And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him. And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, sating lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour [9:00am] when they crucified him. And the insctription of the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews." And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and recuild it in trhee days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Crhist, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe." Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
It's easy for us to think that the world is divided into 'good people' and 'bad people' (and of course, we're the good people). But the Bible teaches that all people are guilty. What are some of the ways you wrestle with living this out? Who are the 'bad people' according to you?
In the sermon, the pastor said, "What we don't understand is that life in Christ is really living in the moment-by-moment grace of God." What might it mean for us to live that way? How does living in a state of forgiveness change our view of ourselves? Of others?
Jesus doesn't just bear our guilt, he bears our shame as well. How does Jesus take away our shame? How does the parable of the prodigal son illustrate this? How does that change the way you see yourself?
Simon of Cyrene has to bear the cross (literally fulfilling Jesus' commandment). But he doesn't die at Golgotha; Jesus does. How is this a metaphor for the Christian life? I what ways does Jesus bearing our guilt and shame enable us to bear the cross and follow him?