The Risen One Sends Us
These are the readings for the Second Sunday of Easter.
God’s Word for This Week
Imagine someone discovering the cure for cancer yet keeping it private. Impossible! The need is too great; the news is too good. So it is with our Lord’s resurrection from the dead. “We cannot help speaking of what we have seen and heard.”
Traditional First Lesson – Acts 5:12,17-32
What did the angel who brought the apostles out of the public jail tell them to do?
The angel told the apostles, “Go, stand in the temple courts, and tell the people the full message of this new life.”
Why will we never stop testifying to others that Jesus has been raised from the dead, even if we face strong opposition?
We will never give up telling others that God’s crucified Son has been raised from the dead because a) it is such good news, b) it creates the faith that alone saves us from hell, and c) Jesus himself has told us to spread the good news of who he is and what he has done. Jesus is God! “We must obey God, rather than men.”
What two main things does God the Father want to give all people by raising his Son from the dead?
The two main things God the Father wants to give us is forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
Supplemental First Lesson – Genesis 15:1-6
When God appeared to Abram to comfort and reassure him, how did Abram respond? (See 15:2,3.)
Though God came to Abram in some kind of vision, Abram responded by complaining at first. Abram had no children. All he could foresee was one of his servants becoming his heir.
What did Abram see when God took him outside his tent?
Abram saw far more stars than he could count.
When Abram believed what he could not see, what happened?
“Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Picture God putting a credit in his ledger, not a debit, despite what Abram deserved. (The same happens for us, through faith in the risen Christ.)
Traditional Second Lesson – Revelation 1:4-18
What does the last apostle left on earth call himself as he begins writing the Bible’s last book?
The last apostle on earth simply calls himself, John. This shows a) that he was well-known, and b) that he wouldn’t dream of using any titles that would exalt himself.
How does John describe Jesus before he sees him?
Despite appearances, John calls Jesus a) “the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth”; b) the One who “loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood”; c) “the Alpha and the Omega, who was and is and is to come, the Almighty.”
Supplemental Second Lesson – 2 Peter 1:16-21
On a hilltop, what did Peter, James, and John eyewitness?
Peter, James, and John were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ majesty. They saw him gleaming with glory only God has.
What does this sight mean for all of us, who have not seen Jesus in his glory?
Peter says what he witnessed proves that we do not believe myths about Jesus. He really rose from the dead, bodily. He really reigns at the Father’s right. He really will reappear soon to judge all people when the day finally dawns “and the morning star rises in your hearts.” We can trust every word of God’s inspired Word totally.
Gospel – John 20:19-31
Each of the four Gospels has a commission near its end to share the good news. What is that commission in John’s Gospel?
“Peace be with you,” Jesus said. “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” With that he breathed on the disciples and gave them and us amazing authority: “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
If with your own eyes you have not seen your Lord, now raised from the dead, is that a problem?
With Job and believers through the ages, we long to see our Lord—yet Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
What is the ultimate purpose of all that John wrote down about Jesus?
The Spirit did not inspire John to write down every miraculous sign Jesus performed. Whatever John shares with us in print has one main purpose: that we may believe that Jesus is God’s Anointed One, his only Son, and that by believing we may have life in his name.