Jesus, Monarch (part 5): King on a Cross?

TO START

Tonight, set a mood of calm before group. Maybe light a few candles. Play some quiet, mellow music. Let’s make tonight meditative and leave space for emotion.

TO DISCUSS

Spend a little time tonight in discussion, but be sure to move into the more meditative/devotional period.

Consider for a moment what the cross meant to the culture in which Jesus died. Consider that most people had seen many criminals killed on crosses in their lifetimes. How does that change the way you view the cross? How might Jesus have died today in America?

Does the idea that sacrifice is required for love make sense to you? Or do you think it’s a little strange that God “couldn’t” get around sending Jesus to the cross? Mull over the question, “Why did Jesus HAVE TO die?”

Consider the following statement from the sermon Sunday:

“Even flawed human beings like us know that you can’t just overlook evil. It can’t be dealt with, removed, or healed just by saying, ‘Forget it.’ It has to be paid for, and it’s usually expensive.”

When have you seen this to be true? Share an example from personal experience, history, or fiction.

What does the cross teach us about what kind of King Jesus is?

Justin said on Sunday that the cross teaches us something about suffering. He said, “He hangs there, testifying that though it is not the ideal, suffering is also not the ultimate evil. It is not something to be avoided at all costs….but instead something to which those who pursue true love will inevitably find themselves called. Something that is worth enduring for the sake of what’s on the other side.”

How do you generally feel about suffering?

What have you learned about suffering on your journey with Christ?

TO MEDITATE

For this you may want to turn down the lights a little. Your choice.

Read together the story of the cross in John chapter 19. Try to imagine yourself in the moment, following Jesus to Golgotha. Don’t comment on it. Just listen and receive it.

When you’re done, listen to this song from Andrew Peterson, “Is He Worthy?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FEuAr8f6bo

This isn’t a song about the cross, but as you listen, keep your picture of Christ on the cross in the front of your mind. When the song ends, sit for about thirty seconds in the quiet. Then ask this question: What does it mean to you that your King died for you?

Go around the room and share answers. As each person shares, say together as a group, “Worthy is the lamb.”