Third Sunday of Easter

We Rejoice in the Risen Christ

These are the readings for the Third Sunday of Easter.
(This Worship Help aligns with the lectionary readings from Christian Worship 1993 and Christian Worship: Supplement.)

God’s Word for This Week

Most of our celebrations are very brief. The festival of Easter, however, inspires a certain “afterglow” that, by God’s grace, burns ever brighter as we celebrate anew each Sunday during the Easter season. Led by the Spirit to believe in the resurrected Lord, we rejoice in holy awe in this glorious truth and are filled with a desire to speak of our hope with others.

Traditional First Lesson – Acts 2:14a,36-47

For whom is baptism intended?

Peter tells us that this means of grace is for all who hear his words. It is also for their children. It is also for those who were not there that day, including us. It is for all whom God has called or ever will call by the message which Peter proclaimed that day.

Why could and did the first congregation in Jerusalem continue to use the temple courts as a place to meet and worship?

They met at the temple because it was the house of the Lord, and they were the Lord’s people. It was the Father’s house, and they were his children. They gathered there daily.

Supplemental First Lesson – Acts 24:10-21

How was the resurrection of Christ central to the issue that faced Paul?

After his arrest at the temple, Paul stood before the Sanhedrin. The session erupted into a brawl when Paul asserted his belief in the resurrection, a divisive issue for Pharisees and Sadducees, and the Roman officer had to remit Paul to the regional governor. In this lesson, Paul is on trial in Caesarea before Governor Felix. The Sanhedrin had hired the lawyer Tertullus to accuse Paul of leading the Nazarene sect. In Paul’s reply to Tertullus, he asserts that Christianity is no sect but agrees with all that is written in the Law and the Prophets. It is the Pharisees and the Sadducees that abandoned Scripture and became a sect without hope. We hold to the ancient hope of Scripture: the resurrection of the dead.

Second Lesson – 1 Peter 1:17-21

Why does Peter encourage us to live as “strangers” while here on this earth?

It will always be a temptation for Christians to set their hearts on what they can see—material things, institutions, approval from others, etc. It is a lifelong struggle to learn that everything visible is perishable while what is not seen has lasting value. As Christians, we need to remember that we live in tents—temporary settings—because we are not yet home.

Gospel – Luke 24:13-35

Why do you think Jesus didn’t reveal his identity to the Emmaus disciples?

It gave the disciples the chance to openly confess their unbelieving doubts. Jesus was providing them the opportunity to learn from him again as he reviewed what the Scriptures had to say about the Messiah.

They had just told Jesus not to go on because of the approaching night. But once Jesus revealed himself, why did they quickly go back to Jerusalem?

Their hearts were burning within them. They couldn’t keep the joy of this wonderful message to themselves, so they had to tell the others in Jerusalem.

What lessons can we learn from the account of the Emmaus disciples?

We need exactly what they received from Jesus. Through the Word, we too need a call to repentance because of our foolish and slow hearts. We need a renewed sense of joy that the message of Easter gives us so that with the wonder of our risen Savior before us, we are compelled to proclaim the Easter message to others.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email