Topic: Core Values of Grace Passage: Mark 15:21–15:39
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Text: Dramatic Passion Reading
The central symbol of Christianity is the Cross. In his three years of public ministry, our Lord did many miraculous signs and taught wonderful truths about the kingdom of God. But the main focus of his coming was to give his life on the Cross.
Jesus died for our sins.
This past Sunday is known as Palm Sunday because it recalls Jesus’ triumphal entry into the Holy City. While waving branches of palm, the people shouted the name “Hosanna,” which literally means “save us.” That’s exactly what Jesus came into Jerusalem to do.
When we consider the Cross, we find both a human and divine source. It was our sin that put him there as well as his love for us. Judas betrayed him. The Jewish leadership condemned him. Pilate declared him innocent. The crowds persuaded Pilate. Finally, Roman soldiers nailed him. This list serves symbolically for all of humanity. As Romans 3:23 states, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” However, there is a divine source as well. Speaking of his life, Jesus said, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord… This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10:18).
The Cross is about love and justice, two sides of the same coin. The Apostle Paul writes, “It was to show [God’s] righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). Because he loves us, God is the justifier of our sins. Because he is holy, God is just. On the Cross, he displays both.
Taking It Home: Forgiveness always costs the forgiver something. In light of this, discuss the costs and benefits of the Cross.