National Association of Christian Ministers

Answering His Call Is Our Purpose

Resurrection Sunday

Prison Ministry Bible Study: Resurrection Sunday

By Elder Jack Wellman

Christian ministers are hereby granted permission to use this content for ministry to jail, prison, detention, and or rehabilitation inmates.

 

The disciples were despondent.  They had lost all hope.  Their Lord and Master Jesus had been killed.  They thought that this was the end of the story.  The expected Messiah came, died and was now gone.  They thought the ending would be different.  It was not until Jesus came and was seen again by the disciples that they finally understood that death can not hold the Son of God.  The passion of the Christ was a necessary means to the end.  It made possible eternal life.  The dead not love their lives unto the end as before.  They now understood that those who died in the faith before Christ’s return would live again.
 
 
The disciples believed, at first, that they would be alive at the time that Jesus Christ would come again to begin the reign of the Kingdom of God.  As the neared the end of their own lives, they began to see that they might have to die before Christ returned.  But death could not hold what Christ had wrought.  He had conquered death.  And someday Jesus would call forth their names, like Lazarus, to “come forth”.  If Jesus had not specified Lazarus’ name when calling him back to life, all the dead in Christ would have risen at His command.  He has the power to restore life for He is the author of it.  The Alpha and Omega.  Let’s study to find out why the resurrection is of critical importance to the believer and to Christians who are now in their graves, and to those who have yet to be born again as believers.


Why is the resurrection important to Christians and their faith? Read I Cor. 15:32b

If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”   


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I Corinthians can be termed the Resurrection Chapter because it provides reasons for the resurrection’s importance.  What are these reasons? Read I Cor. 15:12-14

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.


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How is the resurrection vital to a Christian’s faith? Read I Cor. 15:18-19

18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.


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What is the difference between a “natural body” and a “spiritual body” that Paul talks about in I Cor. 15:44-49?

44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.


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What is the mystery that Paul talks about concerning the resurrection of believers?  Read I Cor. 15:50-54


50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”


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When does this resurrection of the believer come, whether they are dead or alive?  Read I Thes. 4:13:18


 13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.


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Are Christian’s saved by Jesus’ death, His resurrection, or both?  Read Romans 5:9-10


9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!


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The resurrection is pivotal to a Christian’s faith. If Christ was not resurrected, then how can believers count on it?  If Christ was not raised from the dead, who could Christian’s have hope of the same?  At a funeral the other day I read about the hope of the resurrection.  Christians do not grieve as the world grieves without hope of ever seeing their dearly departed loved ones again. For believers, death is not the end.  It is truly only the beginning.  It is not goodbye, it is see you later.