He Died for Us

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Resurrection 13, Romans 1, John 3 & 19
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 6

He Died for Us

(Revelation 13, Romans 1, John 3 & 19)

Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: http://www.GoBible.org. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: In 2004 I attended the National Religious Broadcasters convention and saw an advance copy of Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” When I returned to my hotel I fell on my knees in sorrow for my sins and gratitude for what Jesus did for me at the cross. Although I own a copy of that movie, I’ve never watched it again because it is so emotionally wrenching. Think about that. What Satan did to Jesus, and what Jesus voluntarily accepted, is so awful I don’t even want to watch it again. Our Bible study this week is not about the horror of Jesus’ sacrifice, but rather what this plan for our salvation says about our Lord and how we should respond. Let’s dive into our study!

  1. The Foundation Plan
    1. Read Revelation 13:7-8 and Acts 2:23. These texts say that Jesus’ death on the cross was planned in heaven “before the foundation of the world.” What problem was this plan addressing? (That humans might sin.)
      1. Put yourself in God’s place. What alternative plans could be considered?
      2. Let’s assume we are dealing with a problem with your automobile. Why would you solve the problem in a way that was most costly and unpleasant? (God must have decided there was no other way to resolve the problem.)
        1. Really? A simple way to avoid this problem would be to refrain from creating humans. What is wrong with that simple solution? (The only answer is that God loved us so much He was unwilling to accept that solution.)
        2. Another solution is to limit free choice. What is wrong with that solution? (The essence of love is free choice.)
    2. Look again at Revelation 13:8. The ESV states this text a little differently. It says names were written in the Book of Life before the Foundation of the world. Does this support the idea that Jesus agreed to die because God loves us? (Since your name was written in the Book of Life at the time that the Godhead decided on the plan of salvation, that plan was made specifically for you!)
      1. How should we understand this: that God wrote the name of everyone in the Book of Life and if our name is removed, it is because of our decision to have it removed? Or, that God always knew who would accept Him?
        1. If you select the second choice, does that mean the plan of salvation was simply known in advance, and not actually planned in advance?
      2. Do you think that God was surprised by how malicious Satan and the fallen angels turned out to be at the cross?
    3. Read 1 Peter 1:18-19 and John 1:29. Why did God set up a plan that prior to Jesus coming to earth His people would sacrifice a lamb for their sins? (The sacrificial system pointed to what Jesus would do.)
      1. Let’s explore a couple of questions about this. Did God’s people sacrifice the lamb in the most painful way possible? (There is no evidence of that. Just the opposite is true.)
        1. Why then, did Jesus die so painfully? (God’s plan was not to inflict the maximum pain on Jesus that was Satan’s plan.)
        2. How did the sacrifice of a lamb impact the sinner? (Imagine that you had to kill a domestic animal every time you sinned. I think that would make a big impact on us.)
  2. Our Reaction to the Lamb
    1. Read Romans 1:18 and Romans 1:26-28. I love my children. In a number of conversations lately I’ve been challenged by the claim that the church is not showing God’s love, the kind of love parents have, for children who say they are gay. What does the sacrifice of the lamb teach us about the proper approach to this problem?
      1. Notice that Romans 1:18 warns against truth suppression and Romans 1:28 warns against not acknowledging God. What does this add to the discussion?
    2. Read Romans 1:29-32. Almost no one discusses with me the reaction of the church to these sins. What does the sacrifice of the lamb say about the proper approach to these problems? (Love for our children, and the love of our own sins, prevents us from taking the honest view that the killing of the lamb requires.)
    3. Compare 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 with Matthew 9:10-12. How does the sacrifice of the lamb apply here? (Making this distinction is critical.
    4. Read Matthew 16:21-23. Jesus explains His mission as the lamb. Peter rebukes Jesus. Why? (Jesus explains that Peter has his mind set on the “things of man” rather than the “things of God.”)
      1. What do you think Jesus means? What is at the heart of Peter’s error? (Peter does not understand the sacrifice of the lamb. Not only does this terrible event have the effect of turning us from sin, it should also give us an attitude of self-sacrifice.)
    5. Read 1 Corinthians 2:6-8. We see here that the “rulers of this age,” like Peter, did not understand the sacrifice of the lamb. What is this wisdom that is “secret and hidden” and established by God “before the ages?” (This is the difference between taking and intelligently giving. At the end Jesus gets everything - and that is consistent with this secret wisdom. Consider the example of a family who works very hard to create a new kind of computer. They get rich from their sacrificial work, but they improve the lives of all those who profit from easy access to a computer.)
  3. The Secure Victory of the Lamb
    1. Read John 19:30. What was finished? Was Jesus talking about His life?(If Jesus were talking about His life He would say, “I’m finished.” What was finished was the Foundation Plan that had been agreed to before humans were created.)
      1. What has Jesus accomplished at this point? (He has restored our opportunity to return to the Eden relationship with Him. He has shown that Satan is wrong, and taken back His authority over the earth. He has vindicated the law.)
      2. Let’s revisit a discussion we had in connection with the third lesson in this series. What spirit did Jesus give up in John 19:30? (It could not have been the Holy Spirit. Instead, Jesus gave back to God (in His human nature) that unique identity which God gave Jesus in Mary’s womb.)
      3. Why would the text say that Jesus “gave up” His spirit? This sounds like it is voluntary, and for humans that is not voluntary. (This reflects that Jesus was also fully God. He won the victory over sin. He retained the power over life.)
    2. Read John 19:41-42. Why was Jesus placed in a tomb? We have seen that all of this was the subject of a master plan. Consider how glorious it would have been, how convincing it would be, if Jesus immediately after death came to life and flew off the cross in plain view of all the scoffers and mockers. Why not that? (If I were God the Father I would want to embrace Jesus immediately. I would comfort Him because He was tortured, and I would hug Him because He won the Super Bowl of the universe.)
    3. Read Genesis 2:1-3. Do you think the explanation for Jesus resting in the tomb has anything go do with this? (I think it has everything to do with this. Jesus has now ransomed back what He created during the creation week. He celebrates it by resting. Most Christians celebrate Sunday because it is when Jesus rose from the grave. They miss the most important point, the celebration in rest of Jesus’ victory over evil.)
    4. Read John 3:14-15 and Numbers 21:8-9. Why would God want sinners to look at a snake, of all things, to be saved?
      1. Why is Jesus compared to a deadly snake? (The snake represents sin. Jesus died for us. He became sin who knew no sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21.)
    5. Think again about our prior discussion about the sacrifice of the lamb and the messaging that God has for us. What does the snake being compared to Jesus say to us about the importance of the law? (This is about us facing our sins. If the law had not been important, then at that foundation meeting heaven would have decided to simply modify the law in some way.)
    6. Friend, the cross teaches us the immeasurable love of God, and it teaches us the importance of the law. Will you decide today to honor what Jesus has done for you by taking the law and His sacrifice seriously?
  4. Next week: Christ’s Victory Over Death.