The Darkness of the Cross
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to Him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split." (Matthew 27:45-51, ESV)
"I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring;He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15, ESV)
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.
“My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”
"For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV)
John MacArthur -"The mystery of separation is far too deep for most to fathom. At the cross His separation from the Father became immeasurably more profound than the humbling incarnation during His 33 years"
Jesus' Sovereign Death
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
"17For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.18No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:18, ESV)
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9, ESV)
Week 1 - The Darkness of the Cross!
This weekend’s sermon addressed the topic of the crucifixion--‘The Darkness of the Cross’. We discussed, what Pastor David coined as ‘Divine Darkness’ and other topics like Christ’s sovereign departure and the torn veil. For today’s study, I want to look at a topic the emerges from all of these--Christian Hope! Although it will not be the passage that we study in today’s study, Romans 8:20-21 addresses the topic of Christian hope, specifically that we will be set free from our bondage to corruption and sin through CHRIST. Today’s study will further examine the topic of Christian hope from a variety of other verses.
To begin, let’s look at what builds Christian hope.
Read 1 Timothy 1:1. As a group, discuss what role JESUS plays in Christian hope.
Let’s explore a little more the concept of Christian hope being founded in CHRIST, as GOD”s chosen vessel of redemption for humanity.
2. As a group, read 1 Peter 1:3-5. What is the significance of Peter using the phrase “living hope?”
3. What does Peter ascribe our hope to in v4-5?
4. As a group, stay in 1 Peter 3, but look at v13. How does Peter tell us to prepare our minds and what does he tell us to focus on in order to keep our hope and faith strong?
5. Finally, look at v18-21 in 1 Peter 3. Here Peter describes GOD’s plan of redemption for humanity-- JESUS CHRIST. Peter details JESUS’ sacrifice and resurrection, which results in our salvation. But what does v21 tell us in the ultimate goal of these things?
Worldly hope is separate from certainty, it is more like a passive wishing of good fortune; whereas Christian hope is a certainty because it is based on GOD’s promises and rooted in the work of Christ!. Without Christian hope, we quickly become engaged in the futility of self-preservation with no certainty for our future. Peter tells us one way to cultivate a strong Christian hope is to dwell on the return of CHRIST.