BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 27:11-66
MAIN POINT: Jesus was crucified on the cross.
KEY PASSAGE: Ephesians 2:8-9
BIG PICTURE QUESTION: Why did Jesus die on the cross? Jesus died on
the cross to save us from our sins and came back to life to show we are
The time between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning must have been dark hours for Jesus’ disciples. Fear, doubt, and confusion certainly overwhelmed their thoughts. Jesus, their Lord, was dead. He had been unjustly arrested, falsely accused, and severely beaten. Even worse, He had been killed in a horrible manner: by crucifixion.
The story doesn’t end there. Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb. The tomb was sealed and guards watched over it. The Jews remembered Jesus’ claim that He would rise from the dead (John 2:19-21), and they made sure no one could steal His body and insist He had risen. Imagine their surprise when Jesus did rise from the dead!
John and Peter saw the empty tomb. Jesus appeared to Mary. The disciples believed Jesus had risen from the dead. Even though the guards at the tomb were bribed to lie about what happened (they said the disciples stole Jesus’ body), the truth spread. The disciples wouldn’t have dedicated their lives and died for something they knew was a lie.
If Christ had remained dead, His death would have meant nothing more than yours or mine. Humanity would still be dead in sin. But God gives us victory over sin and death through His Son, Jesus. The resurrection gives us hope that we too will one day be raised and changed. (See Rom. 6:5; 8:11.)
Paul addressed in 1 Corinthians 15:7 just how essential Jesus’ resurrection is to the gospel: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” The resurrection is proof that God was satisfied with Jesus’ sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins and that God’s new covenant had begun.
Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but He didn’t stay dead. God was pleased with Jesus’ sacrifice and raised Jesus from the dead to reign as King over all creation. Jesus provides salvation from sin and the promise of eternal life.
Emphasize to the kids you teach that Jesus is alive! We believe this by faith. Today, Jesus is seated at the right hand of God and reigns as King over all of creation. (Phil. 2:9-10)