Dr. E. Dale Locke
What Is Happening Right Now???!!!
1. Read I Peter 1:3-4:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you….
What does the expression “living hope” mean to you personally? What are some ways you have experienced it?
2. Read Luke 1:1-4:
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
There are four gospel accounts (biographies of Jesus’ life). Of the four, Luke was the only non-Jewish gospel writer. From what Luke writes in these opening verses of his gospel account, what was his goal and his strategy in writing this account of Jesus’ life?
3. Luke describes in 24:5b-6a that angels asked the women who came to the tomb on Easter morning: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
Imagine how it would have felt to be one of those women. You got up early to embalm the dead body of Jesus, but instead, you find an empty tomb and angels in gleaming clothes telling you this amazing message. What would you have thought?
4. Read Luke 24:13-25:
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast.
18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Luke is the only one of the four gospel writers who includes this event. Name some things that we learn from this account that we wouldn’t have known without it?
This story challenges our assumptions about three things:
• It challenges my assumptions about what I’m willing to believe about Jesus Christ and who he is.
5. C.S. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia and many other books, was originally an atheist. But he felt compelled to become a follower of Jesus, because when he studied the history surrounding Jesus’ life, Lewis realized that, logically, there are only three possible options regarding who Jesus was: he was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord of all creation.
Do you agree that these are the only three logical options about Jesus’ identity? Why or why not?
6. What evidence do we have that Jesus wasn’t a liar?
7. What evidence do we have that Jesus wasn’t a lunatic?
8. If Jesus is indeed the Lord of all creation, what are some of the implications for us today?
• It challenges my assumptions about the way my faith works.
9. Pastor Dale said that a lot of people tend to “do their faith on autopilot” – especially on Easter. What did he mean by that?
10. If Jesus really did rise from the dead and is the Lord of all creation, what would be the appropriate way to live out the Christian faith?
• It challenges my assumptions about who I am willing to allow Jesus become in my life.
11. These men invited Jesus into their day-to-day lives, and it led to a tangible experience of the living Christ. You can do this also! Have you ever felt your “heart burn within you” because of Jesus’ presence, like these men in Luke’s account did? If so, describe that experience.
12. Later in Luke’s life, he was given the option to either deny that this story of Jesus’ resurrection was true or be killed by being hung from an Olive Tree. Luke wouldn’t deny the truthfulness of this story, so he was killed. What does it communicate to you, that Luke was willing to die for this?
13. What is your response to Jesus’ resurrection?