Investigate: A five part interactive study.
Discover Jesus for yourself.
Section 5: Jesus: Giver of hope, peace, joy, purpose, and eternal life.
The last chapter of Luke gives a clear account of the fantastic miracle of the resurrection. After Jesus' crucifixion his disciples were afraid of the Jews. While they continued to meet, they did so in secret. Suddenly, Jesus came to them.
C.S. Lewis, a famous writer and Christian, wrote:
The New Testament writers speak as if Christ's achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought and beaten the king of death.
A. The Resurrection
Read Luke 24:46-53
How do you think the disciples felt after seeing Jesus crucified?
News began to reach them that Jesus was alive again. The disciples' reaction shows that they did not expect this. They thought the story was nonsense (v.11). The two on the road said that they were surprised by the news (v.22) and Jesus himself confirmed that they had doubts in their minds (v.38). Nevertheless, various people became convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead.
- What convinced the women? (24:5-8)
- What convinced the two people on the road? (24:25-32)
- What convinced the group of disciples? (24:33-43)
- How did the disciples' attitude toward Jesus change? (24:52,53)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the climax of his life's work. Jesus rose from the dead as he said he would. This historical fact challenges us to believe that the other things he said about himself are also true. The resurrection demands a response from us, one way or another.
B. Responding to Jesus
Let's look at one particular woman about whom Luke wrote, and see how she responded to Jesus.
Read Luke 7:36-50
This woman had a bad past. Her behavior toward Jesus was very different from the stiff and starchy response of Simon the Pharisee.
- Why do you think the woman acted as she did? (7:37,38)
- Jesus told Simon a story to explain the woman's actions. (7:40-43)
- Why do you think he did that?
- How were the woman's debts cleared before God? (7:48)
- What does "faith" mean? (7:50)
- What did "go in peace" mean to this woman? (7:50)
She could be sure that she was at peace with God. Jesus had welcomed, accepted and forgiven her because of his love and mercy. Nothing she had done could have earned his response. But she was now free to live as a new person.
We can be sure in this same way. We can never pay God the debt we owe Him for our sinful behavior. But, if we come to Jesus as this woman did, we can know that he forgives and accepts us completely. In the last session we discussed how this happens through Jesus' death on our behalf.
C. Becoming a Christian
The sinful woman came to Jesus and recognized her sin. She trusted Jesus to forgive her and, by her actions, thanked him for the new life he offered her. We must do the same if we want to be at peace with God, both now and eternally.
Each one of us must realize that living a good moral or "religious" life will not make us acceptable to God.
To begin a relationship with God, you could pray something like this:
Jesus, I realize that I have been running my own life and have rebelled against You. I admit that I have sinned against you and deserve to go to hell. Thank You for dying for my sins so I can spend eternity with You in Heaven. I open my life to You and ask You to be my Savior and Lord. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen.
Did you pray this prayer:YES
D. Growing as a Christian
These five studies have shown us who Jesus is and why he came. Luke 6:46-49 teaches that we must not only hear what Jesus said, but put it into practice.
Read Luke 6:46-49
A decision to become a Christian is just the beginning of a lifetime of getting to know God better. As you get to know God by reading His Word (The Bible), you will gain assurance of salvation. Feelings have their place though Christianity is not just another emotional or psychological experience. Also, You should expect to see changes if Christ has really entered your life.