READ: Matthew 28:1-20
THINK: This passage communicates the truth about an event that is absolutely essential to authentic Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the resurrection, all other aspects of the Christian message would be essentially powerless and Christian faith would be in vain (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:16-19). Thankfully, the resurrection is a reality, providing ultimate hope for Jesus' followers and laying a firm foundation for their God-given mission to spread Christ's message of forgiveness and new life to all the world.
RESPOND: Why is Jesus' resurrection absolutely crucial to those who put their faith and hope in God? What does the resurrection prove? (See 28:6 note.) Why were the women "afraid yet filled with joy" (v. 8)? Why did the religious leaders try so hard to suppress word of the resurrection (28:11-15)? Even after seeing Jesus after His resurrection, why would some people still doubt (v. 17)? How should the fact that Christ has "all authority in heaven and on earth" affect the lives of His followers? (See 28:18 note.) What does Jesus final command--His "Great Commission"--indicate about the goal and responsibility of each of His followers? (See 28:19 note.) What is the primary purpose of Christ's final command and how should this affect church ministry today? What does it mean to be and to make disciples of Christ? What does Jesus' promise that "I am with you" mean to you personally? How should it affect your life? (See 28:20 note.)
PRAY: Praise Jesus for the privilege and authority He has given you to communicate His message and to represent Him. Thank Him that He is always with you as you aim to accomplish His purposes.
ACT: Accept your mission and responsibility to take Jesus' message of forgiveness and new life to your corner of the world. List five people you know who have not yet accepted Jesus. Commit to pray for these individuals daily. Build relationships with them. Look for opportunities to serve them and to share your personal experience with Jesus. Your goal is to lead them into a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. (See p. 2294 in the FBSE for a place to keep track of your "Five Friend Focus.")
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