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Date: March 28, 2021
The Death of Jesus
The Point: Forgiveness is possible because Jesus died for our sins.
Get Into the Study
Use the following to introduce today’s session.
Small businesses have been struggling during the COVID pandemic. Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina had begun posting their monthly sales goals on Instagram, stating that they needed to sell a minimum of 1,350 books per month to stay open. In January, Foggy Pine Books only sold 836 books. They knew what needed to happen but couldn’t seem to make it happen on their own. Then Stephen Colbert chose Foggy Pine Books to be featured in an advertisement on The Late Show. The ad featured a voiceover by Sam Elliot and an endorsement and song by Tom Hanks. Foggy Pine Books reported that after the ad aired, they received 600 orders in just the first night. Colbert, Elliot, and Hanks stepped in and did what Foggy Pine Books didn’t have the means to do.
This week we will study the death of Jesus. Like Foggy Pine Books, we were all stuck unable to meet the goals we needed to meet. No matter how hard we try, we cannot overcome our sins on our own. But God stepped in and sent His Son, Jesus, to do what we could never do. Forgiveness is possible because Jesus died for our sins. Unlike Foggy Pine Books, we don’t have to worry about what the future will bring. Jesus took care of sin once and for all.
Get Into the Study [Option from Adult Leader Guide]
In advance, play a short video of frustrating fixes. Then ask Question #1.
As you conclude today’s session, share the following story and images.
New ways of experiencing the art of Van Gogh are popping up in cities across the county. Through immersive Van Gogh experiences, viewers find themselves in rooms surrounded by Van Gogh’s paintings, like his sunflowers or stars, as each painting is expanded to fill the room through projections on floors, walls, and ceilings. Pieces of the art may even be projected on the viewers themselves. This type of immersive experience helps the viewer experience the art differently than they would by viewing a single painting on a gallery wall.
However, in seeing the picture bigger, you may not be seeing the bigger picture. By zooming in on certain details, you risk missing the overall effect of the painting.
We have studied the crucifixion of Jesus this week by focusing on various elements of the story. However, as we zoom out and look at the bigger picture of what was accomplished through Jesus’ death, we see that God was always in control. Every part of Jesus’ life and death was according to God’s plan.
Nikki Wilbanks wrote these Leader Extras. Nikki grew up in Tennessee before heading to California to study literature at Pepperdine University. After graduation, she enjoyed a decade-long career as a commercial real estate appraiser and investor. Having returned to Tennessee with her husband, she is now thrilled to be a stay-at-home mom and writer.
- What are some jobs you cannot do by yourself? Who do you call on to accomplish those tasks?
- When have you had to let something go?
- What is the most difficult task you’ve ever completed? How did you feel once that job was done?
- How do Jesus and Pilate’s words demonstrate who was in control of this situation?
- How does it make you feel to know the events around the passion of Jesus were part of God’s plan?
- What do we learn about Jesus from the crucifixion account?
- How would you summarize the significance of the crucifixion of Jesus?
- What is the significance of Jesus being crucified between two criminals?
- Why is the crucifixion of Jesus an essential element of the gospel?
- What do these verses teach us about the humanity of Jesus?
- How have you benefited from Jesus’ death on the cross?
- What does the price Jesus paid for our forgiveness communicate about the weight of our sin?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.