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 Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passage: Luke 23:33-46
- How does a company’s or organization’s purpose give direction for decisions made within that company or organization?
- How did Jesus demonstrate His purpose while on the cross?
Food for thought:
Corporations spend money and effort to craft a defining purpose statement. These statements can reflect what they hope to be or what they already are. Either way, the statement should function as a guide for everyone in the organization with every decision being filtered through that statement.
Throughout the life of Jesus, we are reminded that He was sent with a purpose. When the people questioned Him about eating with Zacchaeus, Jesus declared that the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost (see Luke 19:10). We should not be surprised to see Jesus praying for the forgiveness of His executioners in Luke 23:34. His concern for His executioners proved greater than His personal agony on the cross. Jesus was focused on His purpose of providing for the forgiveness of sin.
Debate exists over who Jesus was referring to when He used the pronoun them. It could be a reference to the Roman soldiers who were carrying out a command of execution without any thought of Jesus’ innocence. Or Jesus may have been referring to the Jewish leaders and people who cried out for His crucifixion. Or perhaps the word them was a broad reference to all of sinful humanity. What a cruel tragedy that the one part of God’s creation made in His image would be so spiritually blind and wicked, as to crucify the Son of God – God in the flesh! Yet it was Jesus’ prayer for our forgiveness that dramatically demonstrated God’s unfathomable love for us while we were lost in sin (see Romans 5:8). We should be humbled by the fact that nothing is closer to the heart of God than the salvation of His people.
Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at Lifeway.com/ExploreTheBible.