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whatjesusdid

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Intro - The Suffering Servant

The New Testament offers very little depth about the brutality of the Crucifixion of Jesus. We do know some of the bad things that happened, though. How much do you know about what happened? Maybe write down what you do know, then get everyone to reflect back on it...


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What does the New Testament say?

Matthew 27.26-30:

Then Pilate released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him.

Write down the bad things that happened to Jesus, from Matthew 27.26-30:

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Matthew 27.32-44:

As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!"

In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.' " In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Write down the bad things that happened to Jesus, from Matthew 27.32-44:

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John 19.23:

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

John 19.33-34:

But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

Write down the bad things that happened to Jesus, from John:

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The experts tell us that in many ways, Jesus should have been dead before he even reached the cross, such was the violence and abuse that was done to him. The Mel Gibson movie, 'The Passion of the Christ' was given a 15 rating because of the violent scenes. Many people thought the violence went over the top. Yet those people obviously haven't read their Bibles closely enough.

Yet Jesus went to the Cross because of the love that he has for you and for us all. He was prepared to die the most terrible death and even sweat blood before he even reached the Cross, so that he could give us the chance to be free from the sin and evil in our world - and accept the free gift of life and eternity with him.

Prayer:

Now would be a good time to pray. If you are not yet a Christian, it could be that now is the time that God is speaking to you, calling you to say yes to him, yes to a new life with him as the boss of your life - he'll do amazing things in and through you. If you're a Christian, say thank you to Jesus for his sacrifice for you. Ask him to show you what you can do for him.

The Old Testament

The Old Testament gives us even more clues about what happened to Jesus, who suffered for you and me. Through his suffering, we are set free.

Psalm 22 is a Psalm prophesying about Jesus who would come to Israel in the future...

Psalm 22.6-7: But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.

Psalm 22.12-18: Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

Write down the bad things that happened to Jesus, from Psalm 22:

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Then in Isaiah, we find a group of chapters together looking forward to the Messiah (Jesus):

Isaiah 50.6: I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.

Isaiah 53.3.3: He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Write down the bad things that happened to Jesus, from Isaiah:

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This study should have given you some clue as to the depth of what Jesus did for us, the suffering he went through. When you love someone, you will do all kinds of things for them that you normally wouldn't. Jesus really deeply loved us and was completely obedient to his father in heaven - I mean, just look at the terrible, evil things that happened to him. And yet still people reject him and pretend that he was some kind of blue eyed, white cloak, sandal wearing hippy. I don't think so... No-one that disrespects Jesus could take anything like the abuse Jesus suffered.

Why did Jesus do what he did? A detailed look

If you think about all the evil things in our world; think about the terrible injustice; what people do to each other; the terrible diseases and viruses etc. Yet at the Cross, Jesus took all this evil upon himself. No wonder that the Bible tells us he was disfigured beyond recognition. Imagine having to carry the burden of such evil - and sacrificing himself just once so that all of this sin could be forgiven and taken away, if we say yes to Jesus in our lives.

Think and pray:

Now would be a good time to pray. If you are not yet a Christian, just think about what Jesus did on the Cross - the abuse, torture, suffering... If you're a Christian, take time to say sorry to God for the wrong things you have done today. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you wrong things in your life.

Isaiah 53.4-7, 12 expands even further on what Jesus for us:

The translation below is from the NIV. You may want to use The Message translation instead...

Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Therefore I will give him (Jesus) a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

What do you think the Bible says that Jesus did for us:

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On the cross, Jesus carried all our infirmities and sorrows. He was pierced so that he could make peace between us and God for all our sin and wrongs. He was wounded so that we are healed. He carried the sin of many and carried all the sin of the world, so that we can be made right with God.

Reflect and worship

When we think of what Jesus did, we can only respond to him in thanks, prayer, passion - and by giving our lives to him. Let's ask God what he wants us to do, let's obey him, keep him in number one place in our lives. And let's worship...

- Play a song in the background ('You chose the Cross' by Martn Layzell / 'Hallelujah' by Ben Cantelon, or an appropriate song for your group)

- Get people to pray for each other / ask if anyone wants prayer.

- Make a response to God. Stand before him and make a decision to follow him, or to re-dedicate your life, or to surrender completely to God.

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