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Bible Study Guide for Sunday, April 18, 2021

April 15, 2021
  • Acts 3:12-19
  • 1 John 3:1-7
  • Luke 24:36b-48
  • Psalm 4

This week’s readings sustain a theme of disbelief, not knowing, or people not believing what is right in front of them. In Acts, Peter and John have just healed a man who had been lame from birth and begged for his living at the temple gate. The man is now leaping for joy and praising God to the astonishment of the temple-goers around him. Paul’s letter to John draws connections between sin, the world, and not knowing God. And in the Gospel, Jesus’s disciples are so frightened by his sudden appearance that they’re more ready to believe in ghosts than in the presence of their friend.

Many outside the church find it easy to scoff at the idea of Jesus’s bodily resurrection. As Christians, we may feel a little embarrassed by this scoffing, and hurry to create some distance between ourselves and the more “supernatural” elements of Easter. Clearly, even in the very days after the Resurrection the idea of someone really, physically coming back to life was beyond belief for some. Similarly, the sight of a man who was disabled from birth now dancing and crying out for joy drew stares and murmurs.

It was no easier for the people of first-century Jerusalem to believe in the reality of the Resurrection than it is for us today. It’s not hard to detect the scolding tone in Peter’s words to the people at the temple, as in verse 2 of the psalm, displeased with the people’s waywardness and cruelty towards the One who came for their sake.

Yet Paul encourages us to “see what love the Father has given us,” despite our shock and confusion at the Resurrection: love shown through healing the sick, and sharing food with friends. After the chaos of Easter morning, Jesus is quick to reassure his disciples that it is still the same old Jesus. We don’t have the benefit the disciples did of being able to touch Jesus’s body and confirm the Resurrection for ourselves. Nevertheless, Paul says, “what we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him.”


  • What parts of the Easter story are most shocking or mystifying for you? Is there one aspect of it you get “stuck” on?
  • How has your understanding of the Resurrection changed over time?
  • Verse 6 of the psalm says, “Many are saying, ‘Oh, that we might see better times!’” How do you see the message of Easter applying to our hopes and fears for a post-COVID world

Author: Lindy Noecker


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