Here's a summary of my Thursday morning bible study on "Christians at the Cross: Finding Hope in the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus" by New Testament Bible Scholar, Tom Wright.
The scripture lessons for Wednesday of Holy Week are Isaiah 50:4-9 (the Suffering Servant who is betrayed and has hope he will be vindicated by God) and John 13:21-30 (the story of Judas deciding to betray Jesus.)
Here are the highlights of our study this morning:
- The sin, pain, and evil of the world are all hitting Jesus during Holy Week including lies, injustice, racial prejudice, idolatry, and love of power.
- As someone trusted by Jesus and the other disciples, Judas's betrayal of Jesus makes this a very painful story to read!
- When Jesus died on the cross, he took all of this pain and sin upon himself on behalf of the world (including us!)
- In what ways have we been betrayed personally? In our communities? Other ways? We can either cling to this pain and be victims or name the betrayals and know that Jesus's death on the cross has defeated the dark forces of evil and through him we can live victoriously.
- By identifying with the Suffering Servant of Isaiah, Jesus saw himself as the one who would need to take on the sin and pain of the world in order to defeat it. This is the picture of the suffering servant.
- Because of what Jesus has done through the cross, we are empowered to forgive and not allow past and future sin to hold us captive.