John 19:28 (NLT)
Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.”
John makes sure to tell us that Jesus’ mission had been accomplished. What does that mean to you? (use the next verses as a guide)
Hebrews 9:22–26 (NLT)
In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.
For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.
Just before Jesus died that day, he said “I am thirsty.” He made this statement knowing that everything he had been sent for was completed. The theological term for this is “substitutionary atonement…” Jesus was our substitute. He atoned for our sins in our place.
We sinned, He died
We were guilty,
He took our punishment.
Hundreds of years earlier, the prophet Isaiah explained it like this:
Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)
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.
The Apostle Paul put it this way:
Romans 5:8–9 (NLT)
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
And like this:
Galatians 3:13 (NLT)
But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing.
Peter the fisherman/pastor said it like this:
1 Peter 2:24 (NLT)
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.
By his wounds you are healed.
John, the closest friend of Jesus might have been the clearest:
John 3:16–17 (NLT)
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
What, according to Paul’s letter to the Colossian church, is so unique about Jesus?
Colossians 1:15–20 (NLT)
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
As we get closer and closer to Easter, how does it make you feel to know that God loves you enough that He sent His Son as a sacrifice for you?
How should your life reflect the fact that your debt of sin has been declared fully paid by Jesus?
How do we tend to take that gift of grace for granted?
As your group closes in prayer, why don’t you pray together for specific people that you are inviting to join you for Easter Sunday?