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The Word of the Cross
1 Corinthians 1 v18.
Bible passages to be read: Luke 23 v33-49, John 19 v23-30, 1 Corinthians 1 v18-31, Acts 2 v36.
The first two passages describe the Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, and you will find in these accounts six of the seven sayings from the Cross. The seventh you will find in Matthew 27 v46, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” which is also to be found in Psalm 22 v1. This Psalm describes death by crucifixion many years before it was thought of as a method of execution. Read these accounts carefully.
1. Do you feel from what you have read that Jesus’ death was just like that of other men, or was there something different about it?
2. List the verses in which the six ‘sayings’ recorded in these passages occur. One of them appears to be two sayings, but is always regarded as one.
3. Which of the seven sayings impresses you most, and why?
4. Is there any one of these sayings which you find to be of particular significance in your own personal life and experience?
Now read 1 Corinthians 1 v18-31. In the Epistles we again and again find teaching as to the meaning of the Cross. They explain that the death of Christ is the gateway to life; and open up all that is ours through the discovery of ‘the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ’. Think over this passage, and see if you can give an answer to these questions.
5. Is it possible for human wisdom, however great, to bring us to the knowledge of God?
6. What was Paul’s special message? Do you think it should still be the preacher’s message?
7. Can you find any special qualifications in this passage, which fit us to be accepted and used by God?
8. If we are Christians what has God given us ‘in Christ’ so that we can live the new life secured for us through His Cross, that we cannot supply for ourselves?
9. Is it ever right to boast? If so, what about?
Now look at Acts 2 v36, which is the last sentence of Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost.
10. What do you take to be the meaning of this verse?
11. What difference does it make to you personally that God has raised His Son, who was crucified, from the dead, and has made Him ‘Lord and Christ’? What other Scriptures help you to answer this question?