Beyond Sunday - Week 11 - EASTER

Beyond Sunday
Week of March 31, 2024

“A Contrast Between Two OTHER Men” Easter at RHC,
Luke 23:32-43

Thought: This week, let’s compare two other men, the criminals crucified either side of Jesus. A Christian counselor once told me, “When conflict arises in any relationship, we can turn against, turn away, or turn toward the other person.” The first criminal didn’t just turn away, he turned against Jesus. In his pain and suffering, he hurled insults at Jesus and questioned His identity. But the second criminal turned toward Jesus. He tacitly affirmed Jesus’s identity with his simple request.

We are born in conflict with Jesus because of our sin nature, inherited from Adam. We can turn against Jesus, denying who He is and attacking His message, or we can turn away by simply ignoring Him and/or denying our need for a savior. Or we can turn to Him in repentance and gratitude for His paying a debt we could never pay.

But it doesn’t stop there. Paraphrasing the message of one of the worship songs we sang, “The cross of salvation was only the start. Now I am free…forgiven…and I have a future worth living…I was made for more.” Jesus says He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). The power of Jesus’s resurrection life is available to us. It promises eternal life with God in heaven, and gives us the strength and power to live a full and obedient life in the world today. As Troy pointed out, to do that, we must first “…make it personal.” The choice is yours. Will you turn against, turn away, or turn to Jesus in deep, personal relationship?

Read: John 16:5-14, Galatians 5:16-25, Ephesians 3:16-19, Colossians 1:9-11
Discussion Questions:

·        Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep [that’s you and me] and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:14-15) What does that tell you about Jesus and His desire for relationship with us?  
·        The Apostle Paul writes, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection…” (Philippians 3:10) How would living in the power of Jesus’s resurrection—really living in that power—change your life? What would it look like?
·        What does it mean to you that the Holy Spirit is your “Advocate”?
·        How does that and the other Scripture readings for this week convince you that you can—and encourage you to—really live in the power of Jesus’s resurrection?

Pray: Pray for the power of Jesus’s resurrection life to manifest itself in your life. Pray for specific changes you believe God would want in your life. Use scripture to shape your prayers and declarations. Ask God to show you Scriptures to pray over specific topics or situations, or for specific other people.

Next Steps:
·        Sign up for the Essentials Class today to learn more about the foundation of a relationship with God.
. Sign up to go public with your faith in Jesus by getting water baptized.
·        Commit to deepen your relationship with Jesus through Bible study and prayer. Read and meditate upon all the Scriptures in this blog at least a couple times this week.    

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