Pray: To open your time together.
Read: Luke 24: 1-12
Consider: Some thoughts for your group
Have you ever felt that God has let you down? While many in the bible are revered as heroes for their faith in difficult times, the reality is that most of us have experienced disappointment with God when things don’t to go the way we anticipated. In Luke 24, we see this kind of disorienting disappointment in action.
A group of women are making the trip to Jesus’ tomb, and their world has been shattered. Remember that we have the advantage of knowing how the story ends, but for these women all they knew for certain was that the person they had believed in was gone. Jesus was supposed to be the savior of the world, God’s prophet who healed sick people, and even raised others from the dead. Jesus said His kingdom was at hand! But now, Jesus was gone, dead, and too poor to have his own grave. He is buried in a borrowed tomb.
This is not how it was supposed to be. So, understandably, everyone else has scattered. The crowds have gone. The fans have stopped cheering. Even the disciples are hiding in a locked room somewhere. But this group of women have walked to the tomb at sunrise to see Jesus. Not because they believe He is alive, but because they love him anyway. They are going to show their respect and love for Him, even though He has thoroughly let them down… or so they believe.
As they encounter the angels at the tomb they are told, “Remember how he told you when He was still with you [that he would raise from the dead]?” And Luke 24:8 says, “And then they remembered His words.” So much of our life with Jesus is remembering and trusting what God tells us even when things look different than we expected.
- Have you experienced disappointment with God? Share your story of walking through that circumstance. Are there things that turned out differently (for good or bad) than you expected? What did you learn about God in the process?
- We can’t overlook the significance of a group of women being entrusted with the good news of Jesus resurrection. Women in this time and culture were very much considered second class citizens. Why do you think God picks these women to bring the good news of Jesus resurrection to the disciples? What does this tell us about who God will use for His own purposes?
- Nearly all the disciples respond to the women’s message with skepticism. “But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.” But Peter is different. It says, “Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb.” What do you think is going through Peter’s mind that causes him to react this way? What does it say that he responds differently than the other disciples?
Spend some time praying for one another. Ask if anyone has prayer requests for the week ahead, and if someone is wrestling with disappoint with God spend some time praying and encouraging that person.
At the close of Sunday’s message, Pastor Steve will be leading the church through communion. If you would like to participate as a group please have bread and juice/wine available to the group. If helpful, below is a short guide through communion:
Communion is a meal of remembrance of Jesus suffering and sacrifice for us.
Scripture reference: Luke 22: 7-20
At the last supper, while Jesus was gathered with His disciples before He was crucified, Jesus took the bread from the table, gave thanks and broke it, and said, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant of my blood, which is poured out for you.”
As you take and eat the bread and drink the juice/wine, remember Christ’s love, grace and sacrifice for our sin and receive His gift of grace.