- Jesus or Barabbas. Imagine the possible outcome of the life of Barabbas, chosen by the government to go free while Jesus was crucified. Was anything good about Barabbas ever mentioned in Scripture? What did Pilate hope upon hope would happen when the people saw the innocent Jesus compared with the corrupted and evil Barabbas? What did so many spectators of the crucifixion lack that would have preserved them for salvation? Why did they miss the point?
- Our crucified substitute. Can you and I even imagine the sense of separation Jesus felt between Himself and His Father at the crucifixion? What was the source of that separation? Does sin separate you and me from God’s holiness in the same dramatic way? How could a sinless Being experience the unleashed wrath of God for all the sins of the world? Since Jesus was sinless, was that fair? What was the consequence of Jesus assuming the weight of all the sins of mankind?
- Torn veil and rent rocks. What were the last words spoken by the sin-besotted mob before Jesus died? What did the tearing of the temple curtain signify? Was it a welcome event to move away from the sacrifices of the temple system? Rocks were broken. How do you think people felt to see some of the dead come to life and rise for eternity? What lessons do you think are waiting for us to take from this simple but graphic picture?
- The risen Christ. Although Jews were crucified fairly often by the Roman authorities for various misdeeds, were the convicted ever raised to life after their death? Does the return to life of Jesus reveal His divinity? Why were the Romans and even some of the Jews doubtful that there was a resurrection? What explanation did the keepers of the grave come up with to explain the empty grave?
- The Great Commission. As your mind sifts through the events related to the resurrection of Jesus, do you ever feel that you are part of the drama taking place? Do you ever doubt that we crumbling human beings are ever going to be able to share the salvation of Christ to the whole world? How many have already died without hearing the salvation story? Do you ever become discouraged about the current state of events in this fallen world? Can you keep trusting in Jesus no matter what? How?