Printer-friendly version

[John:19:31-42]; [Matthew:27:62-66]; [John:20:1-31].

Lesson No.: 
Memory Verse: 

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”  (John 11:25).


Doing His Will
As Jesus died upon the cross He said, “It is finished.” He meant that He had completed the work that God had given Him to do. From the time that Jesus was a child, He had been concerned about doing the will of God. When Jesus was twelve years old He said, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2;49). Later on His words were: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” [John:4:34]). Just before Jesus was crucified He said, “Father, the hour is come; . . . I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” [John:17:1], [John:17:4]). In this, Jesus gave us a good example. It is pleasing to God, and necessary for us as His followers, that we do His will. May we do more than have a desire to do God’s will -– let us actually do what He would have us do.

The death of Christ did not bring an end to His teachings. His disciples continued the work by preaching and spreading the good tidings of the Gospel. His death was necessary that we might know the forgiveness of our sins, for “without shedding of blood is no remission” [Hebrews:9:22]). Jesus was the Lamb of God whose Blood was shed that whosoever believed in Him should have his sins forgiven. [John:3:16]; [Matthew:26:28]).

The Fulfilment of Prophecy
Jesus was crucified between two thieves just as the Word of God had foretold: “He was numbered with the transgressors” [Isaiah:53:12]; [Mark:15:28]). Since it was the day of the preparation for the Sabbath, “the bodies should not remain upon the cross.” Soldiers came to hasten the death of those who had been hanged there, but Jesus was already dead. They did not break the legs of Jesus as they did those of the others. Nevertheless, a spear was thrust into Jesus’ side by one of the soldiers, and “forthwith came there out blood and water.” The prophets had spoken concerning these things, too. (Read [Zechariah:12:10] and [Psalms:34:20].)

His Burial
His burial day was a sad day for the disciples. They did not fully understood Jesus’ words concerning His death. They had hoped that He would establish a kingdom on earth at that time, but now He was dead. The disciples were fearful, discouraged, and full of sorrow.

There were two members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council, who had believed Jesus’ teachings. At a time when the other disciples were overcome by grief, these two men showed their love for Jesus. One of them, Joseph of Arimathæa, went boldly to Pilate and received permission to care for the body of Jesus. The other man, Nicodemus, brought a great and costly amount of spices, a mixture of myrrh and aloes. These were used to prepare the body of Jesus for burial, as was the custom of the Jews.

These men had been very timid about declaring them-selves, to be Jesus’ disciples. But at this time their actions showed their great love for the Lord. This was a testing time, but now these two men were not slow to show that they were followers of Jesus. Can the Lord depend upon us to take our stand for that which is right? Can He depend upon us to be true to Him when we are tested? Can He depend upon us to step forward when there is work to do?

For the Lord
Jesus’ burial was according to the prophecies, which had been spoken [Isaiah:53:9]). Joseph of Arimathæa was a rich man [Matthew:27:57]). In a garden he had prepared for himself a new tomb, which was hewn out of a rock. Joseph was willing to use this tomb for the Lord. We, today, have some things which we may call our own, and which we may plan to use for ourselves. They may include our lives, our time, our talents, and our possessions. Are we willing to use them for the Lord and for His service? Joseph of Arimathæa gave, for Jesus, that which he had prepared for himself. Jesus was laid in the place, which Joseph had planned to use for himself, and a great stone was rolled to the door of the sepulchre.

Setting a Watch
Although the disciples did not seem to remember them, the chief priests and Pharisees recalled the words that Jesus had spoken. They told Pilate that Jesus had said He would rise on the third day. They asked Pilate to make the sepulchre secure so the body of Jesus would remain there. Pilate answered, “Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as you can,” as if he was a little doubtful that they could make it secure against the power of the Lord. Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, expressed a similar thought when he said, “If it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it” [Acts:5:39]). The chief priests and the Pharisees tried to make the sepulchre secure by putting a seal on the stone and setting guards to watch.

The Empty Tomb
After the Passover, very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb. When she found the stone rolled away from the door and the tomb empty, she did not remember that Jesus had told them of His resurrection [Matthew:16:21]; [Matthew:20:19]; [John:2:19]). Mary Magdalene ran to Peter and John. She said, “They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.” Both the men hurried to the sepulchre. John was there first, perhaps because he was younger and could run faster.

When John reached the place where Jesus had lain, he stopped outside and looked in. When Peter arrived, he rushed on into the tomb and John followed him. They saw the linen burial clothes lying there, but the napkin that had been about Jesus’ head was in a separate place. Without a doubt, they had heard Jesus speak of His resurrection. They had heard but had not understood. As they stood there viewing the scene, faith began to work at John’s heart. “He saw, and believed.”

No one had taken Jesus away. He had risen from the dead, and the grave-clothes were left in the tomb. That great miracle had taken place as Jesus had promised. Jesus had raised others from the dead -– the son of the widow of Nain [Luke:7:15]), the daughter of Jairus [Matthew:9:18], [Matthew:9:25]), and even Lazarus who had been buried for four days [John:11:17], [John:11:44]). But Jesus arose from the grave through the power of God. Never before nor since has such a miracle taken place. Jesus has power over death and the grave [Romans:6:9]). He is a victor over death, and because He lives we shall live also [John:14:19]).

The Firstfruits
“Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” [1 Corinthians:15:20]). Because Christ was resurrected, we also shall be resurrected [1 Corinthians:15:23]). At Jesus’ coming, the trumpet of God shall sound and “the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” [1 Thessalonians:4:13-17]). Jesus was the first to rise from the grave in such a manner. This He did for us. He was “delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” [Romans:4:25]).

Belief in the Resurrection
It is important for men today to believe in the resurrection. A belief in the resurrection is essential to one’s salvation. The Bible states: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” [Romans:10:9]).

The resurrection of Christ gives a hope to every believer [1 Peter:1:3]). “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” ([1 John:3:3]). That means that one must prepare his heart and life to be ready for Jesus’ coming. The Blood of Jesus must make him clean, and his heart must be cleansed from sin. One must have the power of God in his life in order to respond to the sound of the trumpet at Jesus’ coming. What a wonderful time that will be for those who are obedient to the Word of the Lord! Are you ready for that time when Jesus shall come to catch away His people?

A Living Christ
We are serving a living Saviour, not one who remained in the grave. Our Christ is all-powerful and gives us a great hope. We know Christ is living because He is living in the hearts of His people. He will reveal Himself to all who will seek after Him, just as he did to Mary Magdalene in the garden. She did not recognize the Lord until He spoke her name. Later on, He appeared to other disciples. Some did not know Jesus until He opened their eyes. Others would not believe until they had actually seen their Lord. Jesus said, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”


1. Why do we celebrate Easter?
2. What hope does it give to a Christian?
3. In whose tomb was Jesus buried?
4. Who buried Jesus?
5. Why were the disciples sad?
6. Why could not the chief priests and Pharisees make the sepulchre secure?
7. How long after Jesus’ burial did He rise from the grave?
8. Name some prophecies that were fulfilled at the time of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
9. How did the disciples know that Jesus arose and was living?
10. How do we know that Jesus lives today?