The Spirit Filled Life: Resurrection from the Dead
This week we celebrated Easter Sunday and the message of the resurrection. For Jesus’ disciples, his death had seemed to be the ultimate defeat. He had been the object of their hope, and as he had died, their hopes had seemingly died with him. But with his resurrection, hope was reborn.
Following his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples in a number of surprising places: in a garden (John 20:11-18), in a locked room where they were hiding in fear (John 20:19-23), on a road as they journeyed out of the city (Luke 24:13-27), around a meal table (Luke 24:28-35), over breakfast (John 21:15-19) and as they had returned to their day-to-day work (John 21:1-14). In each case, Jesus broke into their day and revealed something to them which helped them to both understand the truth about the resurrection, but also experience it for themselves.
This practice will help you think about how you can encounter Jesus in your daily life. At the end you may want to take communion together as a group. So before you start you might want to get some bread and wine, or an equivalent.
Discussion (15 mins)
In the same way that Jesus revealed himself to his disciples at seemingly normal points of their day, so too, he can reveal himself to us throughout our day, reminding us of the hope that comes from his resurrection.
In small groups of 2 or 3, consider the following question: How can we proactively create moments in our day to reflect on and experience Jesus’ message of hope? Are there practices that you have found particularly helpful to build in around key moments of your day?
Communion (15 mins)
When Jesus met the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the key moment of revelation came in the breaking of the bread. That physical symbol helped them to understand the significance of all Jesus had done, in a new and powerful way.
Why not take communion together as a group, as a way of celebrating Jesus’ body broken for you, and his blood shed for you. Feel free to do this however works best for your group. You may want to play some music while you reflect personally, or have a time of worship.
Below are two prayers which you can use as you take the bread and the wine. And perhaps you may want to end your time by praying for one another in small groups:
Prayer for the breaking of the bread
As I eat this bread,
I remember your body,
Broken to make me whole.
As you opened the eyes of your disciples,
Revealing to them the mystery of your gospel,
Would you open my eyes again,
To appreciate the wonder of your resurrection.
Prayer for the drinking of the wine
As I drink this wine,
I remember your blood,
Poured out for my forgiveness.
As you warmed the hearts of your disciples,
Filling them with hope,
Would you warm my heart again,
To live in the power of the resurrection.