Alpha Week 3 | Cross: Why Did Jesus Die?

OPENING ACTIVITY

The cross is the major symbol of the Christian faith. Can you think of the symbols of other world religions?

Drawing a blank? Check out this article

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. The big question for today is: Why does Jesus death matter to us today?
    Being totally honest and incredibly short, how would you answer that question?
     
  2. Ben told the story of Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish friar who died for an inmate. Why are stories like that so powerful? How does that story affect how we view Jesus?
     
  3. How did the people in the video describe sin?
    “It’s a personal definition”
    “Sins are things that you should not partake in."
    “Sins are things that you know are hurting other people"
    “Something morally wrong."

    Do you agree or disagree with their definitions?
    Does it matter that none of the people mentioned a divine law (God’s laws) in their definition of sin? 
     
  4. Ben and Jason talked about the “good person test.” Do you ever compare yourself to others in order to feel better about yourself? How can that be dangerous?
     
  5. Have you ever had a lie or some other sin harm one of your relationships? What does that teach us about the consequences of sin?
     
  6. Sin has negative consequences. Read these verses and see if you can pick out the consequences of sin.

    James 1:15b…and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
    Romans 6:23a   for the wages of sin is death... 
    (Answer: Sin leads to death)

    Romans 7:14-20  14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
    (Answer: Sin leads to slavery, doing things we hate, and loss of control)

     
  7. Why are penalties for breaking the law needed in society?
    If penalties are needed to make society flourish, does it make sense that God would also punish sins?

     
  8. Why is it a problem that sins should be punished?
    Romans 3:10   For there is none righteous, no not one.
    Romans 6:23a   for the wages of sin is death...
     
  9. The video used the story of the judge and criminal to help explain how Jesus paid for our sins. Have you heard a story like the judge and criminal before? Have you heard any other stories that illustrate Jesus paying for our sins?
     
  10. The beauty of the gospel is that Jesus bore the penalty of our sins (Isaiah 53:4-6).Read the following verses and answer the questions below.

    2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

    1 Peter 3:18   For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

    1 Peter 2:24  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

    For other verses on the atonement, check out this list.
     
  11. In the verses above, what is the reason Christ died for our sins?
    (Answer: “so that we could be made right with God”, “that he might bring us to God," RELATIONSHIP, “that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” RIGHTEOUSNESS)
     
  12. Jesus paid for our sins so that we could have a relationship with God and live in righteousness before God. How is your current relationship with God?
     
  13. “Righteousness” is not a word that is used often. Why do you think righteousness is out of style in todays world?
     
  14. In light of Christ’s death, do you think a Christian can ignore living righteously?
     
  15. Do you think there is a difference between the death of Jesus and other religious leaders, martyrs or war heroes?
     
  16. Name one way that Jesus death IS different from all others? How does that change the way we view Jesus?

Often we look at the death and resurrection as the boring part of Christianity that we don’t need any more. The truth is that the Jesus death and resurrection are the most important parts of the good news. It’s his death and resurrection that allows us to have a relationship with God and the ability to live the right way (righteousness). Close your time with prayer that God would keep his death and resurrection in your thoughts this week.