Suffered Under Pontius Pilate
Study notes for: October 26th sermon.
Text: John 18:28-19:16
We live at a time in history when there's a huge disconnect between Jesus and His followers. People like Jesus... a lot. There are all kinds of bumper stickers, pins, bracelets, t-shirts, and flags available that will let you show your loyalties. At same time, though, lots of the same people who claim to be tight with Jesus can't stand other Christians, and really can't stand the church.
My question this coming Sunday is this: If Jesus is so wildly popular, why did everyone, religious and secular, patriotic and rebellious, from the right and left alike, conspire to kill the man? What was it about this person that made His death a necessity from the perspectives of such wildly diverse people as Romans and Jews?
The second question: What's the value of Jesus death? What was gained by it? To understand the framework for this question, you might want to pour yourself a cup of coffee and take a look at the atonement theories that have been cast by theologians down through the ages. If you're bored with that, just read I John 2:1-3 and II Corinthians 5:21.
1) According to these two passages, what's the value of Jesus death?
2) What does Paul mean in Romans 6 when he says that we died with Christ? What does this look like in real life?
3) When you think about Jesus death, are you supposed to be glad that he died for you, sad that he suffered so much, intent of being willing to suffer more for him? What is response as you recall the death of Christ through the Lord's Table and Baptism?
Now...on to the reasons people killed Jesus -
1) Jesus proclaimed a different kingdom and told his followers that, while they should 'render unto Ceasar..." the reality is that their loyalty to Christ's reign supercedes any other kingdom. Can you think of Christians who've paid a price in America for placing their loyalty to Christ above that of country? What would that look like here?
2) Jesus' teaching was, eventually, an offense to everyone - but in His physical absence, the church has the luxury of re-interpreting His sayings, and thus runs the risk of lessening both the offense and impact of the gospel. If Jesus were to walk among your church today, what might He tell us that we're misrepresenting? Please use the scriptures to support your thoughts.