The Death of Jesus

Luke 23:44-47

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”

The Death of Jesus

A Kernel of Wheat

John 12:23-25

23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

A Kernel of Wheat

This is a beautiful picture of the necessary sacrifice of Jesus. Unless a kernel of wheat is buried in the ground, it will not become a blade of wheat producing many more seeds. Jesus had to die to pay the penalty for our sin, but also to show His power over death. His resurrection proves He has eternal life. Because Jesus is God, Jesus can give this same eternal life to all who believe in Him.

Set an Example for Others

Throughout Scripture, setting an example is stressed as an important element of discipleship.

Set an Example for Others

Matthew 11:29

29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Jesus told His followers to learn from His example of gentleness and humility.

1 Corinthians 4:16

16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me.

Paul told the Corinthian believers to imitate him.

Philippians 3:17

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.

Paul urged believers to follow his example of enthusiasm, perseverance, and maturity.

1 Thessalonians 1:6-7

6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.

The new Christians at Thessalonica received training in discipleship from Paul, and even in suffering, they expressed what they had learned.

1 Timothy 1:16

16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

Paul used his unworthiness to receive Christ as an example of grace so that no one would hold back from coming to Christ.

1 Peter 5:2-3

2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

Peter taught Christian leaders to lead by example, not by commands.

As the body of Christ, believers must show Christ to the world by being examples. Nonbelievers should be able to see Christ in believers and be so drawn to what they see that they seek Christ and His salvation. What kind of example are you?

The Mind of Christ

1 Corinthians 2:15-16

15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

The Mind of Christ

No one can comprehend God, but through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, believers have insight into some of God’s plans, thoughts, and actions—they, in fact, have the “mind of Christ.” Through the Holy Spirit, we can begin to know God’s thoughts, talk with Him, and expect His answers to our prayers. Are you spending enough time with Christ to have His very mind in you? An intimate relationship with Christ comes only from spending time consistently in His presence and in His Word.

One Body

Romans 12:4-8

4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

One Body

Paul uses the concept of the human body to teach how Christians should live and work together. Just as the parts of the body function under the direction of the brain, so Christians are to work together under the command and authority of Jesus Christ.

God gives us gifts so we can build up His church. In order to use them effectively, we must realize that all gifts and abilities come from God; understand that not everyone has the same gifts; know who we are and what we do best; dedicate our gifts to God’s service and not to our personal success; and be willing to utilize our gifts wholeheartedly, not holding back anything from God’s service. God’s gifts differ in nature, power, and effectiveness according to His wisdom and graciousness, not according to our faith. Our role is to be faithful and to seek ways to serve others with what Christ has given us.

When we identify our own gifts, we must ask ourselves how we can use them to build up God’s family. But at the same time, we must realize that our gifts can’t do the work of the church all alone. Be thankful for people whose gifts are completely different from yours. Let your strengths balance their weaknesses, and be grateful that their abilities make up for your deficiencies. Together we can build Christ’s church.

The Eyes of Your Hearts Enlightened

Ephesians 1:16-21

16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

The Eyes of Your Hearts Enlightened