SERIES INTRODUCTION

MODGNIK... what do we know about it? It's one of the great mysteries of historic Christianity. It's an entirely upside-down way to understand God. It's confusing, yet beautifully simple. But don't worry, all will be revealed about this new series at Eastside!

  • Share your favorite Easter tradition as a child.


MESSAGE TITLE

King On A Cross

SERMON GUIDE

The people of Jesus’ day were looking for the Kingdom of God to come. They were expectantly looking for a powerful king. They were longing for a political messiah, a strong military conqueror who would come to squash Rome — but instead in this kingdom, we find a king on a cross.

Jesus announced to a group of hopeful followers who had those expectations: “ ‘And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.’ He said this to indicate how he was going to die.” (John 12:32-33 NLT)

He was talking about a cross. He was talking about laying down His life, taking the punishment for the sins of the world. What kind of king does that? Our King.

  • Reflect on John 12:32-33. What is upside down here? What do you understand, and what doesn’t make sense?

Have someone read Psalm 22:1, 7-8, 16-18.

David wrote about Jesus crucifixion. He began with Jesus' words that would be uttered thousands of years later from the cross. In the Bible, there are over 300 detailed prophecies about the messiah, and Jesus fulfilled all of them.

Think about if you were in Jesus' shoes and you knew that you would experience rejection, torture, and death. Wouldn't you be tempted to choose another path?

Yet Jesus kept on moving toward His purpose. He tells His disciples, His closest friends, what is going to happen to Him. Peter blurts out “There’s no way that should happen to you, Jesus!

Have someone read Matthew 16:23.

We aren't facing death, but many of us will face opposition or ridicule for our faith in Jesus. We will meet challenges from family and friends when we seek to follow Him by serving, tithing or attempting to use our gifts and talents for Him.

  • Share a time you felt challenged or opposed regarding your walk of faith. How did you respond? What do you learn from how Jesus acted in the face of opposition?

Have someone read Luke 9:51.

Jesus chose to move ahead and move toward Golgotha, a hill outside Jerusalem.

Sometimes people will ask who murdered Jesus? Who was really responsible for this unjust act of violence? How could something this unfair happen to a man this incredibly good?

Have someone read John 10:18.

Jesus in His own words says this is how it has to happen. This is the kingdom we have been talking about throughout this series — upside down — because what kind of regular king would voluntarily submit to that?

We read in Ephesians 1:7: “Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!” (MSG)

When you humbly and gratefully embrace that gift and invite Him to be the forgiver of your sin and the leader of your life, you not only receive the promise of eternal life, you get to walk free now and experience that every day.

  • Share one of the things you have found freedom in, as a follower of Jesus, that continues to amaze you every day.

God longs for a relationship with people like us. People like us broke the relationship, so God took the initiative and moved throughout history to restore a relationship with us, and He did it on a hill called Golgotha with a King on a cross.

Watch the 3-minute video:

  • Share what stands out to you after watching that video.

  • As we move toward Easter Sunday, share something you need to leave at the cross and trust Jesus with.


APPLICATION

Who do you know that you could invite to join you for one of our Easter services? Who needs to hear the hope of Jesus?

This week write out a list of all the ways you have found freedom through Christ. Spend time in prayer thanking Jesus for everything He has done.

PRAYER

Pair up and pray for each other and the people you identified as needing to hear the hope of Jesus. Pray for courage to reach out and invite them.

Pray for the things you need to leave at the cross, and spend time thanking Jesus for making that sacrifice on the cross so that we can find freedom.