Reflection & Discussion Questions
  • Watch the sermon
  • Read Luke 23:43
  • Read: Matthew 27:

    46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

    Read Psalm 22

    • What stood out to you in the sermon and/or in the reading of this Psalm?
    • Have you ever felt forsaken by God? Have you ever felt the pain of unanswered prayers? What was this like? How did Jesus experience this?
    • As you read this psalm as Jesus’ personal thoughts and prayers from the cross, what do you notice? Which aspects of Christ’s sufferings stood out to you the most?
    • How does it encourage your heart that Jesus was forsaken so that you never would be? Do you believe the truth that you will never be forsaken by God?
    • What does Jesus rejoice in as he thinks of the victory of the cross? See vs 22- 31.
    • What truths in this Psalm encourage your heart? Which truths challenge you?
Reflection & Discussion Questions
  • Watch the sermon
  • Read Luke 23:43
  • “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

    Today’s reflection comes from the book Last Words: Seven Sayings from the Heart of Christ on the Cross. 

    Take some time to reflect now on the hope that is yours today in Jesus:

    See Your Need. The criminal was in a desperate situation. Consider a time when you were hopeless. Why was that? In what ways can you relate to the criminal today? What do you long for right now?

    See Jesus. Jesus spoke directly to the thief’s request, stating that he would be with him in paradise. What assurance does Jesus’s word to the criminal offer you? Picture Jesus responding to your desperate longings. What goes on in your heart and mind hearing Jesus’s Words to you?

    Come near to God. Jesus promised the criminal refill and friendship in his approaching death. What other promises in scripture do you recall that offer comfort (for example, in Hebrews 13:5, God says, “I will never leave you of forsake you? God is trustworthy, and God’s promises are true. As you think of your longings, what helps you hold on to faith in God in trials? How might you cling to God’s Character and the truth of God’s word during the day?

    Go to Others. In what ways might having an eternal hope change how you interact with those who don’t know this promise? Whom might you talk with about what God offers us? When and how might that happen in the coming weeks? 

    Pray You may wish to pray over or meditate on the following prayer inspired by Luke 23:43Dear Lord Jesus, how I wonder at your grace and mercy!When we cry out to you, you hear us.When we ask you to remember us when you come into your kingdom, you offer the promise of paradise.Your mercy, dear Lord, exceeds anything we might imagine.It embraces us, encourages us, heals us. O Lord, though my situation is so different from the criminal who cried out to you, I am nevertheless quite like him.Today I live, trusting you and you alone. My life, but now and in the world to come, is in your hands.And so I pray: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!Jesus, remember me today as I seek to live within your kingdom! Amen.

Reflection & Discussion Questions
  • Watch the sermon
  • Read Luke 23:34
  • First, we start by reflecting on the last words of Jesus that will be explored in this week’s sermon:

    “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

    You may wish to pray over or meditate on the following prayer inspired by Luke 23:34.

    Gracious Lord Jesus, it’s easy for me to speak of your forgiveness, even to ask for it and to thank you for it. But do I really believe I’m forgiven? Do I experience the freedom that comes from the assurance that you have cleansed me from my sins? Or do I live as if I’m “semi-forgiven”? Even though I’ve put my faith in you and confessed my sins, do I live as sin still has power over me? Do I try to prove myself to you, as if I might be able to earn more forgiveness?

    Dear Lord, though I believe at one level that you have forgiven me, this amazing truth needs to penetrate my heart in new ways. Help me to know with fresh conviction that I am fully and finally forgiven, not because of anything I have done, but because of what you have done for me. 

    May I live today as a forgiven person, opening my heart to you, choosing not to sin because the power of sin has been broken by your salvation. 

    All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, for your matchless forgiveness! Amen.