“April 15–21. Easter: ‘O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory?’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“April 15–21. Easter,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
Ask class members how they would respond to questions like “What is the Atonement of Jesus Christ?” and “How can I receive the blessings of Christ’s Atonement?” Did they read any scriptures this week that help to answer these questions?
Do your class members understand that in addition to overcoming sin and death, Jesus Christ can also comfort us in our trials and strengthen us in our weaknesses? One way to help them discover these principles could be to write these words on the board: Sin, Death, Trials, Weaknesses. Ask each class member to read one of the scriptures listed in “Additional Resources” and ponder how the Savior helps us overcome or endure these things. Class members could write what they learn from these scriptures under each heading and share their testimony of the Savior and His Atonement.
What do the scriptures teach about the price Jesus Christ paid for our salvation? For example, see Luke 22:39–44; Mosiah 3:7; and Doctrine and Covenants 19:16–19. What price did our Heavenly Father pay? (see John 3:16).
Before class, consider inviting a few class members to bring a quotation from a conference message that describes how the Savior blesses us through His Atonement (for some examples, see “Additional Resources”). How do the teachings of modern-day prophets expand our understanding of the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement? How do they strengthen our testimonies of the power of His Atonement?
Perhaps a simple object lesson could help illustrate the difference between being cleansed from sin and being perfected: You could write on the board the first few lines from Moroni 10:32, but include spelling or grammatical errors. Then invite a class member to erase the errors. Did this solve the problem? What lessons do we learn from this scripture and this object lesson about the effect the Atonement can have on us? This statement from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf might also help: “If salvation means only erasing our mistakes and sins, then salvation—as wonderful as it is—does not fulfill the Father’s aspirations for us. His aim is much higher: He wants His sons and daughters to become like Him” (“The Gift of Grace,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 108).
Stories and analogies can help us understand Christ’s Atonement. For instance, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shares a story about two brothers climbing a canyon wall in his message “Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 104–6). There is also a video of the same title on LDS.org. Or you could watch together “Handel’s Messiah: Debtor’s Prison” (LDS.org; see description in “Additional Resources”) and discuss how Jesus Christ’s Atonement frees us from our prisons.
Consider reviewing the scriptural account of the first Easter—the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. You could invite a class member to retell the story in his or her own words (see John 20:1–17). You could also show a Bible video, such as “He Is Risen” (LDS.org).
Perhaps your class would gain deeper understanding of the importance of the witnesses of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection if they imagine they are lawyers or news reporters investigating the claim that Christ was resurrected. Invite them to find people in the scriptures who could serve as witnesses (see Matthew 28:1–10; Luke 24:13–35; John 20:19–29; 1 Corinthians 15:3–8, 55–58). They could even write a brief summary of what these people might say when testifying in court or when being interviewed for a news report.
One way to deepen our appreciation for the Savior’s Resurrection is to think about how we would explain our beliefs to others. How would class members share their testimonies of Jesus Christ in the following situations: a family member has been diagnosed with a serious illness; a friend has lost a loved one; a neighbor asks why you celebrate Easter. Encourage them to refer to the scriptures (such as those in “Additional Resources”) as they plan their responses. Invite a few class members to share their thoughts.
We can all have hope and be of good cheer because of the Savior. You might read John 16:33 and discuss how the Atonement of Jesus Christ helps us be joyful despite our trials. How have we received joy and been supported during our trials?
Reading Peter’s testimony in 1 Peter 1:3–11 could give class members increased hope in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Give them time to ponder these verses and work in pairs to find other scriptures that also describe how to obtain hope in Jesus Christ (see Topical Guide, “Hope”). They could use the scriptures they find to make a poster to display in their homes or online (see examples of inspirational picture quotes on LDS.org). Class members could consider the circumstances of family members or friends who may need to feel more hopeful.
What would inspire class members to read Matthew 18 and Luke 10? You might tell them that these chapters contain two of the Savior’s most memorable parables, both of which convey important lessons about how we should treat one another.
President Thomas S. Monson, “He Is Risen!” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 87–90
Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 111–14
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Strengthened by the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 61–64
Sister Carole M. Stephens, “The Master Healer,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 9–12
Class members might enjoy singing some of these hymns and reading the associated scriptures cited at the bottom of the page. Some class members may have learned some hymns as part of their family scripture study this week; encourage them to share their experiences.
Each year the Church produces Easter messages, which are available on mormon.org/easter.
In 1741, George Frideric Handel composed an oratorio about Jesus Christ titled Messiah. Handel determined that the proceeds of a performance of Messiah would be donated to pay for the release of debtors from debtor’s prison. Over 140 people who had been jailed because they were unable to pay their debts were set free as a result. Commenting on this event, President Russell M. Nelson said, “Without the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we would all be hopelessly indebted, just as were those people in debtor’s prison. Our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, came to pay a debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.” For a video depiction of this event, see “Handel’s Messiah: Debtor’s Prison” on LDS.org.