We Preach Christ Crucified
A six-session Bible Study by Carol Geisler
Lesson 3 (continued): “It is finished”
“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.” John 19:30
Heavenly Father, out of love for the world you created, you sent your Son to be its savior. As we study your holy Word, guide us by your Spirit to greater gratitude and praise for your Son’s redeeming death and triumphant resurrection. Help us also to be bold and confident witnesses to your love, so that others will come to know and worship Jesus as Lord. Hear our prayer in his name. Amen.
Recalling Lesson 1: The Penalty and the Promise
Jesus took the penalty of death onto himself, suffering death in our place. In exchange, he has given us the promise of forgiveness and life.
Recalling Lesson 2: Crucify Him! Foretold and Fulfilled
The Savior fulfilled all that the Old Testament Scriptures had said of him. The Lamb of God “was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you” (1 Peter 1:20-21).
Reminder about Lesson 3:
Lesson 3 is divided into 3 parts: Lifeblood, It is finished and Crucified with Christ. Lifeblood was covered last week. Today we start with It is finished.
IT IS FINISHED
Read Ephesians 2:11-22
 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility  by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.  And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.  For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (ESV)
The Gentiles (those who are not Jews) were not among God’s chosen people. They were strangers to God’s promises, “having no hope and with God in the world.” What was accomplished for Jews and Gentiles in the blood of Christ shed on the cross? They were both reconciled to God in one body through the cross (v. 16).
How do the apostles and prophets provide a foundation for the “household of God?” We are built on their witness (v. 20).
What does it mean to have Christ as the cornerstone? He is our foundation and most critical component.
Who dwells within this holy temple formed by the people of God? God! (v. 22)
Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (ESV)
What did God do for the world through Jesus’ death on the cross? “He is a new creation… who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” And note the context – extending back to v. 15 – “he died for all.”
What is the “ministry of reconciliation”? Explained in v. 19 – “That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” Also v. 20 – “therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.”
Read Colossians 1:18-20
 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (ESV)
According to these verses, what was reconciled to God through the cross? “All things, whether on earth or in heaven” (v. 20).
Read 1 Peter 2:18-25
 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.  For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.  For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.  For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.  He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.  When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.  For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (ESV)
For our sake, Jesus suffered a death he did not deserve. In what circumstances might we suffer unjustly? When we area being a servant – such as in our vocations, and as a servant of Christ.
What details are given here of Jesus’ response to his tormentors? “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten” (v.23).
Why might we at times find it difficult to entrust ourselves to God, as Jesus entrusted himself to his Father? We want to fight. Or sometimes we lose hope.
CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST
Read Galatians 2:15-21
 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;  yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!  For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor.  For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (ESV)
Why can no one be justified, or put into a right relationship with God, by “works of the law?” Because we can’t keep the law. We don’t do its works as we should.
What does the apostle mean when he says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me?” Luther: it is as though you are one person with Christ. Lenski: You died to the Law, as Christ. Romans 6: “you are united with him in a death like his.” 2 Corinthians 5: “you are a new creation.”
What does it mean for you, in your life “in the flesh,” to “live by faith in the Son of God?” Even though I sin, in faith I’m forgiven because of being crucified with Christ.
Read Galatians 5:16-24
 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (ESV)
How do these verses help us to understand what it means to say, “Christ lives in me?” We “walk by the Spirit”; and are “led by the Spirit”; and are given the “fruit of the Spirit”
What are the desires of the flesh, or works of the flesh, that must not be gratified? V.19ff – 15 of them!
What is the ultimate end of those who do such things? They will not inherit the kingdom.
Remember Paul’s words from Galatians 2 above. How have we “crucified the flesh” and its desires? Lenski: One, decisive act, done by us through our conversion, in which we are saved. This is in contrast to another “putting to death” we are called to, as in Romans 8:13 – “but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” – which is the ongoing mortification of the flesh.
What is the Spirit’s fruit that will grow in our lives? V. 22ff – 9 qualities
Think about what one of those fruits would look like growing in your life at home or at work in your congregation.
Read Galatians 6:14
 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (ESV)
Like Paul, we want to boast in the cross of Jesus, but what are some of the other things in which we often like to boast? Paul in context refers to those wishing to boast because of convincing others to be circumcised (winning the debate). We like to boast of converts, growth, etc.
Is it wrong to boast of these things? “far be it from me to boast…”
How has the world been crucified to you through the cross of Jesus – and you to the world? You are no longer “of the world.” Lenski: “each was forever done with the other.”
“The law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities” (Hebrews 10:1). The lambs’ blood on the doorposts and lintels of Israelite homes, the sacrifice in the wilderness tabernacle and in the Jerusalem temple, the sprinkled blood – these things commanded by God in the Law were but a shadow of the good things to come. The blurred and indistinct outline that was the Law’s shadow snapped into sharp focus on a cross outside of Jerusalem. There “the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:19), flowed freely to wash away our sins.
Jesus, Lamb of God, you shed your blood for the forgiveness of our sins. When we are treated unfairly or ridiculed for our faith in your name, teach us to follow in your footsteps and entrust ourselves, as you did, to the Father’s care. Help us to live each day by faith and bear in our lives the Spirit’s fruit. Amen.