Easter Confessions

NextSunday Study Easter Confessions

Easter Confessions

Study by David M. May
Commentary by Cecil Sherman

Easter Confessions Print Study $5.99


Easter Confessions NSS eBook $4.99

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Brief Description

“Confession” is a slippery word in our language today. For many people, confessions are the stuff of TV courtroom dramas and police precincts, often public admissions of guilt related to crimes. In our context, confession also calls to mind a tabloid divulging the latest tidbit about a particular celebrity. Among religious folks, however, confession has a variety of meanings. Confession is what we do on the far side of sin. We hear preachers and laypeople talk about “the confession of sins.” The word is also used to describe a set of foundational beliefs, such as in the case of an early Baptist statement of faith called the 1689 London Confession of Faith. With so many variations on the word “confession,” it needs a qualifier and a context to help us understand its intended meaning. For these next five sessions, the best qualifier for the word confession is Easter, and the context of these Easter confessions is the Gospel of John.

An Easter confession is the belief that the Resurrection of Jesus has forever changed the way we view self, family, friends, enemies, creation, and the cosmos. It means that all words and actions revolve around the axis of resurrection. No event, no matter how tragic or full of grace, can be viewed through any lens other than that of resurrection. It is this Easter confession that best captures the author’s understanding of Jesus’ story in the fourth Gospel. Writing from the other side of the empty tomb, the author of the Gospel presupposes resurrection from his first words, “In the beginning…” (1:1), until his last, “…the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (21:25).

As the study of these five lessons will show, Easter confession is often found on many different lips in the Gospel of John. The beginning session from chapter 3 illustrates Jesus himself rendering one of the most familiar confessions in all Scripture—if not all literature—when he attempts to bring light into the darkness of Nicodemus. Sometimes in John, confessions say more than the person actually intends or understands, as seen in chapter 11 with Martha’s Easter confession. Some confessions can carry both great truth and dark consequences. The crowds confessed Jesus as King of Israel in chapter 12, and their confession became Jesus’ epitaph upon a Roman cross. In chapter 20, Mary and Thomas utter some of the earliest Easter confessions on this side of the empty tomb. When we listen carefully, those ancient confessions still echo into this new millennium.

Materials Included
• 5 Sessions of Learner’s Materials
• 5 Sessions of Teaching Materials
• 5 Handouts

Sessions Included
1. So Must the Son of Man Be Lifted Up
2. You Are the Christ
3. The Whole World Has Gone after Him
4. I Have Seen the Lord
5. My Lord and My God

Age Group

1. John 3:14-21
2. John 11:17-27, 38-40
3. John 12:12-19
4. John 20:1-18
5. John 20:19-31

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