Lesson 19

He Is Risen

“Lesson 19: He Is Risen,” Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel Teacher Manual (2015)


Introduction

“[Jesus Christ] rose from the grave to ‘become the firstfruits of them that slept’ (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life” (“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” Ensign or Liahona, Apr. 2000, 3). This lesson will teach the doctrine and events associated with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As students increase their understanding and testimony of the Resurrection, they will gain perspective and hope as they face the challenges of mortality.

Background Reading

Suggestions for Teaching

1 Corinthians 15:12–29

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Display the following statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith (1805–1844), and ask a student to read it aloud:

Prophet Joseph Smith

“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 49).

Discuss with students the following question:

  • Why do you think all other gospel principles are “appendages” to the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Invite students to read Isaiah 25:8; Mosiah 16:7–8; and Alma 33:22 silently, looking for what ancient prophets prophesied about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ask them to report what they find.

Copy the following chart on the board:

Because Jesus rose from the dead, …

If Jesus had not risen from the dead, then …

1 Corinthians 15:20–28

Alma 11:43–45

1 Corinthians 15:12–19, 29

2 Nephi 9:8–10

Invite half of the class to study the scripture passages in the left column of the chart, looking for blessings we receive as a result of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection. Invite the other half of the class to study the scripture passages in the right column, looking for what would have happened if Jesus had not risen from the dead. After sufficient time, ask for volunteers to explain what they learned. Help students state a doctrine taught by these passages by asking the following questions:

  • According to 1 Corinthians 15:20, the Apostle Paul stated that Jesus was the “firstfruits of them that slept.” What does that phrase mean? (Jesus was the first to be resurrected.)

Ask students to read 1 Corinthians 15:22 again. Then ask:

  • How would you summarize the universal blessing we receive because Jesus Christ was resurrected? (Students should express the following doctrine: Because of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, all who are born into mortality will be resurrected.)

Invite a student to read aloud the following statements by President Howard W. Hunter (1907–1995) and President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988) of the First Presidency:

President Howard W. Hunter

“Without the Resurrection, the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes a litany of wise sayings and seemingly unexplainable miracles—but sayings and miracles with no ultimate triumph. No, the ultimate triumph is in the ultimate miracle: for the first time in the history of mankind, one who was dead raised himself into living immortality. He was the Son of God, the Son of our immortal Father in Heaven, and his triumph over physical and spiritual death is the good news every Christian tongue should speak” (Howard W. Hunter, “An Apostle’s Witness of the Resurrection,” Ensign, May 1986, 16).

President Marion G. Romney

“‘He is risen; he is not here.’ (Mark 16:6.) These words, eloquent in their simplicity, announced the most significant event of recorded history” (Marion G. Romney, “The Resurrection of Jesus,” Ensign, May 1982, 6).

  • Why do you think the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the “most significant event of recorded history”?

  • What thoughts and feelings do you have knowing that because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, all of Heavenly Father’s children born on the earth will be resurrected?

Explain that the Resurrection redeems us not only from physical death but also from spiritual death. If there were no resurrection, then all people would eventually become like the devil (see 2 Nephi 9:6–9).

Testify that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ completed the Atonement and made it possible for God’s children to return to His presence.

Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20

Witnesses of the resurrected Jesus Christ

handout iconProvide students with the following chart as a handout:

handout, New Testament Appearances of the Resurrected Jesus Christ

New Testament Appearances of the Resurrected Jesus Christ

Reference

Persons Visited

Date or Time

Location

What Transpired

John 20:11–18; Mark 16:9

       

Matthew 28:1–10

       

Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5

       

Mark 16:12; Luke 24:13–32

       

Mark 16:14; Luke 24:33, 36–49; John 20:19–23

       

John 20:26–29

       

John 21:4–23

       

Matthew 28:16–20; Mark 16:15–18

       

Mark 16:19–20; Luke 24:50–53; Acts 1:9–11

       

1 Corinthians 15:6

       

1 Corinthians 15:7

       

Acts 7:55–56

       

Acts 9:4–6; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8

       

Revelation 1:13–18

       

Assign each student one or two rows on the chart. Ask them to study the scripture passages in their assigned rows and identify who the resurrected Savior visited. After sufficient time, have students report what they discovered. Because of time constraints, encourage students to keep their reports brief. Then discuss the following questions:

  • In this activity, what did you learn about the many appearances of the resurrected Savior and what each individual experienced?

  • Besides these passages, what other witnesses of the resurrected Jesus Christ are found in the scriptures? (Students might mention the witnesses of the Nephites or of the Prophet Joseph Smith.)

  • Why is it important to know that there have been many witnesses of the resurrected Savior? (Make sure students understand the following truth: Because many individuals have witnessed the resurrected Jesus Christ, we can have confidence that He lives and that we, too, will live again after we die.)

To help students better understand the doctrinal implications of the Savior’s Resurrection and why, as Joseph Smith taught, all other principles are appendages to the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, give each student a copy of the following statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ask a student to read the statement aloud.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

“If Jesus was in fact literally resurrected, it necessarily follows that He is a divine being. No mere mortal has the power in himself to come to life again after dying. Because He was resurrected, Jesus cannot have been only a carpenter, a teacher, a rabbi, or a prophet. Because He was resurrected, Jesus had to have been a God, even the Only Begotten Son of the Father.

“Therefore, what He taught is true; God cannot lie [see Enos 1:6].

“Therefore, He was the Creator of the earth, as He said [see, for example, 3 Nephi 9:15].

“Therefore, heaven and hell are real, as He taught [see, for example, D&C 76].

“Therefore, there is a world of spirits, which He visited after His death [see D&C 138].

“Therefore, He will come again, as the angels said [see Acts 1:10–11], and ‘reign personally upon the earth’ [Articles of Faith 1:10; see also Topical Guide, “Jesus Christ, Millennial Reign”].

“Therefore, there is a resurrection and a final judgment for all [see, for example, 2 Nephi 9:15].

“Given the reality of the Resurrection of Christ, doubts about the omnipotence, omniscience, and benevolence of God the Father—who gave His Only Begotten Son for the redemption of the world—are groundless. Doubts about the meaning and purpose of life are unfounded. Jesus Christ is in fact the only name or way by which salvation can come to mankind. The grace of Christ is real, affording both forgiveness and cleansing to the repentant sinner. Faith truly is more than imagination or psychological invention. There is ultimate and universal truth, and there are objective and unchanging moral standards, as taught by Him.

“Given the reality of the Resurrection of Christ, repentance of any violation of His law and commandments is both possible and urgent. The Savior’s miracles were real, as is His promise to His disciples that they might do the same and even greater works [see John 14:12]. … Given the reality of the Resurrection of Christ, death is not our end, and though ‘skin worms destroy [our bodies], yet in [our] flesh shall [we] see God’ [Job 19:26]” (“The Resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 113, 114).

  • How does Elder Christofferson’s statement illustrate the central place of the Savior’s Resurrection in the doctrine of the restored gospel?

To help students better understand how the reality of the Resurrection can affect them personally, display the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and ask a student to read it aloud:

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“The ‘lively hope’ we are given by the resurrection is our conviction that death is not the conclusion of our identity but merely a necessary step in the destined transition from mortality to immortality. This hope changes the whole perspective of mortal life. …

“The assurance of resurrection gives us the strength and perspective to endure the mortal challenges faced by each of us and by those we love, such things as the physical, mental, or emotional deficiencies we bring with us at birth or acquire during mortal life. Because of the resurrection, we know that these mortal deficiencies are only temporary!

“The assurance of resurrection also gives us a powerful incentive to keep the commandments of God during our mortal lives” (“Resurrection,” Ensign, May 2000, 15).

  • Why is it important for each of us to develop a testimony of the reality of the Resurrection? (Students should identify the following principle: Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can have hope and an eternal perspective as we face the challenges and trials of life.)

  • In what ways has an understanding of the Resurrection brought hope or joy to you or someone you know?

Share the following statement by President David O. McKay (1873–1970):

President David O. McKay

“For two and a half years [the Apostles] had been upheld and inspired by Christ’s presence. But now he was gone. They were left alone, and they seemed confused and helpless. …

“What was it that suddenly changed these disciples to confident, fearless, heroic preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? It was the revelation that Christ had risen from the grave” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay [2003], 62).

Invite students to ponder someone they know who might be strengthened by hearing the message of the Resurrection. Encourage students to find a time in the near future to discuss their feelings and testimony with that person.

Student Readings