Happy Wednesday, Bethany family, how are you? It is midweek again! Young adult family, you are most definitely in full-swing with classes in college, meeting new friends, in addition to balancing time for campus fellowships, part-time work, or at a regular place of work as our post-grad family is living out daily, trying to navigate the future. Barnabas family, you have a full load of things to get done with kids, trying to spend quality time with your spouse, being faithful in growing a family of faith, learning to show the character of Christ to your in-laws and bless them, alongside many other things. In the midst of all we can get busy with, let us take a walk for some fresh air. Always know every Wednesday evening, a fountain of living water will always come forth for you to drink. Lord-willing, we'll walk together to the One who must rise from the dead!! Only one more chapter left in the gospel according to John! Your endurance is amazing... thank you. *Important change - we'll be gathering in the FELLOWSHIP ROOM from now on (*NOT in Ezra Chapel anymore). Hope that is ok? Let us rise to be with Jesus! Let me know how you are doing, and how I can pray for you? Bless you.
Your Brother Chester
WednesdayWalkinto the Word THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN 요한복음: He Must Rise from the Dead 죽은 자 가운데서 다시 살아나야 하리라 [chapter 20] RISEN TO FULFILL SCRIPTURE (20:1-10) (Question #1) By now, Jesus had died on the cross and was laid in a new tomb in a garden near the crucifixion site. With Pilate’s permission, a disciple of Jesus named Joseph of Arimathea, alongside Nicodemus, took Jesus’ body and prepared it for an honorable burial. Then, the tomb was sealed and guarded by Roman soldiers (as stated in MATTHEW 27:62-66). Now on the first day of the week, which was Sunday, Mary Magdalene (who also had stood at the cross where Jesus died), could not contain the sorrow in her heart. What did she decide to do while it was still dark, and surprisingly what did she see (verse 1)? [*REFLECT #1a] Like Mary, do we miss Jesus? Do we miss Him to the point of arising while it is still dark, and praying, or going to a sacred place to be with Him one-to-one in the Word, with the Spirit? What surprise did the Lord give you during these moments? [*REFLECT #1b] Upon realizing the stone to the entrance of the tomb had been rolled away, what did Mary do and think happened (verse 2)? [*REFLECT #1c] When was your empty-tomb moment? How have we run away from the tomb instead of towards it to look in and trust in the risen Jesus? [*REFLECT #1d] When both Peter and the beloved disciple (reference to the author, disciple John) heard from Mary that someone may have taken Jesus’ body out of the tomb, they both ran to the tomb. John outran Peter and reached the tomb first, looking inside but not going inside. What did John see, and then what did Peter see once he arrived and entered in tomb (verse 3-7)? [*REFLECT #1e] By what John and Peter saw, how could this not have been the scene of a tomb robbery or someone who desired to steal the body of Jesus? [*REFLECT #1f] After Peter entered the tomb, John finally decides to go in as well. When John went in the tomb, what happened – although not fully yet (verse 8-10)? [*REFLECT #1g] *Why can’t seeing everything first grow genuine faith? When have we demanded to see before trusting in the Lord? Are we people in need of greater evidence or greater faith in Christ? RISEN TO TESTIFY (20:11-18) (Question #2) While Peter and John returned back to their homes, Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb, weeping. As she wept, she stopped to look into the tomb. What did she see, and what was asked of her by the ones she saw (verse 11-13)? [*REFLECT #2a] Even though Mary had encountered and seen two angels in the tomb, she continues to weep and express her reasons to stay in weeping. Even though God shows us of Himself daily in a powerful way, how have we continued to be in mourning, sorrow, weeping over rejoicing, growing, trusting? [*REFLECT #2b] Even with this angelic encounter, Mary decides to turn around from them. At that moment, who did she see but not recognize, and what same question does this person pose to her (verse 14-15)? [*REFLECT #2c] How have we not known Jesus, when He was right before us? [*REFLECT #2d] At what moment did Mary finally recognize it was Jesus before her (verse 16)? In such contrast to her state of weeping, what does Mary start to do, so much so that it was hindering Jesus from even ascending back to the Father (verse 17)? What did Mary do when she got back to the disciples, just as Jesus had commanded her (verse 18)? RISEN TO GIVE PEACE AND LIFE (20:19-31) (Question #3) On Sunday evening, while the doors were locked with no way of getting-in, what did Jesus do, say, and give (verse 19-23)? [*REFLECT #3a] The first words of Jesus after He rose from the dead were to be glad, receive His peace, His Holy Spirit, and His forgiveness. As we behold Jesus through His Word and Spirit today, how can we receive these today? [*REFLECT #3b] Thomas was not there when Jesus had come to reveal Himself to His disciples. When the other disciples told him what they had seen, how is Thomas’ reply characterized by over-the-top exaggerated demands of unbelief (verse 24-25)? How does Jesus meet those demands, and did Thomas need to do all he asked (verse 26-29)? [*REFLECT #3c] Why did John write this book (verse 30-31)? By reading John’s account, do you have life in His name?