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Bible Study: The cross

Date posted: 29/11/16

God in His love has shown incredible mercy. He has sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world, who lived the life that we should live, and willingly died the death we all deserve to die by being put to death on the cross. As Jesus did this one act, he paid the full price for sin and satisfied God’s justice.

 

Discuss

If you were to ask your friends, ‘why should God let them into heaven’, what do you think they would say?

 

Read

Isaiah 53:3-9

 

These verses describe a figure prophesied about called ‘my servant’ (52:13). The apostles in the New Testament explain that this servant is Jesus Christ. Jesus was ‘despised and rejected’ (v.3), first by the chief priests and elders, then by the crowd and also by his disciples, who fled when he was captured. Jesus did not ‘open his mouth’ during his trial, torture and death (v7). Jesus was also buried ‘with a rich man’ (v9) as he was laid in a tomb prepared by a wealthy Pharisee, Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57).

However, what is significant about these verses is not just that they were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, but that they help us to understand what Jesus Christ achieved on the cross.

 

Discuss

In groups, discuss how v5-6 help you understand what the cross achieved.

 

Watch

Watch a modern portrayal of the day of Jesus' crucifixion here.

 

At the cross our wrongdoing was put on Jesus (v6). Jesus Christ was punished on the cross not because of anything he had done - because he ‘had done no violence and there was no deceit in his mouth’ (v9). He was punished at the cross for what we have done.

At the cross, Christ was rejected by God so that we do not have to be. ‘Upon him was the punishment that brought us peace’ (v5). God is just and so He will only punish sin once; if we trust in Jesus and his death, then we can have peace with God.

The big question then is: where will your sin be paid for? Will you let Jesus Christ pay for it, or will you pay for it yourself by refusing to trust in him?

 

Practise

In pairs, choose one of the following scenarios, one of you pretend to be the person asking the question and the other one as the Christian responding. Do this for about three minutes each - try to ensure everyone has a go.

One of your club mates says to you at the bar - ‘Isn’t it presumptuous for Christians to say that they can be sure that they are going to heaven?’. How would you respond?

You are talking in the changing room with a mate who knows you’re a Christian and says that he/she is a Christian also but not as religious as you - he/she says that they don’t go to church much but do try to live a good life. How would you respond?

 

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