.
b. The resurrection grounds our faith in an objective reality (Jesus’ resurrection, our resurrection with him)- not our feelings or circumstances.
c. The resurrection removes all guilt. Our resurrection with Christ proves that we have been declared not guilty.
d. The resurrection provides meaning for our lives. For something to have ultimate meaning it must be both eternal and perfectly good. This is what the resurrection of Jesus offers us.
e. The resurrection provides an authority for our lives. Jesus is alive and ruling the universe!
f. The resurrection proves that scripture is true. All scripture points to the resurrection and the resurrected One upheld scripture.
g. The resurrection provides hope that everything good will be restored in the future. Everything that we have given up or lost in this life that is good and pure will be restored.
h. The resurrection gives us the courage to live a life of love.