03-27-16

03-26 and 27-2016
Sermon by Dr. E. Dale Locke
Easter Sermon – Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt

  1. What’s your favorite Easter tradition?
  1. Look up Luke 24:5-6, where the angel asked the women at the tomb, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He’s not here; he has risen!”  What was the reaction of the women to this announcement?  How has this event changed history?  Name some things that are different now because of this.
  1. Thomas is famous for being a “doubter.” However God doesn’t just define us by our weakest moment or our biggest mistake.  In John 11:16, Jesus decides to go to Bethany, near Jerusalem, despite the fact that everyone knew that the religious leaders were planning to kill Him.  Note what Thomas says here: “Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’”  What does this show about Thomas’s character?
  1. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt you were being defined by your biggest mistake? If so, how did that feel?
  1. Read John 20:24-29:
    Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
  1. What questions or comments come to your mind as you read this passage?

The experience of Thomas at Easter invites us into:

        A better conversation about what we fear

Read John 20:24-25a again: Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

  1. Pastor Dale said that the probable reason for Thomas being absent was that he was afraid for his life. What is your greatest fear?
  1. How does Jesus’ resurrection help you overcome that fear?
  2. A better conversation about how we doubt

Read John 20:25b-27 again: But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

  1. What are some areas of the Christian faith that you sometimes struggle with or have doubts about?
  1. Sometimes people don’t feel free to talk about their doubts at church. What happens if a person keeps their doubts to themselves?
  1. What does Jesus’ reaction to Thomas tell us about how Jesus will respond to our doubts today?
  1. Pastor Dale said that when we get specific and “name our doubts,” then we are more likely to get answers and strengthen our faith. If you’ve experienced that personally, tell the group about it.

    A better conversation about why we worship

Read verse 28 again: Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

  1. Pastor Dale defined worship as “the highest form of gratitude.” What did he mean by that?
  1. Tell about a time in your life when you were “brought to your knees” by gratitude for what Jesus has done for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *