We Preach Christ Crucified
A six-session Bible Study by Carol Geisler
Lesson 6: “The Living One”
“Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore.” Revelation 1:17-18
Heavenly Father, out of love for the world you created, you sent your Son to take onto himself the penalty that we deserve for our sins. Through faith in our crucified and risen Lord, we will live forever in your presence. Help us by the power of your Spirit to proclaim the good news of Christ crucified to the world. Hear our prayer in the name of Jesus our Lord. 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).
Recalling Lesson 3: It is Finished!
Those things commanded by God in the Law were a shadow of the things to come. Jesus finished our salvation by the shedding of his blood on the cross. Those who have received this salvation have been “crucified with him.”
Recalling Lesson 4: The Word of the Cross
God chose what is weak and foolish in the world’s eyes to bring about our salvation – a baby in a manger who grew up to become a helpless victim on a cross and rose from death as our victorious Lord.
Recalling Lesson 5: Father, Glorify Your Son
Any attempt to put ourselves right with God, without the cross of Christ, can be referred to as a “theology of glory.” The Bible teaches a theology of the cross – the saving truth that God is hidden and revealed in the suffering and weakness of the cross.
INTRODUCTION TO LESSON 6
When Jesus rose from the dead, he still bore the marks of the nails and the wound from the spear in his side. He appeared to his disciples and “showed them his hands and his side” (John 20:20). He told Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands; and put out your hand and place it in my side” (John 20:27). The scars mark him as the crucified and living Lord, who said, “I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades” (Revelation 1:18).
Read Hosea 6:1-3
 “Come, let us return to the LORD;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
 Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.” (ESV)
In this call to repentance, Israel is assured that the Lord who has “torn” them and struck them down will also heal and revive them. What do these words from the prophet also foretell concerning the Messiah, who was torn and struck down for our sin? He would be delivered from death in a short time… raised on the third day.
What assurance can we find in these verses for the forgiveness of our sins? He will heal us, bind us up, revive us and raise us up.
Read Psalm 16
 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.
 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.
 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
 I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (ESV)
And Acts 2:22-36
 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.  God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.  For David says concerning him,
“‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.
 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.
 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.  Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne,  he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.  This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.  Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.  For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand,  until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” (ESV)
What did David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, foresee about the Christ, the Messiah? He will not be abandoned to Sheol, or see corruption.
Although David wrote the psalm, why don’t the words of verse 10 apply to him? He is not “the holy one” (the Messiah is).
How does Peter point this out in his sermon on Pentecost? David “both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.”
How does Peter use this psalm in his sermon to testify to Jesus Christ? He explains that David “foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ.”
What does Peter proclaim about the crucified Savior? “he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up.”
Read Psalm 118:10-24
 All nations surrounded me; in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
 They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off!
 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me.
 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
 Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,
 the right hand of the LORD exalts, the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!”
 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.
 The LORD has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.
 This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.
 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
 This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (ESV)
Jesus may have sung this psalm as part of his Passover celebration on the night he was betrayed. Which verses speak of the treatment Jesus received at the hands of his enemies? V. 10-13
Which verses speak of hope in the saving power of God? V. 14-19
Which verse speaks of God’s victory and Jesus’ exaltation? V. 20-24
Read Matthew 27:57-66
 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus.  He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.  And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud  and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.  Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate  and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’  Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.”  Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.”  So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. (ESV)
And Mark 15:42-47
 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,  Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead.  And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.  And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.  Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid. (ESV)
Who were among the witnesses that could testify to Jesus’ death? Joseph, Mary, Mary
Why was Pilate surprised when he heard that Jesus was dead? Seemed too soon.
What details are we given concerning Jesus’ burial? He was wrapped in a linen shroud, placed in a new tomb, which was sealed by a great stone, and watched by guards.
Why were the chief priests and the Pharisees afraid that the situation would become worse, even though Jesus was dead? “lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead”
Read Matthew 28:1-10
 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.  And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.  But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.”  So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.  Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” (ESV)
And 1 Corinthians 15:1-9
 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,  and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,  and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.  Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.  For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (ESV)
Who were some of the eyewitnesses who saw Jesus after he rose from the dead? Mary (2), Cephas (Peter), the twelve, the 500, James
Why does Paul, who met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, refer to himself as “one untimely born” (that is, as an infant who would not be expected to survive)? Jesus’ appearance to Paul could be thought of as unusual or unexpected, since Paul was not a follower of Jesus – and in fact a persecutor of his followers. Paul is humbling himself.
There was no doubt about it – Jesus Christ rose bodily from the grave. Eyewitnesses saw him, touched him and ate with him. Those who first heard Paul’s letter could even ask around about it, since at that time most of the people to whom Jesus appeared were will alive (1 Cor. 15:6).
Read Luke 24:45-48
 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,  and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,  and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.” (ESV)
What did Jesus tell his disciples about the message that must be proclaimed? “The Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations.”
Read Acts 1:15-26
 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said,  “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.  For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”  (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.  And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)  “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,
“‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’;
And “‘Let another take his office.’
 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,  beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”  And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias.  And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen  to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”  And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (ESV)
What qualifications were necessary in the candidates brought forward to take the place of Judas? Someone who had been with Jesus and the others (v. 21)
Read Acts 2:23-24
 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.  God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (ESV)
And Acts 3:14-15
 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,  and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. (ESV)
And Acts 4:1-2
 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them,  greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. (ESV)
And Acts 5:30-32
 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.  God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.  And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (ESV)
What was the central message of the disciples’ proclamation? Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
Is this message faithfully proclaimed in the world today, or is it rarely heard? Faithfully proclaimed by some… not heard nearly as often as it is needed.
Why must this message be proclaimed? To give repentance and the forgiveness of sins (5:31).
Next week: Conclusion of Lesson 6 – “We live”
“We preach Christ crucified.” Jesus Christ was crucified for the sins of the world and on the third day raised to life. Through faith in his name we have forgiveness for our sins and eternal life. That is the Gospel message we proclaim, until that day when we join the saints and angels in endless praise to our crucified and risen Lord: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12).
“Christ the Lord is ris’n today!”
Saints on earth and angels say;
Raise your joys and triumphs high;
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth reply.
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal;
Christ hath burst the gates of hell.
Death in vain forbids his rise;
Christ has opened paradise.