We will be reading the events that surround Christ’s crucifixion this Sunday. There is no way to cover that much text and subject matter and do a thorough job of exegesis…so suffice it to say that we will be looking at the major themes of what the cross means to us as followers of Christ.
As I read it, all of the sacrifices, prophecies and narratives of the Old Testament lead in a line, converging at the cross of Christ. All of the effects and consequences of mankind’s great rebellion against God and His plan converge there as well. In the crucifixion of Jesus, we have pictured not only the judgment and pain of sin, but also the grace and forgiveness of God. It is a literal cross-hair on which the meaning of life is focused.
As you read this account, you’ll see a wide variety of characters in Luke’s narrative. From mourners to soldiers to religious leaders to crooks. If you try any of these characters on for size, which ones can you relate to your own life and response to God? Which character’s interaction with Jesus upsets you? Which one comforts you, and why?
What comes across so clearly to me is the sheer magnitude of God’s grace revealed in the cross. I’ve been contemplating the sacrifice of Jesus a lot this week. I once questioned a friend’s destructive and self-destructive choices in light of their Christian confession, and the person reprimanded me saying “Remember what you teach Rob, it’s not about being legalistic, it’s about grace!”
As I think about what Jesus suffered in paying the price for my sins…I’ve been contemplating a right response to his love. His love is never in question…and I will never move from the torn curtain of God’s grace. But what should OUR response be to that love? Does our response reveal anything about what we believe and what we consider real? If I’m a rebel forgiven by great love, is further rebellion a reasonable reaction? I guess my question is, where’s the love? Guess I’m just thinking out loud.
Hope to see you Sunday. Leader’s guide for small groups can be found here: leaders guide 23-26-49