Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on March 15, 2020
Passage: Matthew 27:45-46
This Sunday, Mike continued our look at the final sayings of Jesus on the cross in our “Final Hours” series. When Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, we see three things happening: separation, substitution, and atonement. Is there anything from the sermon that especially challenged you, confused you, or stood out to you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
On the cross, Jesus felt the separation and alienation that sin brings. Have you ever battled loneliness or abandonment in your life?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. Jesus felt alienated from His Father because of the sin He was carrying for us. The good news of Jesus is that by grace through faith we will never have to experience being separated from our Heavenly Father. In the following passage, what reasons does Paul give for why Christ followers will never be separated from the Lord?
Romans 8:31-39 (ESV)
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Do you ever feel like God has forgotten you? When our prayers go unanswered, does that mean that God has left us and doesn’t care about us? Why?
2. When we look at the cross, we see love and hate. We see how much the Father hates sin and how much He loves us. What does the following passage that prophesies Jesus’ crucifixion tell you about the ugliness of sin and the love of God toward you?
Isaiah 53:2-12 (NLT2)
2 My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. 3 He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. 4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. 7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. 9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. 10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands. 11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. 12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.
Why are some of the phrases from this passage that stand out to you? Give the group one reason you are thankful for what Jesus did on the cross.
3. On the cross, Jesus paid for all our sins – past, present, and future. What do the following verses tell us about the sufficiency of what Jesus did on the cross?
Romans 5:6-11 (ESV)
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 8:1 (ESV)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 2:13 (ESV)
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses.
Why do some believers want to add to what Jesus did on the cross to earn their forgiveness from God? Have you ever tried to earn God’s favor with good works? Why is this an exercise in futility?
So what should we feel when we sin as believers? From the study of Scripture, we know that the Spirit will bring conviction so that we will turn from that behavior and turn back toward obedience and faith. According to 1 John 2:1-2, what should we remember if we do commit a sin as a believer?
1 John 2:1-2 (CEV)
1 My children, I am writing this so that you won’t sin. But if you do sin, Jesus Christ always does the right thing, and he will speak to the Father for us. 2 Christ is the sacrifice that takes away our sins and the sins of all the world’s people.
TAKE IT HOME
1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?
2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?