My Personal Study Guide to The Easter Experience Video Series

the easter experience photo
A Great Study of the Resurrection is The Easter Experience, by City on a Hill Productions. It is available online or at Christian bookstores. I would recommend it to help you visualize the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I have written my own personal study guide on the dvd series and would recommend it to you as you worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Easter Experience, Video 1: My Life Has A Purpose
1. When you read Mark 10:35-45 identify the major characters?
2. What strange request did the two brothers make of Jesus?
3. What important lesson about leadership did Jesus teach?
4. God challenges us to make our purpose in life being a servant which leads to the question, “why would anyone choose to be a servant?”
5. Are you a servant of God? Why or why not?
6. Are you a servant of others? Why or why not?
7. Is it possible to be a servant of God and not a servant of others? Why or why not?
8. Describe what being a servant of others “feels like”? What does it feel when you don’t serve others? Which experience is better and makes you fulfilled?
9. Describe the fulfillment experienced when you really know your purpose in life, and that purpose is something beyond what you think you can do, then God does it through you and you experience life’s greatest fulfillment? Describe this fulfillment.
10. What is the biggest obstacle that keeps you from total surrender to be a servant?

The Easter Experience, Video 2: My Life Can Change
1. How do you personally deal with regrets in life?
2. What have you learned from others about how they deal with their regrets?
3. The biggest difference between remorse and repentance is seen to what or whom you turn.
a. To what or whom do you turn in remorse?
b. To what or whom do you turn in repentance?
4. How would you describe the phrase “turning to Jesus” to someone who didn’t know what it meant?
5. Why is it that most people first try to handle their own regrets personally rather than take them to Jesus first?
6. When you fail or miss the target, to what or whom do you turn first?
7. If you have tried to fix a failure or falling short, how did it turn out?
8. If you gave a failure or falling short to the Lord, how did it turn out? 

The Easter Experience, Video 3: My Pain Is Understood
1. If God is in control, why can’t He keep me from having pain?
2. If God is in control and has all power, is my personal pain due to Him not caring about me or loving me?
3. Read Hebrews 1:1-4 and tell what you notice about Jesus in these verses.
4. Read Hebrews 2:10-11 and tell what the passage shares about the suffering Jesus experienced did for Him.
5. The word “perfect” means “complete”. As a man, God the Son experienced something that He could never experience as God. Why is it important that Jesus experienced and knows how it is to hurt, to hunger, to thirst, and to remain faithful to the Father even when in agony?
6. What is the consequence of Jesus’ sufferings in regard to His relationship with us, as we read in Hebrews 2:11?
7. Read Hebrews 2:14-18 and look for what comes out of Jesus’ sufferings. What type of sufferings, emotional, relational, and physical, did Jesus not experience as a man?
8. Can Jesus relate to your hurts?
9. Describe the whip the Romans used to whip Jesus.
10. What did the Romans soldiers try to do when whipping a prisoner?

The Easter Experience, Video 4: My Life Has A Plan
1. What are your expectations for what will happen in your life? What do you expect not to happen to you in life?
2. In what ways has your life been different from what you expected?
3. As a Christian, respond to this statement: “Since Jesus is my Master, I expect my life to be fairly smooth and easy”,
4. How do you “know” what to expect from God?
5. From your experience, do believers and non-believers have the same expectations in life?
6. How can we, who are by nature evil, define what a good God should do?
7. What is your opinion of the following statement: “We should expect that whatever a good God does is good, even if we can’t see that good yet”?
8. Since God let His own Son suffer on a cross horribly and then die a horrific death, yet is still considered “good”, what does that imply about what He allows to happen in our lives, while He still remains “good”?
9. Read the following verses and rank them from #1, the verse that I most want true in my life (as #1), to #6, the verse that I least want true in my life (as #6). Here’s the list: Matthew 6:33; Matthew 7:7-8; John 10:10; Romans 8:17; Philippians 1:29; I Peter 4:12-13)
10. Which three verses promise you the most “good” and what three verses promise you the least “good”?
The Most Good The Least Good
1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.

The Easter Experience, Video 5: I Have the Promise of Eternal Life
1. Rembrandt painted himself into his portrayal of the crucifixion. If you were to paint yourself into the scene, what do you see yourself as doing and where would you be while doing it?
2. Of all the characters in the scene of the cross, with whom do you most identify and why?
3. During a part of the crucifixion scene, two criminals are viewed. In your opinion, what leads a person to steal what someone else has and use it for himself?
4. The two thieves could be described as habitual thieves. What would you be described if you were called by what sin you commit habitually?
5. When you end up doing the same wrong over and over, what effect does it have on you? What effect does it have on your relationship with Christ?
6. Something Jesus said or did changed the criminal, though we don’t know what it was. What did Jesus do or say that originally changed and led you to turn toward Him?
7. We sometimes hear, “If you were the only person on earth, Jesus would have died for you”. If you were the only person on earth, are your wrongs so bad that Jesus would have to die for you?
8. Take your Bible and turn to James 2:8-11. We are told that whoever falters at one point of the law, even something as “small” as showing favoritism to one person over another, is guilty of breaking “all” the law? In what ways do you agree and disagree with that statement?

The Easter Experience, Video 6: My Hope is Secure name ___________________
1. Which “scene” of the resurrection most impresses you? What was it about that scene that stood out to you?
2. What actions in your life have been most changed by your belief in the resurrection?
3. Have you ever personally experienced the condition described by the word “hopeless”? How would you describe that “hopelessness”? Are you still hopeless or what changed it back into hope?
4. Why does God allow us times of seeming hopelessness?
a. To _______ our faith- will we believe in Him even when we don’t see Him working?
b. To _____________ our faith- so we can see that He indeed can rescue us from anything.
c. To ___________ our faith- to show us our faith is in circumstances rather than in Him.
4. We see that there are 3 assurances that come from Jesus rising from the dead.
a. We can be confident that Jesus will do what He ______________________________________.
b. We can be confident in our ____________________________ with God.
c. We can be confident Jesus will _____________________________ back for us.
Which of these assurances means the most to you?
5. What is the most telling evidence for you that Jesus resurrected from the dead? Explain your answer.
a. Multiple witnesses
b. Christianity began
c. Martyrs and people willing to suffer for their claims that Jesus rose from the dead.
d. Scripture which verifies the resurrection
e. Jesus fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies, including those which point to His resurrections
6. Read I Corinthians 15:50-58 and tell in your own words the ultimate consequence of the resurrection for your life that isn’t just that “I’m going to heaven”. Also tell what we should be doing as a result of this ultimate consequence.
a. The ultimate consequence of the resurrection in my life-
b. What 3 things should I be doing as a result of this ultimate consequence?
7. Read John 20:11 to 18 and put yourself in the account, as someone watching the events described and then going to your family to share what you have just seen. Write out what you would tell someone about what your story would be.


Twenty-one Days of Prayer, Day 19, The Lost, I John 5:12
March 12, 2015, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book

When I wrote the title for this writing, I used the word “lost” because that is the term we often use for a person who doesn’t have a relationship with God. I John 5:12 gives us God’s point of view which is “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” Notice the term “lost” is not used. In fact the term used is “life”. I am either a person who has life or doesn’t have life. You are either a person who has life or doesn’t have life. From verse 1 to verse 12, we have a section that tells us of the witnesses or evidences that we have the Son, and therefore life. Here are a few: if you have life, you will love God; love other Christians; keep God’s commandments; overcomes the world; and the Holy Spirit. When you read this passage, do you receive this as God’s true statements or do you begin to rationalize away the evidences because in your personal experience some or all of these may not be evident in your life. Without realizing what we’re doing, we have elevated personal, human experience as a greater authority than God while at the same time doing what is recorded in verse 10. See the phrase “made him a liar”? Who is the “him”? God. You see when I don’t believe what God speaks, even though I may claim to love Him and want to worship and praise Him, I can’t because I am calling Him a liar. So, how can I possible surrender my life to Someone to make me God’s son based on what He tells me is true about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ if I then can’t believe evidences that will show I am saved. Here is the dilemma many people have, what makes me a Christian? Sadly, I am convinced that many who call themselves “Christians” are doing so because they were swept up in an emotional service or difficult time in their lives, and want to go to heaven rather than hell, so that professed belief but that belief was empty because they didn’t begin to act upon their beliefs. Jesus said, If any will come after me (salvation) let him deny himself, take up his cross, and act upon his belief by following me. So i praying for the lost, my prayer is for those who admit they aren’t alive in Christ because they don’t have a relationship with Him. I pray that they come to know Jesus Christ and have an encounter with Him that forever alters their life. I also need to pray for those who don’t realize they are not alive because they want to establish their evidence of a relationship with Jesus Christ that is contrary to Christ’s . These “unsaved” think they have a relationship with Christ, but sadly, He doesn’t know them. God, break my heart and open my eyes to see others as you see them.

Twenty-One Days of Prayer, Ministry, 2 Corinthians 5
March 9, 2015, 7:26 pm
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book

the cross
In 2 Corinthian 5, verse 20, we immediately see the words “now then” which point our attention to what has been said in the previous verses. In Christ, we are new creatures with a new ministry, that of reconciling others to Christ. We are ambassadors, a term that is related to “elder”. Please don’t stop and think, this is a message for pastors because here the word is describing one who is older, more experienced and able to represent our King to the world. We are to be pleading with others to be reconciled with God through the Good News and yet, the verse indicates that it is as if our words were God’s words, speaking and urging the lost to come to Jesus. Here is one thing I must pray: God let me allow Your passion for people to come through me. God help me to have an obsession to see people come to You that I “pray” or “implore” with others to be brought into the right relationship with God. The next verse is the translation of 15 Greek words which reveal and explain the doctrines of imputation and substitution. God treated the sinless Son of God as if He were guilty of all the sins ever committed, although He had committed none. God poured out His wrath upon Jesus, until it was all gone. God’s just requirement was fulfilled and sin was once and for all completely judged. But then we are to share the glorious rest of the Good News, God has chosen to impute the righteousness of Jesus while on the earth to each true and authentic believer in Jesus Christ. The glorious great message of the Good News that we are to share is that God treated Jesus as if He had committed all the sins ever committed while treating believers as if they had committed all the righteous acts and deeds of Jesus Christ. God help me to be excited and enthusiastic about such a glorious truth and give me the passion and power to faithfully share the Good News consistently. Live and work through me as You touch one life at a time with Your glorious unconditional love and grace.

Twenty-One Days of Prayer, Day 17, Psalm 139:23-24, Search My Heart.

Psalm 139 search my heart
Twenty-One Days of Prayer, Day 17, Psalm 139:23-24, My Heart. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
When I read this really personal Psalm, I see David focusing on the fact that the Most High God knows the most intimate detail about his life. In verses 19 to 22, David has laid open his soul as he expresses his hatred of those who oppose God. Now in verses 23 to 24 he asks God to search his heart to root out any unrighteousness, even in the request that he had just made. David realizes that every thought is open before God so he asks God to put His spotlight on everything in his life. When I read the words David spoke before God, the Holy Spirit prompts me to be this open and honest as well. God, explore every part of me, go to the corners and hidden places and find every microscopic speck that I have tried to hide from everyone. But God not only can’t I hide anything from You, I don’t want to try. Dig deeply and discover the real me. The only way that I can walk with you is for you to intimately know my inner most being. God, I am not praying that you learn stuff about me, I am praying that you have ultimate intimacy with me. I want to lower my mask and image so that you can see what no one else can see. Then God, put me to the test as you get a clear picture of who I am. The tough part of what David wrote is asking God to try him. God, I ask that You put me through the furnace, if I need it, so that you can remove the dross from my life. I don’t know what You have prepared for me, but You do. I trust You to get me ready for what is next for me. Please God, take away my rebellion and disobedience because they stand between You and me being as close as You desire and I need. God direct me to walk with You forever.

Twenty-One Days of Prayer, Day 16, Pray for the Titus’, Our Missionaries (2 Corinthians 4:1-6)

Cletis and Tammy
Following a passage on the New Covenant, the Apostle Paul, wrote “Therefore, since we have this ministry”. Therefore is such a powerful word in Scripture. Paul is saying, since we have the ministry of sharing the Good News of the Gospel, we do not lose heart, or abandon your commitment to the Gospel like a coward. That is the ministry of Tammy and Cletis Titus. Their hearts are so committed to sharing the Gospel that obstacles are not roadblocks to ministry but platforms on which to proclaim the goodness and love of our God. As I pray for them, I thank God for giving them the ministry that they have. The difficulties that they encounter, have not served as reasons to walk away, but as opportunities to show the grace and mercy, power and strength, love and care of our mighty God. They face difficulties and discouragement but don’t lose heart because they rest in Him. Please God, remind them of your power and love when struggles come. I also want to pray, thanking you for their faithfulness in proclaiming God’s Word. They share a love for the Word, and love to share that love with those they are ministering. From faithful preaching of God’s truth, to the training of new converts, they give God’s Word. Please God help them when sharing Your Word. Then God, I pray for those to whom they minister to have the light of the Holy Spirit cast upon the Word. I pray that the influence of Satan, the god of this world, would be curtailed and that You would prepare hearts to hear and receive the Gospel. Help Cletis and Tammy be guided by Your light and give them wisdom to see life the way You are looking at it. Help them to continue to preach Christ and to make Him the star of their ministry. The One who spoke light into existence, will shine in our hearts to give knowledge of the glory of God as that glory was in the face of Jesus. Help Cletis and Tammy see Your glory and never let them get over each encounter with You. God continue to use the Titus’ and expand their ministry as You desire. God, use them and empower them to do amazing things for Your glory.

Twenty-One Days of Prayer, Day 15, Our Desire (Psalm 37:3-4)

1970 Dodge Challenger
“Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” When I began reading Psalm 37, I noticed that it is a little unusual as a Psalm because most Psalms are expressions of praise and worship directed to the Most High and Amazing God, yet this Psalm is written to me. One of the struggles that a Christian may have, and I think if we’re being honest, most of us do, is “why the ungodly prosper while the godly seem to struggle through life?” The problem with this question is the attitude of selfishness behind it. It is based on a wrong belief that if life (here we are really saying “God”, but are afraid of offending Him) is fair, then because I have surrendered my life to serve God, I should be blessed with a life full of all the things I need and most of the things I want. Anyone who refuses to receive Christ and instead go their own way, following their self-centered desires, should suffer. In my world, this will humble them and bring them to the end of their ropes, so they will turn to Christ as their only hope. Anyone who sees how God blesses me, will then understand that the best choice they can make to get saved and follow Christ, and watch the blessings flow into my life from God. Can I call “Time-Out”? If you stop and think about this view, God is reduced to a genie in a bottle, called upon to give me everything I can desire. He is my slave, working for me, and fulfilling my plan for my life. God calls to us in this Psalm to correct this view and call us to follow Him and see that He is the treasure. God, please help me to see that You are the Treasure, the Most Valuable and Most Important and Priceless God. If everything is stripped away from my life, and all that I am left with if my relationship with God, I am wealthy. I have my treasure that is worth more than anything and everything I can have in this world. I also need to remember that my relationship with you is eternal. This life is but a blink in time when you compare it to eternity.
So what are the steps to put this mindset to death? First, “Trust in the LORD, and do good”. The reason I struggle with what the ungodly have and I don’t have is because I don’t trust the Lord. Pure and simple, I struggle because I don’t trust God. His viewpoint about what is important in life should be my viewpoint, but it isn’t because I am selfish. Before I was saved, I bought a 1970 Dodge Challenger. I poured money into it to make it a sweet ride and I accomplished my objective. Then I got saved. I began following after the Lord and believed He was leading me to Piedmont Bible College (now Piedmont International University). I packed up many of my belongings, got into my Challenger and headed to college, following the Lord. While there I worked with my home church youth group, so each weekend I put over 200 miles on my precious car. When faced with a school bill, I sacrificed parts off my beloved Challenger because I wanted to stay where God put me. Before long, the car wasn’t in such great condition and a wreck in a snow storm disabled my prize ride. My intention was to fix it up, but I had more important things to do with my money. The Challenger was sold, yet there is a desire to one day have another one. Ever so often, I will see a Challenger and the desire will rise again, and I ask, “why do they have a Challenger, and I drive a mini-van?” So I have to trust the Lord. I have found my Father so faithful and that mini-van (or a variation of it) has been full of my kids and their friends, my grandchildren, and a large number of kids that my wife and I have ministered to throughout the years. The memories in a mini-van flood my mind, and to be honest with you, I really can’t remember much about my Challenger. When I trust the Lord, I see the good He has done in my life and it causes me to trust Him more. So when I begin to envy, I focus on trusting Him to do His eternal plan of good in and through me. The second part of the verse is to “dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed”. In the original language, I am told to live in the land (His place of service) and enjoy security that comes from His faithfulness in feeding us. The reward of trusting Him is that He will place you to live in a land that is green. “Delight thyself also in the LORD” another way of saying “trust in the Lord”, and we have a promise that He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” When I trust the Lord, and delight in Him, I will be changed. I begin to desire different things. As the Spirit works in my life, I begin to put priorities on what my Jesus desires. Inwardly, I change in what I desire. But I have this promise: I will be given what I desire and my delight and desire is in my relationship with Him. When He becomes my priority, He will take care of what I need. God, I struggle with my desires. I often times am selfish and what things more than you. I envy what others have and at times resent the success and prosperity of those who don’t follow You. Forgive me. By doing this, I have worshipped things more than You. I have delighted in stuff more than You. God, help me to delight and desire You, and You alone. This is my worship and reflects what I truly believe and value. God I surrender to You. When, I start to envy, convict me and remind me to trust You. God, be my desire!

Twenty-One Days of Prayer, Day 14, Pray for the Spiritually Sick

Jesus, my strength when I am weak
“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” God give me insight on this passage. This passage starts with a series of questions and short answers. If you are afflicted or suffering, then pray. My first response is to see the word “afflicted” and think of someone suffering. But what am I suffering? In the chapter the same word is used in verse 10, and speaks of the suffering of prophets because of persecution. They were weary and needed encouragement. What better way to handle disappointment and discouragement is to go my “Dad” and talk to Him. I am thankful for an intimate relationship that allows me to immediately and consistently talk to my Father. In Him I find strength, comfort, and encouragement. Notice the next question: “is any merry (or cheerful)?” Let him praise God by sing psalms or praise unto the Almighty! When I am afflicted in my soul it is essential that I pray. But, please God help me to remember that when I am blessed in my soul, and cheerful, and merry it is equally essential that I praise my Father or “Dad”. I need to sing “It is Well with My Soul” and His praise to the world. He is wonderful and what He does is amazing. Please help me to sing His praises when I am afflicted as well. But then the question is “is any sick among you?” Then, let him call for the elders of the church, and let the elders pray over him. Here is an essential ministry for us as Christian to do in order for our brothers and sisters to remain strong and following God. I think this is not speaking of physical sickness but emotional sickness. We are so weary that we are at the point of giving up. We can’t continue. The spiritual war has worn us down and the armor of God is being dropped. Our shield is down and we are taking some heavy spiritual wounds. We are discouraged, depressed, and spiritually weak. We come and rub in, literally crush into, oil. In the times of the New Testament, weary travelers would have oil rubbed in to their foreheads to refresh and encourage them. I think that is what this passage is about. We are to look for those who are weary and seek the opportunity to encourage and support. I think it is important to note something in the passage. We can go and force this on someone. That won’t work because they are to call for the elders. Our pray should be that God will keep us sensitive to our walk with Him. When we get off-focused and covered by our circumstances, don’t dig in and try to survive. Ask for the elders of the faith family to come and pray for you. A united body of believers supports and encourages one another. In the passage, it mentions that if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. When we are discouraged and weak, we may yield to our old fleshly nature’s desires. So we should come to our faith brothers and sisters with no fear of rejection when we fail. We are to “confess our faults to one another and pray that we will be restored”. Elijah is used as a man who is like us. He won some battles, against the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, and he lost some battles. It always amazed me to see this great saint of God falling apart at Jezebel’s threats, but there it is in the Bible. Elijah suffered weakness and discouragement. The last part of this passage is so encouraging. When we do what God tells us to do when we get spiritually weak, spend time in fervent prayer focusing on God and encourage one another, God does powerful, amazing, awe inspiring things. VBC, and all Christians, are you battling in a tough society and find yourself spiritually weak and discouraged. Follow God’s plan and let Him do things in and through you that will astonish you. VBC, we are at a point that God wants to do great things through our faith family. Are you willing and ready to let Him?