You may wish to review the challenge given at the end of last week if you studied Mark 12.
Have you ever been to a funeral? How would you feel and react if you saw the dead person walking around, talking and eating a few days later?
This study is different than all of the rest because it moves around from passage to passage much more. You may wish to explain this to the group before you begin.
Read Mark 8:31-33 If the group asks about Jesus calling Peter “Satan”, explain that Satan wanted to get in the way of God’s ultimate plan (Jesus’ crucifixion). Peter was not posessed by Satan, but saying things that were more in line with Satan’s plan than God’s.
Did Jesus know ahead of time that he was going to be killed?
Did he do anything to avoid this?
What does this tell you about his purpose for coming to earth? If this is not clear to the group, it may be good to explain that somehow Jesus’ mission is related to His death and that is why he never tried to avoid this destiny. The specifics will become clear as we continue the study.
Read Mark 15:37-41
Were unbelievers as well as Christ’s followers able to verify the fact of Jesus’ death? Name some of the witnesses mentioned here.
Read Romans 5:6-9
According to these passages, why did Jesus need to die?
Jesus’ followers made the incredible claim that they saw him after he rose from the dead. The reactions to this claim were as varied in their day as they are today. (Some threw those who believed this to the lions and others were willing to be thrown to the lions!) Let’s take a look at the historical accounts of these claims.
Read Luke 24:36-43
Was the resurrected Jesus just a spirit or did he physically rise?
Which of the 5 senses could verify this?
Read I Cor 15:3-8
Who were all of the people who saw Jesus risen from the dead?
According to this passage, why did Jesus need to die and what was the response of the Corinthians who heard it?
Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and then was raised from the dead?
You may wish to wrap up by reading Romans 10:9.
When confronted with such an abundance of evidence for the resurrection, many skeptics will challenge the reliability of the New Testament. If you think this may become an issue, prepare to defend the reliability of the NT in a discussion after the study. If nobody challenges it’s reliability, there is no need to bring it up.