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Isaiah 65:17-25 1
17 “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. 19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. 20 “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. 21 They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They will not labor in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. 24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,” says the Lord.

tombBackground

Chapter 65 in the book of Isaiah is about the calling of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jews. (1-7) The Lord would preserve a remnant. (8-10) Judgments upon the wicked. (11-16) The future happy and flourishing state of the church. (17-25)

Biblical Truth 2

In the grace and comfort believers have in and from Christ, we are to look for this new heaven and new earth. The former confusions, sins and miseries of the human race, shall be no more remembered or renewed. The approaching happy state of the church is described under a variety of images. He shall be thought to die in his youth, and for his sins, who only lives to the age of a hundred years. The event alone can determine what is meant; but it is plain that Christianity, if universal, would so do away violence and evil, as greatly to lengthen life. In those happy days, all God’s people shall enjoy the fruit of their labors. Nor will children then be the trouble of their parents, or suffer trouble themselves. The evil dispositions of sinners shall be completely subdued; all shall live in harmony. Thus the church on earth shall be full of happiness, like heaven. This prophecy assures the servants of Christ that the time approaches, where they shall be blessed with the undisturbed enjoyment of all that is needed for their happiness. As workers together with God, let us attend his ordinances, and obey his commands.

Items for Discussion

  • Why does it make a difference that it is God who is telling us what eternal life in heaven will be like?· Do you think eternity will be spent in a physical place?
  • What do you like most about God’s description of eternity?
  • It appears that we will still work in eternity-How do you feel about that?
  • Whether verse 25 is a metaphor or not, we will not know for sure until our arrival there-However, what can you tell about the place we call Heaven from this verse?

 

Luke 24:1-12
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words. 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Background 3

Our Lord Jesus went gloriously down to death, in spite of the malice of his enemies, who did all they could to make his death shameful; but he rose again more gloriously, of which we have an account in this chapter; and the proofs and evidences of Christ’s resurrection are more fully related by Luke than they were by Matthew and Mark. Here is:

  1. Assurance given by two angels, to the woman who visited the sepulchre, that the Lord Jesus was risen from the dead, according to his own word, to which the angels refer them (v. 1-7), and the report of this to the apostles (v. 8-11)
  2. The visit which Peter made to the sepulchre, and his discoveries there (v. 12).
  3. Christ’s conference with the two disciples that were going to Emmaus, and his making himself known to them (v. 13-35).
  4. His appearing to the eleven disciples themselves, the same day at evening (v. 36-49).
  5. The farewell he gave them, his ascension into heaven, and the joy and praise of his disciples whom he left behind (v. 50-53).

Biblical Truth 4

The Sabbath day was the 7th day of the week. It ended at sunset on the Saturday. Then the first day of the week started. But the women could not do much during the hours of darkness. Very early on Sunday morning at sunrise, the women came to the grave. They were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome and perhaps other women. They had prepared spices and they had come to place the spices on Jesus’ body. They had discussed among themselves who could move the heavy stone from the grave (Mark 16:3). But there had been an earthquake and an angel had rolled the stone away (Matthew 28:2). So, when the women arrived, the grave was open. The women went into the grave but Jesus’ body was not there. Instead, two men stood there. The clothes that the two men wore shone like lightning. They were angels. The women were very afraid. And they fell down with their faces to the ground.

One of the angels sat down on the right side of the grave (Mark 16:5). And he spoke to the women. He told them not to be afraid. He knew that they had come to find Jesus. He said that Jesus was not there. Jesus was not dead. He had been dead but now he was alive. The angel invited the women to see where the body had been. He reminded them of what Jesus had said. Jesus had spoken about his death and that he would rise to life again (Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:22-23; Luke 9:22; Luke 18:31-33). And the women remembered that Jesus had said this. Then the angel told the women to go back to the disciples. They must tell the disciples that Jesus had risen from death. Jesus would go before them to Galilee and there they would see him.

Mary Magdalene had been first at the grave. She discovered that Jesus’ body was not there. She ran to tell Peter and John (John 20:1-2). As the other women went to tell the disciples, Jesus met them. He told them to tell the disciples to go to Galilee. There the disciples would see him (Matthew 28:9-10). This was what the angels had already told them. It seems that Mary Magdalene went back to the grave and she wept there. She looked into the grave and she saw the two angels there. They asked her why she wept. She answered them and then turned away. As she turned, she saw Jesus. But she did not know that it was Jesus. She thought that he was the gardener. Then Jesus called her name and she recognised Jesus. Afterwards she went to tell the disciples about it (John 20:11-18).

The women told the 11 apostles and all the other disciples what had happened. Their report was so strange that the apostles did not believe the women. The story sounded like nonsense to them. They did not expect Jesus to rise from death to life. But Peter and John ran to the grave. Peter looked into the grave and he saw the grave clothes. He went in. And he saw how the cloth for the head was separate from the rest of the grave clothes. If someone had removed the body, that person would not have left the clothes in the grave. This convinced John that Jesus’ body had come out of those clothes (John 20:2-10). They went home and Peter wondered about these things.

Items for Discussion

  • How do you think our world would be different if Christ did not rise from the dead?
  • Why was it important for God prove to humanity that there is life after death?
  • Easter is about two important things: sacrifice and afterlife-Why are both so important?
  • Imagine standing on the shore of an ocean wondering what is on the other side-How would you learn about the faraway place without actually going there?
  • So based on the prior question, how are the Scriptures like a travel blog?

Discussion Challenge

  • So how should today’s church bring the story of hope and eternal life to the people of the world?
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