Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1. Easter and April Fool’s Day fall on the same date this year! Did anyone try to play an April Fool’s joke on you this week? Tell about it, or a memorable prank from the past.
2. People may react to shocking news by saying, “You must be joking!” Do you recall a time when someone gave you news that was so wonderful or so horrible that you reacted in that way? What was it?
Read Luke 24:1-8.
1. What is meant by the old saying, “It is always darkest before the dawn”? Note the literal daylight conditions as the women headed for the tomb. What figurative dark thoughts were they probably thinking, based on the events of the preceding days?
2. Contrast the literal and figurative darkness of vv. 1-3 with the literal and figurative brightness of vv. 4-8. The word “remember(ed)” appears twice within the span of three verses. What role has remembering played in bringing light to your darkest days?
Read Luke 24:9-12.
3. Several women are mentioned by name in the context of Jesus’ death and resurrection. In addition to those cited in these verses, note the names in Matthew 27:55, 56; Mark15:40, 41, 47; Luke 8:1-3. Considering who these women were and what they had done, how do you feel about the reaction their testimony received from the apostles?
4. As with any good mystery story, Luke tells that evidence for the resurrection continued to be revealed bit by bit. What was some of this evidence? Imagine how Peter might have begun processing what he had seen and heard.
Read Luke 24:30-35.
5. Luke 24:13-27 describes a conversation between two travelers who were also trying to make sense of the events of the day. List the facts as they knew them. What was the impact when they were challenged by Jesus to remember what they had learned from Scripture and add it to their facts? See verse 32.
6. Compare Luke 24:30 to Luke 22:19. Do you think the similarities between the two verses are significant? Explain how the fact that believers continue to partake in the Lord’s Supper two millennia after it was instituted is evidence that the resurrection is “no joke.”
7. Luke 24 is filled with people constantly on the move as they learned about the resurrection. Trace the journeys of the women, Peter, and the travelers to Emmaus. How does Jesus’ resurrection motivate you and other believers to get up and get going?