NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.

Bible Passage: Matthew 27:11-51

Discussion Questions: What comes to mind when you hear the word “sacrifice”? How can you cultivate a greater understanding and appreciation for the way in which Jesus accomplished His work for man’s redemption by dying on the cross?

Food for Thought:

Jesus died. His death on a cruel Roman cross is recorded in the gospels and attested to by even extra-biblical historians of that time period. Jesus’ death on the cross is the central event in human history. The Christian faith rises and falls based on Jesus’ sacrificial death and his resurrection from the grave.

As we study the story of the cross this week, we’ll come to understand that Jesus was a substitute sacrifice. He is the One who took our place. The innocent died for the guilty. The crowd cried out for the release of the guilty (Barabbas) and for the death of the innocent (Jesus). Barabbas walked free, but the innocent Savior did not. Punishment fell on the man who did not deserve it.

Jesus is also the crucified King. He was mocked at His trial, royal-colored clothing was placed on Him, and He was even forced to wear a crown of thorns. The crowd meant this as an insult, but they did not realize they were actually providing the True King with the royal robes and crown He rightfully deserved.

Finally, Jesus became the forsaken Son. As He took on the sins of the world, the Heavenly Father looked away. Jesus felt the pain of a separation He’d never known before. This good King took on the sins of the world so that we might find acceptance and be welcomed into God’s family as His children.

The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students, and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information, free samples, and The Gospel Project blog can be found at

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.

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