Season of the Church Year: Easter (white)
Story in Scripture: John 20: 1-18
As we enter in to the Easter season, it is so wonderful to consider all the different ways that Jesus reconciled with his disciples. They were so distraught, confused, and afraid. Jesus knew that each of them needed to be met in a unique way to reassure them of God’s promise in their lives. Over the next few weeks, we will learn about Jesus’ appearance to his friends and followers at the tomb, along the road to Emmaus, and in the Upper Room. We will also learn about the ways that Jesus helped his disciples (particularly Peter) to understand their own actions and choices on his last days. Today’s lesson focused on Jesus’ revelation to Mary at the tomb. It is significant that Mary and her friends were brave enough to venture out in Jerusalem, but they were devoted to caring for Jesus. What a strange experience it must have been for them to approach the tomb and see it open! Mary was surely beside herself to think that someone had taken his body away. Then Jesus appears and speaks to her. The children are frequently intriguied that Mary doesn’t recognize Jesus at first, thinking he is a gardener. Then... he says her name. Oh, what a wonderful illustration for us!! As soon as she hears her name from her Savior’s lips, she realizes that it is him. Jesus truly knows us and this story reminds us that we must listen for him and be receptive when he speaks. This story is also important in context. Mary returns to the other disicples and so becomes the first to share the Good News of Christ’s resurrection. She is an example for us all as we share about God’s love to those that we meet.
Guiding Questions for Discussion:
Now wonder what it was like to be going to Jesus’ tomb that Sunday morning?
I wonder how Mary felt when Jesus died?
I wonder what it feels like when someone or something that you love dies or goes away?
I wonder how Mary felt when Jesus’ body was not in the tomb?
I wonder what it was like to hear, “Jesus is alive! Jesus is risen, indeed!” ?
I wonder how Mary knew this person was Jesus?
I wonder how Mary felt when Jesus called her by name?
I wonder what it felt like to tell others that Jesus was risen?
I wonder how we can know that Jesus is alive?
“Dear God, we are so thankful that you brought Jesus through death and made him alive again! We are so thankful for the resurrection and all the hope that it brings. Help us to think about and celebrate your blessings each morning, afternoon, and night. We love you and are grateful that you love us enough to send your Son to die for our forgiveness. Amen.”
We will be learning about Jesus’ appearance to his friends on the road to Emmaus next week. This story is told in the book of Luke, chapter 24: 1-35.