03 Apr 2015

Holy Week 2015: The Cross as Fulfillment

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Friday, April 3
John 19:17-37

In each of the four gospel accounts, the crucifixion is presented in slightly different ways.  Certain people and certain moments are emphasized in one account but not in another.  Each gospel writer emphasizes things that are important to their overall purpose in writing their gospel account.

In John’s gospel, the Apostle John is writing so that the readers may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed One.  That informs John’s decisions of what to present from all of the different happenings surrounding the crucifixion.  In his presentation, John includes the inscription (v. 19-22), the garments (v. 23-24), Jesus’ mother (v. 25-27), and Jesus’ last moments (v. 28-30).  Each serve to make the case that Jesus truly was the Messiah.

  1. Why were the Jewish leaders so upset by the inscription put up over Jesus’ cross?
  2. Why is the inscription an important part of Jesus’ death?
  3. Where else in Jesus’ birth, life and ministry is he proclaimed to be or treated as a king?
  4. Why are Jesus’ garments (casting of lots) so important to believing that Jesus is the Christ?

Toward the end, Jesus charges the Apostle John with caring for His mother.  This is not directly a “proof” or reason to believe that Jesus was the Messiah.  But, early doubters dismissed Jesus’ resurrection by saying that Jesus did not really die on the cross.  Instead, He simply swooned or passed out.  Then woke up later in the tomb.  Thus, Jesus didn’t rise from the grave, He just woke up from near death.

  1. How does Jesus’ charge to John dismiss the “swoon” theory?
  2. What would you say to someone who believed the “swoon” theory to prove that Jesus actually died?
  3. John records Jesus’ last words on the cross, “It is finished.” What is the significance to those words?
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