In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins (Acts 13:38). In these ten brief words the apostle Paul summarises the very essence of the Christian Gospel. In this Bible Focus we shall be looking at the momentous events which enabled him to make this statement.
The story begins some three years previously when John the Baptist saw Jesus coming towards him and exclaimed, Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29). In saying this, John identified our Lord with the lamb of the ancient Passover meal, the blood of whose sacrifice saved the Lord's people from death (Exodus 12:12-13 and 12:26-27). This identification is affirmed in both Old and New Testaments, as for example in Isaiah 53:7, 1 Corinthians 5:7, and Revelation 5:6-14 and 14:1-5.
Jesus was crucified on the first day of the Passover, thus fulfilling all that had been predicted about him by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 53:7-9. The events leading up to this crucial day are described in detail in all four Gospels, as are those which followed. It is these events, and all the benefits Christians derive from them, that form The Heart of the Gospel. This is our Focus for this page.
We now invite you to answer the following groups of questions. All the answers can be found in the passages of Scripture to which we have referred. These are taken mainly from the Gospels, but we have also referred to various other scriptures which serve either to confirm or to amplify the evangelists' message.
Although some of the passages are rather long, we would nevertheless commend to you the practice of copying them out by hand. By doing this not only will you familiarise yourself with the events related, but also be able more easily to identify the similarities and differences between the Gospel accounts. Where the questions involve comparing accounts, we suggest you arrange them in columns, in the same way as they may be viewed on the Bible Gateway website by using the change layout command where possible. (We regret this has not been possible for question 1). You may find it helpful to go a stage further by setting the corresponding events and sayings alongside each other when transcribing them.
Your answer to the first question will provide you with a general overview of the whole of the last week of our Lord's earthly life, while those which follow focus more specifically on certain critical events within that week and afterwards, together with some of their implications for our life as Christians today.
(Please note we have had to divide the passages from Matthew and John into two parts because of a restriction on the number of verses that may be displayed in a single reference in our chosen version on the Bible Gateway website.)
The Last SupperCompare the accounts of Jesus' last evening with his disciples as recorded by the four evangelists (Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:7-30, John 13:1-38) with what the apostle Paul had received and passed on to the Christians at Corinth (1 Corinthians 11:23-25).
The Trial, Crucifixion & BurialReflect in detail on our Lord's trial and death by comparing the four Gospel accounts (Matthew 26:31-27:61, Mark 14:27-15:47, Luke 22:31-23:56, John 18:1-19:42).
The Resurrection & Appearances
Two Personal Applications
|We hope you have found this Bible Focus profitable. The possibilities for further investigation and reflection on the topics we have touched upon are virtually endless! For, in this Focus we have encountered the Bible's great theme - God's provision for the redemption of the entire human race through his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Some possible avenues for further exploration are:
The Gospel WordThe glorious message of the Christian Gospel is that, though all have sinned, solely because of God's gracious kindness all may be saved by faith in Jesus Christ, whom he sent to take the punishment we deserved for our sins and to satisfy his anger against us (Romans 3:22-26). This salvation was won for us even before we were aware of our need for it (Romans 5:6-8). In view of this, what peril we place ourselves in if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself (Hebrews 2:3)!
But there really is no need to do so, for Salvation that comes from trusting Christ ... is within easy reach. In fact ...it is on your lips and in your heart (Romans 10:8). Paul then goes on to explain how this is possible: For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved (Romans 10:9-10).
To Continue...This page concludes our third main section, through which, we pray, you will have greatly benefitted from Experiencing the Bible's Power. We now invite you to explore our fourth group of pages containing Further Help and Thoughts, starting with Help with Daily Bible Reading.
|Help with Daily Bible Reading|
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