Have you ever had a major, deep disappointment over something? Maybe it was something you were really truly hoping for with all of your heart, and then everything seems to fall apart in an instant. The weight of the disappointment is crushing. But then, in the same scenario, have you ever had it come back and change? This is exactly what the disciples were feeling when Jesus was killed. ALL of their hope had been in Jesus- they had left everything to follow Him! When he died, I imagine they were wandering around, some in hiding, but all feeling the weight of the deepest kind of disappointment. Picture the absolute JOY they experienced when they saw Him alive and believed!
We looked at Luke 24 this week, which is the story of the resurrection of Jesus. As you read about this with your family, be sure to include some context. It’s important to understand the weight the disciples were feeling in this chapter, to really get the level of joy they experienced later. Remember, they had staked their entire lives on Jesus being the Messiah and the one to redeem Israel. They were following Him no matter the cost. After watching the worst possible thing happen (Jesus being killed), they met Jesus again, fully alive! In Luke 24:44-48, Jesus helps them further understand the depth of the good news they’ve experienced, He commands them to share their joy with everyone.
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At dinner this week, look at Luke 15:7 and Luke 15:10. What do they say about how heaven responds to just one person trusting Christ? Discuss with your kids what it means to truly repent and to trust Jesus. (Admit you are wrong, ask for forgiveness, turn back to God and away from your sin.) Just as God has brought us joy through Jesus, we can also bring Him joy through repentance!
While driving in the car this week, start a discussion on events in your family’s life that have been life-changing. (Mom & Dad getting married, a new baby, moving, a new school, etc.) Why were these events life-changing? Would you say knowing Jesus is alive has been life changing too? Why or why not?
During bedtime this week, ask your child why we can have joy because Jesus is alive. Has this changed everything for you? If so, discuss the hope and joy we can have because of Jesus being alive, and because God is always trustworthy.
One morning this week (maybe Saturday), have a celebratory breakfast together, complete with balloons, pancakes, homemade party hats, and anything else your kids want to make from what you have around the house. Be silly and make it fun! Rejoice together that Jesus is alive, and thank God together that God loves for us to express our joy!
Thank God that Jesus is alive and used the disciples to spread the good news of great joy all the way to you! Ask God to reveal things in your life that are blocking you from the joy that comes only from Him.
Next week we will continue discussing joy, by looking at how David responded to being hunted by Saul in 1 Samuel 22.
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