Your Welcome Home!
April 1, 2004 - "Into the Word," a Bible Study by Anne Graham Lotz, is designed to draw you into God's Word. Although the study-question format may be more challenging than one might find in an article that provides all the answers, we believe that this format will help you to discover a treasure of truths and insights from God.
by Anne Graham Lotz
Have you ever felt unwelcome? Being excluded is a miserable feeling for anyone. And it was a miserable feeling years ago for Geoffrey, a young boy living in the slums of London.
When Geoffrey heard that evangelist D.L. Moody had come to preach in a local church, he decided to go hear him. After walking all day, Geoffrey arrived at the church as the sun was setting. Just as he was about to enter, a doorman spun him around and asked, "Just where do you think you're going, laddie?" Geoffrey explained that he had walked all the way across London to hear Moody. The doorman looked down at the little boy with uncombed hair, unwashed face, unclean clothes and unshod feet, then said, "Not you! You're too dirty to go inside!" He folded his arms and stood in front of the door, blocking the entrance.
Geoffrey tried to find another entrance, but all the other doors were locked. Finally, he plopped down on the front steps. Tears began to trickle down his cheeks.
Just then a distinguished-looking gentleman arrived. Noticing the tear stains on the young boy's cheeks, he stopped and asked, "What's wrong?" Geoffrey blurted, "I came to hear Dr. Moody preach, but they say I'm too dirty to go inside."
"Here, take my hand," the man said. Geoffrey placed his grimy little hand in the hand of the stranger, who clasped it tightly and said, "Come with me."
Hand-in-hand they walked up the steps. The doorkeeper who had forbidden the boy to enter now hastily opened the door wide. With the man still gripping his hand, Geoffrey walked down the center aisle of the church. The man seated him in the front row, then walked to the pulpit and began to preach. The man was D.L. Moody!
Geoffrey was allowed inside the church only because he was holding the hand of D.L. Moody. His acceptance was based solely on his identification and relationship with the great preacher.
After the journey of life, we will look up and see heaven. We're going to long for Home, but we are forbidden to enter. Heaven is closed to us, because we are too dirty in our sin to enter.
But Jesus offered us His hand at the cross. When we put our hand of faith in His, our sins are forgiven, we enter into a personal relationship with Him and He walks with us hand-in-hand. And when we reach the gates of heaven, they will be opened wide. Because of our relationship and identification with Him, we will be welcomed into our heavenly Home!*
WELCOMED BECAUSE HE AROSE
The Burial on Friday—See John 19:38-42; 1-9; 20:1-9
- Using the following Scriptures, describe the two men who buried Jesus: John 3:1-21, John 7:40-52, Matthew 27:57, Mark 15:43, Luke 23:51.
- Why do you think they identified with Jesus in His death when they had been afraid to during His life?
- What fear has kept you silent when you should have spoken up for Jesus?
- How do you think the disciples felt when they went to bed on that Friday night?
- What is the "Friday night" of your life?
- What did the religious leaders remember that Jesus' disciples forgot?
- What two barriers did the religious leaders erect to make sure no one got into the tomb of Jesus—and no one got out?
- What efforts to keep Jesus "buried" are you aware of today?
- How do you think the disciples felt on the Saturday following the death and burial of Jesus?
- What is the "Saturday" in your life?
- How effective were the barriers in keeping Jesus buried?
- When the angel rolled away the stone from the tomb's entrance, did Jesus walk out? If not, how and when did He get out? Relate this to Ephesians 1:18-21.
- Describe the various reactions to the resurrection of Jesus from Matthew 28:8, 28:11-15, 28:17; Mark 16:6-8; Luke 24:31-32, 24:36-45; John 20:20, 20:24-29.
- What is the "Sunday" in your life, and how have you responded to it?
- If God could raise Jesus from the dead, what do you think He cannot do for you?
See John 20:1-18
The Spiritual Emptiness
- From Mark 16:9, what do you think Mary Magdalene's life was like before she met Jesus?
- From Matthew 27:55-56, using your imagination, what do you think Mary's life was like after she met Jesus?
- From Matthew 27:55-61, describe Mary's experience on Friday.
- How do you think she felt on Saturday?
- Give the phrases from Matthew 28:1-2, 10-11 that reveal Mary's desperation as well as her confusion on Sunday morning.
- Without the resurrection, what would be our spiritual state? See 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.
- Give the physical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from each of the following references: Matthew 28:11, 28:12-15, 28:8-9; Luke 24:13-35, 24:39-43; John 20:6-7, 20:16-18, 20:7-19, 20:19-20, 20:26-28; Acts 4:20, 7:56, 9:1-6; and 1 Corinthians 15:6.
- What evidence is there today for the fact that Jesus is alive?
- What did the angels ask Mary in John 20:13? In what way are people "crying" today?
- From verse 13, put Mary's answer into your own words.
- What did Jesus ask Mary in verse 15? Give examples of people today who are looking for Jesus.
- What was Mary's twofold response to her encounter with Jesus? See verses 15-18. How was her response similar to those in Acts 4:8-13, 18-20, and Luke 24:13-25?
- Why do you think Mary did not recognize Jesus? How could you and I be blinded in the same way to His presence in our lives?
- What caused Mary to recognize Jesus was in her life? Link this to John 10:3-4, 14; and Romans 10:17.