SUNDAY SCHOOL 04 20 2014

“The Third Day”

Lesson Text:Hosea 6:1-3; Luke 24:1-12

Background Scripture: Hosea 6:1 -3; Luke 24:1-12

Devotional Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20

 

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Hosea 6:1-3 (KJV)

 1 Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

 2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

 3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

 Luke 24:1-12

 1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

 3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

 4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

 5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

 6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

 7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

 8 And they remembered his words,

 9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.

10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

 11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

 12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

 

 OBJECTIVES

To understand Christ’s resurrection frees from sin those who trust in Jesus.  

To know that the risen Christ (Jesus) changes lives.

Tell someone your personal experience about how you came to know Jesus!

 

INTRODUCTION

Nothing, Reincarnation, or Resurrection

  What happens after we die? There are three primary answers proposed for this question, and all three were taught by various groups in Jesus' day.

  First, some thought that death was the absolute end—when all aspects of our being ceased to exist. This was the view of the Sadducees, the party of the high priest (see Acts 22:30-23:9). This view, sometimes called nihilism ("nothingness"), is shared by atheists and secularists today.

  Second, some thought that the dead person's soul was recycled into a new body to begin a new life after death. This view was taught by famous Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato; the view may have had some adherents among the first-century Jews. This view is widely known today as reincarnation; it is a feature of Eastern religions such as Hinduism.

  The third option is resurrection. This was the view of the Pharisees (Acts 23:8) and most of the Jewish people in Jesus' day. This view sees an existence beyond death in which one's soul will be brought back to life with a new, immortal body (see 1 Corinthians 15:52). In Christian thought, resurrection is followed by a judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

  There are other viewpoints, of course, but those seem to be "the big three." As we reflect on these, we should keep in mind that (1) the resurrection of Jesus was a victory over death, for He will never die again (Romans 6:9), and (2) Jesus' resurrection opens the door to eternal life for all (Philippians 3:21). These are not abstract ideas of philosophy, but truths that are based on historical events in the life of Jesus and foreseen by Old Testament prophets like Hosea.

LESSON BACKGROUND

Times: between 760 and 700 B.C.; A.D. 30 

Places: probablyJudah; near Jerusalem

 

  The prophet Hosea had a ministry of several decades in the latter half of the eighth century B.C. His career overlapped about the first third of the prophet Isaiah's. Hosea's ministry, however, was to the kings and people of the northern kingdom of Israel, whereas Isaiah spoke to the people of the southern kingdom of Judah. The name Hosea means "salvation" and is the same as the original name of Joshua, which was Oshea (Numbers 13:16; the name Joshua is also spelled Jehoshua).

  Hosea's book begins with the account of his marriage to a prostitute and the birth of children (chapters 1-3). The marriage itself illustrates the Lord's relationship with Israel (the faithful husband with the unfaithful wife). The rest of the book (chapters 4-14) sets forth various oracles that point out the sins of the people and call them to repentance. Today's lesson, from chapter 6, is part of one of those calls to repentance.

  The New Testament portion of our lesson takes us to part of Luke's account of Jesus' resurrection. The common thread between our Old and New Testament texts is that they both deal with the third day.

 

Revived on the Third Day (Hosea 6:1-3)

1. What was Hosea’s plea to the people? (Hosea 6:1)

   The exhortation Come, and let us return unto the Lord marks a shift in tone from the sharp condemnation of Hosea 5. This is not a call for physical relocation, but for a spiritual reorientation—a turn of hearts toward God (compare Joel 2:12). Such a call is a frequent refrain in Hosea.

   Despite the peril of the rising Assyrian empire, the people of Israel ignore Hosea's pleadings (see Hosea 11:5). The people's wickedness is described in terms of their unfaithfulness ("spirit of whoredoms," 5:4), their pride (7:10), and their sinful deeds ("iniquity," 14:1). There is quite a bit of overlap between these three problem areas, and taken together they describe a very serious situation.

   Hosea does not scold Israel as an outsider, but includes himself—note the three occurrences of the word us—in this address. His plea is that God is the one who is allowing (even causing) the current national calamities, for He is the one who has torn and smitten. The people cannot save themselves or avoid God's punishing actions, for only the Lord can heal and bind, not pagan nations such as Egypt and Assyria (Hosea 7:11).

   Hosea's message is disheartening and encouraging at the same time. The future of Israel hinges solely on its willingness to repent. The turmoil within the northern kingdom of Israel in Hosea's day can be seen in 2 Kings 15:17-31; 17:1-23.

What Do You Think?

   In what ways have you seen people "return unto the Lord"? How have these affected you?

Talking Points for Your Discussion

   In personal holiness (1 Peter 1:15, 16) | In regular worship (Hebrews 10:25)

   In proper attitudes (1 John 2:9-11) | In financial stewardship (2 Corinthians 9:6, 7)

2. What did Hosea promise God would do if the people chose to follow the Lord? (Hosea 6:2, 3)

   Hosea now restates this tearing/healing, striking-down/binding-up prophecy in terms of death and burial. His view of the future is that the destruction of Israel will come at the hands of the Assyrians (see Hosea 9:3, where this is likened to a return to the bondage of Egypt). This could be thought of as a national death.

 

   Over time, however, there will be a national revival. First day: dead. Second day: beginning to revive. Third day: returned to life. This restoration is pictured as living in the Lord's sight, meaning the people will have the favor of God on their nation. While Hosea's promises apply directly to Israel's future, the language of the third day is prophetic of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.

   The result of the national reorientation is that Israel will know the Lord, meaning Israel’s return to Him would involve a growing understanding of the Lord, and a heart’s desire to know Him better. Then the people will experience the blessings of God. Hosea describes this in terms of the regular cycles of nature. The morning features the unfailing, daily appearance of the sun. The rains of which Hosea speaks are the appropriate seasonal showers necessary for successful crops (latter and former refer to the winter and spring rains, respectively). The picture is of a future when God's blessings are regular and plentiful as they seek to know Him.

What Do You Think?

   What "showers of blessings" does the risen Lord provide regularly? Why is it important to reflect on these?

Talking Points for Your Discussion

   Showers on you personally | Showers on family members | Showers on your church

   Showers on unbelievers

 

Surprise on the Third Day / Finding the Tomb Empty (Luke 24:1-3)

3. Why were these faithful women visiting the tomb of Jesus so early in the morning? (Luke 24:1)

   The they (Luke 23:55). This group seems to be led by Mary Magdalene (Luke 24:10; compare Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; John 20:1).

   The Jewish custom of Jesus' day is not to use names for the days of the week, but to designate them by numbers. This is reckoned in relation to the Sabbath day (which does have a name), the seventh and last day of the week. After the Sabbath, the cycle begins anew with the first day of the week, which we call Sunday.

   Jesus died and was buried late Friday afternoon. The burial was rushed because the Sabbath was about to begin, at sundown (Luke 23:53, 54). These women are not satisfied with the hasty burial, so they are determined to honor Jesus by giving His body a fitting preparation (23:56). As these women had ministered to Jesus during His life (see Luke 8:1-3), so they seek to care for His body in death.

4. What did the women find when they arrived at the tomb? (Luke 24:2, 3)

   Jesus was buried in a tomb "that was hewn in stone" (Luke 23:53), not a hole dug in the ground. This sepulchre is therefore a man-made cave, carved into the soft limestone in a hillside outside of Jerusalem. It has been provided by Joseph of Arimathaea, a member of the Jewish high council and also a secret follower of Jesus (Luke 23:50, 51; compare John 19:38). Joseph may have intended this cave to serve a tomb for himself and family members, although it was unused before Jesus' interment (Luke 23:53).

   Mark 16:3 records that the women are worried about the practical aspect of opening the tomb, for they know that a large stone had been rolled across its entrance. This turns out to be no problem, though, because the stone has already been rolled away when they arrive (Luke 24:2).

   In Luke 24:3 much is left unsaid here, but we can imagine the dismay of the women. The fears of the women seem to be realized when they enter the tomb and discover that “the body of the Lord Jesus” is missing. The conclusion they draw is that the body of Jesus has been moved, if not stolen (John 20:13-15).

 

Remembering Jesus’ Words (Luke 24:4-8)

5. What other surprising encounter did these women have when they entered the tomb? (Luke 24:4-6a)

   We easily imagine the women's mixture of reactions: outrage over the missing body, sadness at the disrespect, and fear that something devious is afoot. All the emotions are summarized as their being much perplexed.

   As the women ponder the situation, two men are present with them. These are not ordinary men, though, for their garments are shining in an unusual way (compare Acts 1:10). These beings may look like men, but they are angels (see Matthew 28:2, 3; compare Luke 24:23).

  The women are understandably fearful at this situation, so they break eye contact as they bow down. It is left to the angels to speak first, and they ask a question that is also a revelation: "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" This is not intended to mock the women, but to explain. There has been no grave robbing. There is no need to anoint the body and wrap it with spices. There is no corpse in the tomb because Jesus is not dead, He is risen. Their master is alive!

What Do You Think?

   In what ways can churches be guilty of seeking "the living among the dead" today? How do we guard against this?

Talking Points for Your Discussion

   Clinging to outmoded traditions |Dwelling on past achievements | Failing to discern cultural trends

6. What words of Jesus did the two angels encourage the women to remember? (Luke 24:6b-8)

   The women will understand what has happened if they remember what Jesus prophesied about himself while they were still in Galilee (see Luke 9:22, 44; compare 24:46). How sad it is when God's people forget His Word and live defeated lives. Today, the Spirit of God assists us to remember His Word (John 14:26). The fact that the angels challenge the women to remember indicates that the women had heard the prediction previously.

    There are three parts to this prophecy, now fulfilled. First, Jesus was to be delivered into the hands of sinful men; that happened when He was betrayed and bound over to the Romans for trial. Second, Jesus was predicted to be put to death via crucifixion; that too came to pass. Third, Jesus would not remain dead, but would be raised to life on the third day following the crucifixion (compare Acts 10:39, 40).

    While Hosea's prophecy of a third-day resurrection is not quoted here, it is part of the pattern of the prophets who foresaw the resurrection of the Messiah (see Luke 24:46). Jesus also tied this to the experience of Jonah (see Matthew 12:40).

    The earliest preaching of the gospel includes the facts of Jesus' burial and many hours in the tomb. A first-century formulation of this preaching is that Christ "was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:4). The combination of "burial" and "third day" is important because it proves that Jesus had been dead—His physical body truly died. This is remembered by these initial witnesses and others of the first-century church; they have passed the facts on for us to remember as well.

What Do You Think?

   What was a time that remembering a promise of Scripture helped you overcome a rough patch in life? Which Scripture was it?

Talking Points for Your Discussion

   After the death of a loved one | After a job loss | During a health crisis | Other

    The angels’ words to the women at the empty tomb helped them to recall what Jesus had foretold (Luke 24:8). 

 Reporting What Happened (Luke 24:9, 10)

7. Who did the women share the “Good News” with?  (Luke 24:9)

   Matthew 28:6, 7 tells us as proof that Jesus was truly alive, the women were invited to inspect the spot where the Savior’s body had rested. After the women had taken some time to examine the empty tomb, they were told to deliver an important message to the remainder of Jesus’ disciples. The women return to the place where the remaining apostles (11 because of no Judas Luke 24:9) are staying. Wherever the location, the phrase all the rest indicates others besides the apostles are present—perhaps as many as the 120 who gather before the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 1:15). The women relate everything they have witnessed: the rolled-away stone, the empty tomb, the dazzling angels, and the message to remember the prophecy of Jesus.

What Do You Think?

   What holds Christians back from sharing the message of Jesus’ resurrection more freely? How can we overcome this problem?

Talking Points for Your Discussion

   Regarding how we think others will perceive us

   Regarding fear of inadequate Bible knowledge

   Regarding concern for "chasing people off"

8. Did the apostles accept the women’s report of Jesus’ resurrection? (Luke 24:10, 11)

   The language of Luke named the prominent women in the group. Mary Magdalene is recorded by the Gospels as being present at the crucifixion of Jesus, at His burial, and at the empty tomb early Sunday morning. She was delivered from demon possession by Jesus, which helps us understand her devotion to Him (Luke 8:2). Joanna is the wife of an official in the household of Herod, the king of Galilee (8:3). Mary the mother of James is further defined as being "the mother of James and Joses" in Matthew 27:56. These, along with an unspecified number of other women, broke the news to the apostles (Luke 24:10).

    However, those gathered (including the apostles) dismiss their report as idle tales. We can imagine the disappointment and hurt these faithful women must feel at not being believed.

 Investigating What Happened (Luke 24:12)

9. How did Peter’s reaction differ from the other apostles? (Luke 24:12)

   Although verse 11 counts Peter among the disbelievers, he is curious enough to run unto the sepulchre to see for himself (compare John 20:1-3). He too finds an empty tomb. The additional mention of abandoned grave clothes is an important detail, for body stealers would not have taken the time to unwrap Jesus' body and leave the linen clothes behind. Peter's reaction to all this is similar to that of the women when they encountered the angels: he wonders at that which was come to pass, meaning that these things do not yet make sense to him. But soon they will, for he will see the Lord Jesus face to face (Luke 24:34).

   It is one thing to see the empty tomb and the empty graveclothes, but quite something else to meet the risen Christ. We today cannot see the evidence in the tomb, but we do have the testimony of the witnesses found in the inspired Word of God. And we can live out our faith in Jesus Christ and know personally that He is alive in us (Gal. 2:20).

 

POINTS TO PONDER

1.Return to the Lord. He loves you and is waiting to heal your hurt now! (Hosea 6:1-3)

2.It is amazing what we’ll encounter when we have our hearts set on pleasing Jesus. (Luke 24:1-5)

3.Fail not to continuously study God’s Word. (Luke 24:6-8; 2 Timothy 2:15)

4. God wants us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. (Luke 24:9-12)

 

CONCLUSION

Waiting for Jesus

   Waiting. Mary Magdalene and the other women could only wait as they watched Jesus die (Matthew 27:55, 56; Mark 15:40, 41; Luke 23:49; John 19:25-27). At least two of the women could only watch as Jesus was buried hastily (Matthew 27:59-61). Constrained by the laws of the Jewish Sabbath, the women disciples of Jesus could only wait to give His body the burial preparation they thought it deserved.

   And so they did wait. They waited until Sunday morning. Then the unimaginable happened: they learned that Jesus was no longer dead.

   We wait for Jesus in many ways. Hosea had a glimpse of Him, but that prophet was hundreds of years early. Many of the disciples of Jesus were awaiting a Messiah when they met Him. Today we wait to be united with Him in the place He has prepared for us, our heavenly home.

   We can wait because we know He lives, that death was not the end for Jesus. The tomb was empty because He is risen, never again to die. And we, His disciples today, will one day be with Him forever!

 PRAYER

   Heavenly Father, we believe the testimony of the women, that Your Son's tomb was empty because He (Jesus) had been brought back to life. We believe He is risen and exalted to Your right hand. May He come quickly to take us home. In His name, amen.

 THOUGHT TO REMEMBER

   We await our own resurrections because we know He lives!

 

 


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