The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ are foundational to all Christian teaching. As the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:17, "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." Make it a priority to teach your teens about the significance of the resurrection.
Just the Facts
The resurrection is recorded in each of the four Gospels. Read and discuss the accounts in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20 with your teens. Have your teens work together as if they were investigating an unusual or strange event; a man rising from the dead certainly qualifies as unusual and strange. Have them list all of the claims that the gospel accounts make of the resurrection.
Question the Witnesses
Have your teens make a list of the people who witnessed the resurrection according to the gospel accounts. This should include the disciples, the women who went to anoint the body of Jesus, the soldiers who guarded his tomb and those who saw Jesus after he rose again. Ask your teens, "What questions would we ask these witnesses if you could interview them?" Read 1 Corinthians 15 with them, focusing on verses 1-8. Explain that this passage was written during a time when many of the witnesses were still alive and could have been questioned. Have your teens answer their interview questions as they think the witnesses would have.
Examine the Evidence
Encourage your teens to examine the evidence for the resurrection. More than 500 eye witnesses who had nothing to gain except the persecution of the governing authorities claimed that Jesus had risen from the dead. That would qualify as a strong case in any court of law. For additional information regarding the evidence for the resurrection, consider picking up and reading a copy of Josh McDowell's "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" or Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christ." Interestingly, both of these authors started out trying to disprove the resurrection -- McDowell as an historian and Strobel as an investigative journalist -- and converted to Christianity as a result of the overwhelming evidence supporting the resurrection.
Render a Verdict
Encourage your teens to consider the evidence and the testimony of the witnesses and to render a verdict. If Jesus Christ demonstrated power over death, then he is "The way, the truth and the life," as he claimed to be and is worthy of your teens' devotion and faith, especially in light of his promise in John 14:2-3, which states, "My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
- Dare to Share: Let's Put the Resurrection on Trial
- Youth World: Lesson 4: The Meaning of the Resurrection
- Leadership U: Evidence for the Resurrection by Josh McDowell
- Bible Gateway: 1 Corinthians 15
- Bible Gateway: Matthew 28
- Bible Gateway: Mark 16
- Bible Gateway: Luke 24
- Bible Gateway: John 20-21
- Bible Gateway: John 14