Study Guide: Jesus

Sunday October 13, 2013 | Greg Boyd

Brief Summary:

In week four of our sermon series, we discuss Jesus. Jesus is the center of everything in the life of a Christian. We see how God’s redeeming work in creation culminates with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This has many implications for our own lives.

Extended Summary:

Jesus is the absolute center of everything. We’ve seen, over the past few weeks, of a creation marching towards a turning point in history. Creation went awry in the very beginning, and we’ve been feeling the effects ever since. God chose a specific people from the lineage of Abram to be his people in this world. They were to live out their unique calling. However, they failed time and again to become the people God called them to be.

Now, we reach the crossroads and emphasis of this entire story: Jesus. God, in seeing how his people fared in this world, began to send them messages about a coming Messiah. Jesus is that Messiah. He is the one that God will use to restore Israel. After 400 years of waiting for the Israelites, Jesus comes in the form of a baby born out of wedlock in a manger. The story continues with Jesus being baptized, starting his ministry and eventually dying on the cross to be resurrected three days later. His ministry continues as the Church would carry forth the message of the Gospel. Jesus, and his work on the cross, is the goal of all of scripture.

Since the cross is the goal of all scripture, we need to view scripture through the lens of the cross. As we’ve said before, the Bible shouldn’t be read as a flat book. Rather, we should see it as the story it is. We should see that, in the culmination of the story, we find a message that is weightier. We should hold Jesus’ message as the true message, and the ultimate revelation of God.

Since the cross is the goal of all scripture, we need to view our identity through the lens of the cross. This doesn’t just mean the good parts of our identity either. We must realize the depths that it took for God to reconcile with us. Our sin put Jesus on the cross. We need to take that statement seriously. And we also take seriously our new life that Jesus bought for us. Our new identity as children of God and becoming God’s chosen people. Not by the law of the Old Testament, but by the blood of the New Covenant.

There is plenty to say about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. More than a single sermon or extended summary can hold. It’s important that we know the centrality of Jesus in the story of God redeeming creation, because it is the way that God redeemed us and continues to call us to action in this world.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What additional questions and comments did you have about the sermon and supporting texts?
  2. Human beings cannot keep covenant with God on our own. When have you believed that your actions were what mattered with God? What’s the problem with this thinking?
  3. Because of Jesus, we can’t read Scripture as a flat book where everything has equal value. What problems do you see in the OT that creates problems while being a follower of Jesus?
  4. How, as Christians, do we live a life like Jesus while still being under the effects of Sin?
  5. Jesus gave us extensive freedom through his work on the cross. What do you think are some of these freedoms? Why is this important?