Chapter 6—The resurrection and ascension of Jesus
1. Introduce this chapter by making a chart with three titles: Unbeliever-myth Unbeliever-spiritual point and Believer-actual explaining each approach to the resurrection. Discuss how the middle group can be found in churches yet they are unbelievers in an actual resurrection.
2. Ask for alternative [unbelieving] explanations of the disappearance of the body of Jesus and then the Christian belief.
3. Discuss the difference between coming back to life (Lazarus) and a resurrection.
4. Who raised Jesus—Himself, the father, the Spirit? (Look up the Scripture passages on page 91)
5. What practical meaning does the resurrection have for Christians? Why is the resurrection of Jesus important to us?
6. Discuss how we Christians can believe yet not understand, explain or prove some things. Can you think of other things we believe yet do no understand, cannot explain and are not able to prove them?
7. Study 1 Corinthians 15:13-19 and the meaning of the resurrection here.
8. Why is it important for Christians to reject the notion of a “spiritual resurrection” where Jesus’ spirit arose and not His body? How does this relate to our own future and how we think about death?
9. We believe not because the evidence has made belief automatic, yet there is evidence for the resurrection—what are these?
10. If here were no ascension how would what we believe be changed?
11. What does it mean to us today that Christ “sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty?”
12. Have the group read the “What about us” ending to this chapter to themselves as a closing meditation, or have someone prepared to read it aloud for the group. Consider closing by having someone read the prayer at the end for the group, or praying their own prayer based on the response we have to this part of Christian beliefs.
I invite you to post your own ideas on this chapter by adding a comment to this post to help other leaders. -- Keith Drury