Easter 2019 at CBC
Join us for a journey with Peter. From first call to a chance to reflect as he shares with Jesus the Passover meal – Jesus’ Last Supper.
The events then turn to the garden and Jesus’ arrest, the loud scenes of overnight and then the tough scenes of that first Good Friday.
The big questions of Saturday turn to even bigger questions of Sunday. ‘Perhaps the best thing is to go back to what I do best’ thinks Peter… the final scene is with Peter on the beach…
Welcome to the 2019 Easter Experience at Cosham Baptist Church.
It’s really great that you’re here and we hope you find your visit today a real and full experience that is interesting, challenging, encouraging and engaging. We also hope that you find you have time to meet with God and to reflect on Easter on a deeper level. We are praying for you and are here for you if you wish to talk to someone.
Peter was born around 1BC and died around 67AD.
He was a fisherman by trade and was one of the first people that Jesus called to be a disciple.
He was an impulsive character and this sometimes got him into trouble. He was the only human, as far as we know, to have ever walked on water. His impulsiveness meant that while he sometimes got it wrong he also experienced amazing things as he journeyed with Jesus as he was someone who always took some risks.
God used him in a powerful way and many today relate well to Peter. His original name was Simon but Jesus changed him name to Peter, which means ‘rock’ and it was of him that Jesus said:
“You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.” (Matthew 16:18)
As you walk through this experience and see the life of Peter ask God to show you what He wants to show you. Pray you will experience the message of Easter in a new and fresh way as you allow God to speak to you through the life of Peter.
THE FIRST BEACH
You are about to see that everyone has amazing potential.
Jesus calls Peter
One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.
When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.
Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
- Do you think Peter felt proud that Jesus used his boat?
Peter must have seen something in Jesus because he calls him, Master and he does what he asks him.
- Do you think Peter set out his boat after a long night reluctantly or expectantly?
- When you sense Jesus asking you to do something do you do so reluctantly or expectantly?
Overjoyed by a large catch of fish Peter is suddenly aware of his own failings and asks Jesus to leave him alone.
- What emotions come to mind when you experience Jesus’ presence?
- What stops you living out the full potential that God has for you?
Maybe it’s feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness. Ask God to show you and to help you hand them over to him so you can walk in His full potential for you.
His desire is to fill, equip and enable you… take a look at some of the verses on the floor and as you notice the padlocks imagine Jesus unlocking your heart and speaking these words to you.
Know God has a full potential for you!
THE UPPER ROOM.
- How do you think Peter and his friends were feeling after having lived life with Jesus for three years?
- In what way have you grown in friendship with others? How have you ‘shared life’ with others?
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.”
- Jesus washing the disciples’ feet was an intimate act. In what ways do you experience intimacy with Jesus?
- Maybe you are struggling to have an intimacy with Jesus. Tell him and ask him to make himself known to you on a deeper level?
Is there anything in your life that is stopping this intimacy?
JESUS SAYS PETER WILL DENY HIM
On the way, Jesus told them, “All of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say,
‘God will strike the Shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.’
But after I am raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.”
Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
“No!” Peter declared emphatically. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the others vowed the same.
- How do you think Peter felt after Jesus told him he would deny him three times?
- In what ways do we deny Jesus?
- What picture would you like of your life with Jesus?
Peter kept falling asleep even after Jesus had asked him to stay awake.
- How do you imagine Peter felt? Guilty? Or did he think Jesus was overreacting?
JESUS PRAYS IN THE GARDEN
They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before. When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say.
When he returned to them the third time, he said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But no—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”
And immediately, even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders. The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss. Then you can take him away under guard.” As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. “Rabbi!” he exclaimed, and gave him the kiss.
Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.
Jesus asked them, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there among you teaching every day. But these things are happening to fulfil what the Scriptures say about me.”
Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away. One young man following behind was clothed only in a long linen shirt. When the mob tried to grab him,
Mark 14:32-51 New Living Translation (NLT)
- What temptations are you facing in your life? How honest with Jesus are you being about them? Are you trying to excise them as not a problem?
- What will it mean for you to be honest with Jesus?
- What do you want to bring and leave in the garden?
- Write down a temptation you are struggling with, leave it in a pot.
- Is there an area of life you want to fully give to God – not my will, but yours… similarly, write it down and place in a pot
You are about to journey overnight.
- Have you ever had a really awful night?
- What thoughts and feelings do you recall from that night?
JESUS’ TRIALS and PETER’S DENIAL
They took Jesus to the high priest’s home where the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law had gathered. Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and went right into the high priest’s courtyard. There he sat with the guards, warming himself by the fire.
Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find evidence against Jesus, so they could put him to death. But they couldn’t find any. Many false witnesses spoke against him, but they contradicted each other. Finally, some men stood up and gave this false testimony: “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, made without human hands.’” But even then they didn’t get their stories straight!
Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?”
“Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!”
Then some of them began to spit at him, and they blindfolded him and beat him with their fists. “Prophesy to us,” they jeered. And the guards slapped him as they took him away.
Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.”
But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed.
When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, “This man is definitely one of them!” But Peter denied it again.
A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, “You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.”
Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” And immediately the rooster crowed the second time.
Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept.
Very early in the morning the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law—the entire high council—met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.
Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus replied, “You have said it.”
Then the leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?” But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.
Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner—anyone the people requested. One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising. The crowd went to Pilate and asked him to release a prisoner as usual.
“Would you like me to release to you this ‘King of the Jews’?” Pilate asked. (For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.) But at this point the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”
They shouted back, “Crucify him!”
“Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”
But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.
Mark 14:53-15:15 New Living Translation (NLT)
- Jesus had the worse night of his life and he was all alone. Can you recall a time when you felt all alone?
- Bring to Jesus any feelings of loneliness and ask him to give you a tangible sense of his presence.
- In the stillness of this room ask God to show you how you can fill the void of loneliness in someone else.
This is Calvary…this is the place Jesus died.
As you read the story ask God to speak to you through it.
The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard of the governor’s headquarters (called the Praetorium) and called out the entire regiment. They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head. Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.
A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.) And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it.
Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece. It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. A sign announced the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.” Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.
The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!”
The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!”
Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!”
Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome. They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there.
This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.
Mark 15:16-47 New Living Translation (NLT)
- Ask yourself why the cross makes you sad?
Notice Peter is nowhere to be seen. He has run away from Jesus just like the Prodigal Son ran away from his father in Luke 15.
- In what ways do we run from Jesus?
The cross is the place where we receive forgiveness, what are the things you want to name before the cross and ask forgiveness for?
SATURDAY – THE HIDING ROOM
- Take a moment to look around. What do you notice?
Jesus died yesterday. Today is a day of silence, numbness and maybe questions.
Wayne writes: “My dad died at 7.15pm on Saturday 13 April 1985. I remember walking downstairs on the Sunday morning. This was the day after he had died.
“There was a silence and a stillness to the house and it hung in the air like a strong smell.
“There was a sense that from today nothing was ever going to be the same again.
“Confusion, anger and worry about the future consumed my brain and I couldn’t comprehend that my dad was not there anymore.
“I felt a sadness that was so powerful it almost sucked the air out of me to the point that I thought I would never breathe properly again.
“Lots of questions spun around me but the loudest was simply. Why did dad die?”
Try to imagine you are the disciples the day after Jesus died.
- What do you feel? What do you say? What do you ask?
Maybe you have questions to ask about Jesus’ death.
Maybe you’ve experience the death of someone close to you and you have lots of questions.
Know that it’s ok to ask questions.
THE EMPTY TOMB
Today is SUNDAY! Today it is very early and the tomb where Jesus was is now empty!
Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home.
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her.
“Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
“Mary!” Jesus said.
She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).
“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
John 20:1-29 New Living Translation (NLT)
- If you were Peter how do you think you would be feeling as you ran for the tomb?
Jesus’ resurrection is a huge victory. He overcame death. It means that what was once impossible now becomes possible.
- What impossible situations do you feel in your own life?
- Can you dare to believe that because of Jesus’ victory over the impossible He could change your impossible into a possible?
- Write down your impossible situation and leave it in the tomb.
THE SECOND BEACH
This is the day Peter is reinstated.
Breakfast on the Beach
Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.
Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
“We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.
At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”
“No,” they replied.
Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.
Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. The others stayed with the boat and pulled the loaded net to the shore, for they were only about a hundred yards from shore. When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread.
“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.
“Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
“I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”
John 21:1-19 New Living Translation (NLT)
- How must Peter have felt?
- Moving away from Peter to yourself, are there things in your life that you need a fresh start from?
- Easter is about God giving us a fresh start.
- How might you embrace the fresh start that is on offer to you?
- Spend some time resting in God’s embrace and know that He offers you a new start.