Lesson Twenty Six


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Memory Verse: Hebrews 13:5
Further Study: Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-13; Luke 24:1-43; John 20:1-21; The Desire of Ages, pp. 788-806; The Bible Story, vol. 9, pp. 151-164

Simone Biles is an American gymnastic phenom. At the 2016 Olympics she swept most of the medals for women’s gymnastics winning five medals, four of which were gold. Many consider her to be one of the greatest gymnasts of all time. High hopes and expectations were placed on her for the 2020 Olympics. Americans were set to watch her sweep the competition. Fans were on the edge of their seats ready to cheer her to victory when Biles unexpectedly withdrew from the competition due to “the twisties.” A disappointing end to what was an amazing story.

A disappointing end to what was an amazing story.

Jesus’ story seems to end like that. The Gospels spend chapter upon chapter detailing His life from His amazing birth story to His miracles to His teachings and more. Jesus amasses great followers ready to cheer Him on to victory. And then suddenly things take a twist, and He didn’t become the king of the Jews as they expected but died with common criminals. For all involved, it was a disappointing ending to what could have been a great story.

Simone Biles’ story didn’t end in 2020. She was able to overcome her challenges and has come back to win more world championship titles than any other gymnast. As I write she is in training to win more medals at the 2024 Olympics. Certainly, a better ending than one thought. But Jesus has a better comeback story than any athlete could ever write.

The climax of Jesus’ story is His resurrection. Interestingly the Gospel writers don’t give a lot of space to this amazing exclamation mark of His life. But if we concentrate only on the cross, while we may grasp the enormity of His sacrifice for us, it isn’t complete. The reason for rejoicing is found in the resurrection.

The reason for rejoicing is found in the resurrection. 

Because He lives, we can face tomorrow. Any challenge that we face today is easier because of the resurrection. It doesn’t take our problems away, but it gives us a focus for our future and a Companion for our journey.

Because He lives, we have no reason to fear. Today’s world is full of scary events. Society is rapidly growing increasingly evil. We think we’ve heard or seen a terrible thing, and the next day it is replaced by something more heinous. We can worry about ourselves or even more so for our children and grandchildren. But because Jesus lives, we can live in peace. We do not need to be afraid. Jesus holds our today, our tomorrow, and our future.

Let us spend this day rejoicing and the next and the next, because Jesus lives! We are renewed!

Digging Deeper 

The tomb was a busy place that resurrection morning. Read the comings and goings of the followers of Jesus, who woke up sad and fearful, but went away rejoicing!

  • While still dark and Jesus still rested in the tomb, Mary Magdalene and a group of other women started on their way separately to the tomb. 
  • While the women were on their way, a violent earthquake signaled the arrival of an angel from heaven. He rolled back the stone and called to Jesus to come out. The soldiers see the angel and see Jesus when He emerged from the tomb. Others were resurrected with Him.
  • Jesus and the angels left, as did the Roman soldiers, who went into the city. At this point Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb, saw the stone rolled away, and left to tell the disciples.
  • The other women arrived at the tomb. They saw an angel seated on the rolled away stone. Entering the tomb, they saw a second angel seated where Jesus had been laid. He gave them a message for the disciples. As the women left, the Roman guards arrived at the chief priest’s residence to tell him what they saw.
  • Mary Magdalene found Peter and John and told them the tomb was empty. The two set off at a run. John arrived first, but Peter entered the tomb first. They saw no angels and left wondering what has happened. Mary Magdalene arrived for the second time after the two disciples and lingered at the tomb. Stooping to look inside she saw two angels seated on the slab where Jesus once laid. They asked her why she was crying. She responded but turned and saw Jesus, thinking He was the gardener. Jesus asked the same question. She responded, but when Jesus said her name, she recognized Him.
  • Mary left to tell the disciples she saw Jesus. Jesus left ascending to heaven to receive personal assurance that His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father. He then returned where He appeared to the other women as they went on their way to report to the disciples the message given by the angel. At this point the morning is complete, but the day is not yet finished for Jesus and His followers.
  • Jesus appeared to Peter at some point. It may have been immediately after the women or early afternoon. He then appeared on the road to Emmaus as a stranger walking with two of His disciples. He accepted a dinner invitation but disappeared once He was recognized. The two disciples quickly headed back to tell the disciples they saw Jesus. As they walked into the room, an unseen Person entered with them. Jesus revealed Himself to the 10 disciples (Judas was dead and Thomas was missing). *
  • Jesus would continue to appear to others before ascending 40 days later.

*According to the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, pp. 558-560


Making it Real

This is a day to sing and rejoice. Choose your own songs and hymns to sing and hum through your day and week. For family worship, be sure to at least since this one that captures the essence of all the resurrection means. “Because He Lives” is number 526 in the Seventh-day Adventist hymnal. Don’t know the tune? You can find the music here: sdahymnals.com. Don’t have time to sing? Read the chorus aloud.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know who holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!


Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being a grandmother to two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus, and a granddaughter, who’s delighting everyone with her smiles. She is blessed to have all three living close by, continually bringing joy and delight.


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