Crucified Life Session One

FORGIVENESS

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Luke 23: 33-34


Prayer: “Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking the way of the cross, may find it none other that the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (from the Book of Common Prayer, page 99)


Opening Questions:

  • Is it easier to forgive or be forgiven? Why?
  • Why do people find it difficult to forgive someone who wrongs them?

“God uses stories to guide us. When we read the true stories of Scripture, we learn what God is like. We see his plan unfolding. And we learn principles for our own lives. We become part of God’s story by aligning our stories with His. Not just understanding what is means to follow Him, but actually doing it. By changing our attitudes and actions to live as He would live.” – Rev. Charlie Holt

Read Luke 23:33-38
As you read try to place yourself as an observer of this event.

 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Discuss:

  • What images or thoughts came you your mind.
  • Who did Jesus ask God to forgive? Why is that significant?
  • Why did the people sneer and mock Jesus?
  • How do you make sense of Jesus prayer of forgiveness in the midst of persecution and violence?

Watch this video: Crucified Life Session One: Forgiveness
As you watch the video write down key thoughts, questions, or things you want to remember.

If the video does not appear, click here.


Discuss:

  • What were some thoughts or questions you had based on this video?
  • Rev. Holt calls forgiveness “costly.” Why was it so costly for God to forgive us?
  • In what ways does it feel costly to you when you forgive someone how has wronged you? What are you having to let go of when you forgive another person?
  • Rev. Holt suggest that forgiveness/unforgiveness is the biggest barrier to a relationship with God. How is that so?
  • What does Rev. Holt say about forgiveness in relation to the Lord’s prayer?
  • What are we saying to God when we say, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive the sins of those who sinned against us” (Luke 11:4, NLT)? How do we want God to treat us, if we are unable to forgive others?”
  • Be honest with yourself: Is there someone you have been refusing to forgive? Can you talk about why it is so difficult for you?

Close your time by meditating in Psalm 103.

Psalm 103
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

This Psalm says God is full of compassion and mercy. In what ways have you witnessed God’s mercy and kindness? In what ways do we reflect the image of God when we show compassion to others?

Please comment below and share how this session impacted you.

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