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Jesus: No Additions Needed
SECURING THE TOMB — A joke heard around the Pentagon goes like this:
One reason the Services have trouble operating jointly is that they don't speak the same language. For example, if you told Navy personnel to "secure a building," they would turn off the lights and lock the doors.
Army personnel would occupy the building so no one could enter.
Marines would assault the building, capture it, and defend it with suppressive fire and close combat.
The Air Force, on the other hand, would take out a three-year lease with an option to buy.
It seems to me that there was some misunderstanding regarding the "securing" of a location in Palestine in the first century as well.
"On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, 'Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, "After three days I will rise." Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, "He has risen from the dead." So the last deception will be worse than the first.' Pilate said to them, 'You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.' So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard." (Matthew 27:62-66).
The Jewish and Roman leaders' idea of "securing the tomb" meant putting a big rock in front of it. Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for us), Jesus' idea was to secure the tomb's place in history by rising from the dead. Mere rocks are unable to hold back the one who created the universe! What hope is ours because of what happened that glorious morning nearly 2,000 years ago! Praise God for the resurrection of His precious Son!
Opening Questions — Get Us Thinking:
- When you were a child or for someone who didn’t grow up going to church, what did you think made a person "religious"?
Spiritual Fullness in Christ — Colossians 2:6-15
6So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forcesa of this world rather than on Christ.
9For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the fleshb was put off when you were circumcised bycChrist, 12having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made youd alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.e
Research Questions — “Dig Deeper” to find God’s Will
- God is ... What do we learn about God?
- We are ... What do we learn about people?
- What had the Colossians received (v. 6)? What does “living in Christ” (v. 6) involve?
- How should Paul's readers understand the phrase "rooted and built up" in verse 7?
- What were the Colossians "taught" as indicated in verse 7? What was the focus?
- What does Paul see as the source of knowledge for true philosophy (v. 8)?
- What are “the basic principles of this world” (vv. 8, 20) and the “powers and authorities” (vv. 10, 15)? How did Christ give the Colossians victory over these?
- What kind of circumcision is done by Christ (v. 11)” How did he do it (vv. 12-15)? How does Paul use the word "baptism" in verse 12?
- Who made the Colossians (and all other Christians) alive (v. 13)? What experiences does the believer share with Christ (vv. 9-13)? What implications are drawn from this (vv. 13, 16-17, 20-23)?
- What is the "written code" Paul writes of in verse 14? What is meant by Paul when he says "nailed to the cross" (v. 14)?
- How are powers and authorities disarmed (v. 15)? Is the "he" of verse 15 referring to God or Christ?
- What additions do people add to God’s plan of salvation today?
- Last week we looked at “fine sounding arguments” and this week he points us to Christ and the cross. Do we still need to emphasize the same message? How?
- How do we make spiritual progress without adding to the God’s plan?
- I will ... What has the Holy Spirit revealed to you in this passage? How will you apply it to your life this week?
- You can ... Who do you know who needs to hear this?
- How does this equip us be a better disciple and help empower us to “make disciples”?
Unless there is within us that which is above us, we shall soon yield to that which is about us.