A Resurrected Life April 11-15

Jesus never intended for His followers to be passive observers of His victory over death. He intended for His victory over death to bring His followers back to life, a new and better life. The word that best describes this moment of new life is surrender. The tomb is empty so that we do not have to live empty lives. The resurrected Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples, even walked along side of them, and empowered them. And He will do that for us too. Your surrendered life is meant to be full of meaning and purpose.

Day 1      John 18:1-40

Reflect:  What stands out about Jesus’ arrest? How do you see Him modeling surrender, determination, and compassion? What can you learn from Peter’s actions?

Apply:     Who would you say was in control in these encounters—the Jews, Pilate, Satan? Describe how, though surrendered to God, Jesus was in control. How is He in control of your life?

Pray:       Father, thank You for Your eternal plan of salvation which required the shame of the Cross of Christ before the joy of the Kingdom’s Crown. May I live in the world but not be a part of this fallen world system. Use me to proclaim Your truth to others.

Day 2      John 19:1–37

Reflect: What strikes you about why the Jews insisted that Jesus had to die compared to the real reason for His death? Why was Jesus silent before Pilate? Reflect on: “It is finished.” (verse 30)

Apply:   When have you allowed the pressures of the moment to compromise your beliefs or standards? What want or desire can you sacrifice so that someone else might benefit?

Pray:     Father, while the human condition is sick beyond human repair, my faith is rooted in You, who became flesh and walked in our world and died our death to give us life.

Day 3     John 20:1-18

Reflect: What do you think brought Mary to the tomb? Why do you think that, at first, John did not go into the tomb? What do you make of verse 9? Describe what was going through Mary’s mind.

Apply:   What truths about Jesus and the gospel do you find hard to believe? When have you unexpectedly encountered Jesus? When have you wanted to hold on or cling to Him?

Pray:       Father, thank You for not only raising Jesus from the dead, but also for raising my heart to a place of hope and joy that earthbound sorrow and pain cannot erase.

Day 4      John 20:19-31

Reflect:  What do we learn about Jesus from this text? About human beings? About our relationship with God? Is doubt necessarily a bad thing for believers to experience? Why or why not?

Apply:    When have you been afraid to openly follow Jesus? In what ways should the reality of Jesus’ resurrection shape your life? Why does John repeatedly use the word believe?

Pray:       Lord, I can be like the disciples with my questions, doubts and fears. Sometimes I need to see in order to believe. But just as Thomas confessed You as his Lord and his God, may I boldly claim the same for my life.

Day 5     Luke 24:13-35 

Reflect: What about this story strikes you as important, raises questions, and/or causes curiosity? Why did the men not recognize Jesus? Why do you think Jesus is slow to reveal Himself?

Apply:    Jesus is present with us even when we do not realize it. How have you found this to be true in your life? When have you been surprised by God in moments of disappointment? If Jesus were to walk a few miles with you today, what would you talk with Him about?

Pray:       Jesus, so often I forget that You invite me to abide with You; to have my life hidden in You. Thank You that You travel with me in my joys and concerns. As I walk with You day by day, may Your new life in me be made manifest in my attitude and actions.

Put It Into Practice

In your prayer time, imagine Jesus meeting up with you as you are taking a walk. Ask Him to reveal truth to you that you have never before recognized. Ask Jesus to open your eyes to see Him in a new way. Ask Him what He is calling you to do as you surrender to Him and willingly obey.