EPISODE 04: Jesus Is Alive!
Unit 03: Jesus Reigns
Matthew 27:51–28:20; Mark 16:6; Luke 23:50–24:12; John 19:38–20:18; Acts 1:1-11

Note: The gospel writers didn’t spare their readers—who were adults—any of the gory specifics of Jesus’ torture and death on the cross. If there are younger children present as you lead this episode, be sensitive about sharing graphic details.

When Jesus walks out of His tomb, all of history pivots. Defeat becomes victory, despair erupts into joy, and death itself dies. Everything changed for His followers then—and everything changes for us now.

Today we’ll GET INTO how Jesus rose from the dead and returned to Heaven. After the video, we’ll TALK IT UP and ACT IT OUT, exploring what Jesus’ resurrection means for us.

So get comfortable and watch “The Sealed Tomb.” It’s the story of an event that changed the world!

Play Video



: to raise from the dead; to come back to life

In today’s video we see Jesus keep a promise no one dared to believe: that He’d die and resurrect 3 days later. Use these questions to TALK IT UP. Dig into what it means for us that Jesus kept His promise.

  • Jesus had told the disciples what He’d do, but they were still stunned when it happened. Why do you think His followers were so amazed that Jesus came back to life from the dead?
  • Why was it so important to the religious leaders that Jesus’ tomb be guarded? What were they afraid of?
  • After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to hundreds of His followers before He returned to Heaven. If you’d been in the crowd and could have asked Jesus 1 question about His resurrection, what would you ask Him?
  • Jesus isn’t just alive—He’s alive and well, healed after being beaten, bloodied, and stabbed. In what ways does Jesus rising from the dead heal you too?
  • After Jesus returned to Heaven, 2 angels promised Jesus is coming back. How do you feel about that promise, and why?

In this episode we meet a long list of people who are around when Jesus is resurrected. It’s safe to say that only 1 of them—Jesus himself—is fully aware of what’s coming. The rest react with a wide range of emotions—emotions we’ll explore together.

Why? Because what Jesus did needs to bring out an emotional response in us too. It’s one thing to think about Jesus’ resurrection and to know it happened. But it’s another thing to let the full impact of what Jesus did hit us like a gut punch. To rise from the dead—that’s astounding! To know that Jesus’ resurrection opens the gates for us to live on and have eternal life after our own bodies die—that’s mind-boggling. If that doesn’t prompt shivers, nothing else will.

So let’s dive in and see what emotions these people may have felt. And we’ll explore how we’re responding to Jesus doing the impossible.

  • Of all the people in today’s video, who do you most identify with? Why? Write that person’s name on a self-stick note and wear it as a name tag for an hour.
  • What’s something you own that’s gathering dust now, even though you thought it was amazing when you first got it? Pull it out and clean it up. Why did you think it was amazing? Why do you no longer think that? In what ways is that like how you think of Jesus’ resurrection now?
  • When’s the last time you thought much about Jesus being alive right now, right this minute? On a self-stick note, write a word or draw a symbol that reminds you Jesus is alive. Place the note on your bathroom mirror or someplace where you’ll see it every day.
  • Explore how Jesus’ resurrection was experienced by the people who were there. Play a game of I’m Feelin’ It.
These questions will help you connect the Bible story to your own life. Use all the questions or pick 1 or 2—it’s up to you!
  • Why might some people not believe that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive? If you have a friend who doesn’t believe, ask that friend why. Share your thinking and, later, pray for your friend.
  • If someone rose from the dead today, how big would that news story be? What would people want to know?
  • Quick: Tell why you think the day that Jesus resurrected from the dead is one of the most important days in history.
  • Joseph of Arimathea was a “secret” believer in Jesus. When he went to Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body, Joseph showed that he cared deeply for Jesus. What can you do today to show that you care deeply for Jesus, who is alive!
  • If the only things you knew about Jesus were what you saw and heard in this episode, what would you think of Jesus? How would you describe Him to others?

It had been a tough few days for the disciples and the rest of Jesus’ friends. The triumphal entry into Jerusalem that hinted at Jesus taking control of the government and returning Israel to glory was followed by Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. The triumph turned into tragedy. The crowds slunk away. Religious leaders, who’d long plotted to kill Jesus, watched a giant stone roll solidly into place, sealing Jesus away forever.

And then … resurrection. Jesus was alive!

And He’s still alive, sitting at the right hand of God (Ephesians 1:20-23). He’s waiting for a return to earth that will get the attention of every person on the planet.

Right now, we live in an in-between time. Jesus came and died for our sins as a suffering Savior, but He hasn’t come back yet as the King of kings. As we wait for His return, we’re living in a broken world filled with sickness, lies, and anger.

Ask those who’ll pray to sit comfortably and place their hands in front of them. Ask them to close their eyes and clench their fists hard … even harder … as tightly as they can. They’ll hold that tension as you pray, even though they’ll quickly begin to feel the strain. Pray aloud about the state of our world. Pray about conflict and hatred, crime and poverty, how we’re not always doing a good job caring for God’s creation, sickness and disease. Pray for at least 90 seconds.

Then ask those praying to relax and open their hands, palms up and resting on their laps. Continue your prayer. Thank God for Jesus’ sacrifice and the power of the resurrection. Thank God that, through the cross and empty tomb, we can come and talk to Him. Thank God that we can have our sins forgiven and have the promise of new life. Praise God for all the good He brings to our world.

Finish by saying, “In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

After you’ve prayed, talk about this:

  • When your fists were clenched, what emotions were you feeling? Why those?
  • When you relaxed your fists and thanked God for Jesus’ victory over death and what that means for us, how did your emotions change? Why the difference?

That Jesus is alive gives us hope—for today and forever. It prompts us to be grateful for everything Jesus did for us on the cross. And it means we can relax—Jesus has proven He’s in control of everything, including death. Jesus is alive!

Jesus’ resurrection is a pivotal moment in history—but it’s seldom the topic of conversation. Here are some ways to fix that:

  • Make a movie! Recruit a few friends to help you act out what happened when Jesus came back to life. Keep things simple and film with the camera on a phone. As others help you with the production, you’ll be able to share what happened and why it’s important to you. Oh, and you’ll play the part of an angel, of course.
  • With a friend or family member, walk through a cemetery. Look for flowers or other remembrances people have left on the graves of friends and family members. Talk about how there’s no place to do that for Jesus because His body isn’t in a grave somewhere. He’s alive!
  • The next time you hang out with friends or family, have a dozen donuts ready to share—the kind with a hole in the middle. Ask who can guess what historical event the donut hole reminds you of. See how long it takes for someone to connect the empty donut hole to the stone-rolled-away entrance hole of Jesus’ tomb. If they guess, great. If not, tell them. And, yes, we’ve given you an excuse to eat donuts … you’re welcome.
  • Invite a few friends to watch the “Crucified” video from today’s episode with you. Ask them what questions it raises for them and talk about what they say. To help answer their questions, read the Bible passages from today’s episode.

Use the hashtag #GodInAction so we can see how you’re sharing the good news of Jesus’ resurrection!