Introduction: In 2004 I attended the National Religious
Broadcasters convention and saw an advance copy of Gibson’s
“The Passion of the Christ.” When I returned to my hotel I
fell on my knees in sorrow for my sins and gratitude for
what Jesus did for me at the cross. Although I own a copy
of that movie, I’ve never watched it again because it is so
emotionally wrenching. Think about that. What Satan did to
Jesus, and what Jesus voluntarily accepted, is so awful I
don’t even want to watch it again. Our Bible study this week
is not about the horror of Jesus’ sacrifice, but rather what
this plan for our salvation says about our Lord and how we
should respond. Let’s dive into our study!

I. The Foundation Plan

A. Read Revelation 13:7-8 and Acts 2:23. These texts
say that Jesus’ death on the cross was planned in
heaven “before the foundation of the world.” What
problem was this plan addressing? (That humans
might sin.)

1. Put yourself in God’s place. What alternative
plans could be considered?

2. Let’s assume we are dealing with a problem
with your automobile. Why would you solve the
problem in a way that was most costly and
unpleasant? (God must have decided there was
no other way to resolve the problem.)

a. Really? A simple way to avoid this
problem would be to refrain from creating
humans. What is wrong with that simple
solution? (The only answer is that God
loved us so much He was unwilling to
accept that solution.)

b. Another solution is to limit free choice.
What is wrong with that solution? (The
essence of love is free choice.)

B. Look again at Revelation 13:8. The ESV states this
text a little differently. It says names were
written in the Book of Life before the Foundation
of the world. Does this support the idea that
Jesus agreed to die because God loves us? (Since
your name was written in the Book of Life at the
time that the Godhead decided on the plan of
salvation, that plan was made specifically for

1. How should we understand this: that God wrote
the name of everyone in the Book of Life and
if our name is removed, it is because of our
decision to have it removed? Or, that God
always knew who would accept Him?

a. If you select the second choice, does
that mean the plan of salvation was
simply known in advance, and not actually
planned in advance?

2. Do you think that God was surprised by how
malicious Satan and the fallen angels turned
out to be at the cross?

C. Read 1 Peter 1:18-19 and John 1:29. Why did God
set up a plan that prior to Jesus coming to earth
His people would sacrifice a lamb for their sins?
(The sacrificial system pointed to what Jesus
would do.)

1. Let’s explore a couple of questions about
this. Did God’s people sacrifice the lamb in
the most painful way possible? (There is no
evidence of that. Just the opposite is true.)

a. Why then, did Jesus die so painfully?
(God’s plan was not to inflict the
maximum pain on Jesus, that was Satan’s

b. How did the sacrifice of a lamb impact
the sinner? (Imagine that you had to kill
a domestic animal every time you sinned.
I think that would make a big impact on

II. Our Reaction to the Lamb

A. Read Romans 1:18 and Romans 1:26-28. I love my
children. In a number of conversations lately I’ve
been challenged by the claim that the church is
not showing God’s love, the kind of love parents
have, for children who say they are gay. What does
the sacrifice of the lamb teach us about the
proper approach to this problem?

1. Notice that Romans 1:18 warns against truth
suppression and Romans 1:28 warns against not
acknowledging God. What does this add to the

B. Read Romans 1:29-32. Almost no one discusses with
me the reaction of the church to these sins. What
does the sacrifice of the lamb say about the
proper approach to these problems? (Love for our
children, and the love of our own sins, prevents
us from taking the honest view that the killing of
the lamb requires.)

C. Compare 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 with Matthew 9:10-12.
How does the sacrifice of the lamb apply here?
(Making this distinction is critical.

D. Read Matthew 16:21-23. Jesus explains His mission
as the lamb. Peter rebukes Jesus. Why? (Jesus
explains that Peter has his mind set on the
“things of man” rather than the “things of God.”)

1. What do you think Jesus means? What is at the
heart of Peter’s error? (Peter does not
understand the sacrifice of the lamb. Not only
does this terrible event have the effect of
turning us from sin, it should also give us an
attitude of self-sacrifice.)

E. Read 1 Corinthians 2:6-8. We see here that the
“rulers of this age,” like Peter, did not
understand the sacrifice of the lamb. What is this
wisdom that is “secret and hidden” and established
by God “before the ages?” (This is the difference
between taking and intelligently giving. At the
end Jesus gets everything – and that is consistent
with this secret wisdom. Consider the example of a
family who works very hard to create a new kind of
computer. They get rich from their sacrificial
work, but they improve the lives of all those who
profit from easy access to a computer.)

III. The Secure Victory of the Lamb

A. Read John 19:30. What was finished? Was Jesus
talking about His life?(If Jesus were talking
about His life He would say, “I’m finished.” What
was finished was the Foundation Plan that had been
agreed to before humans were created.)

1. What has Jesus accomplished at this point? (He
has restored our opportunity to return to the
Eden relationship with Him. He has shown that
Satan is wrong, and taken back His authority
over the earth. He has vindicated the law.)

2. Let’s revisit a discussion we had in
connection with the third lesson in this
series. What spirit did Jesus give up in John
19:30? (It could not have been the Holy
Spirit. Instead, Jesus gave back to God (in
His human nature) that unique identity which
God gave Jesus in Mary’s womb.)

3. Why would the text say that Jesus “gave up”
His spirit? This sounds like it is voluntary,
and for humans that is not voluntary. (This
reflects that Jesus was also fully God. He won
the victory over sin. He retained the power
over life.)

B. Read John 19:41-42. Why was Jesus placed in a
tomb? We have seen that all of this was the
subject of a master plan. Consider how glorious it
would have been, how convincing it would be, if
Jesus immediately after death came to life and
flew off the cross in plain view of all the
scoffers and mockers. Why not that? (If I were God
the Father I would want to embrace Jesus
immediately. I would comfort Him because He was
tortured, and I would hug Him because He won the
Super Bowl of the universe.)

C. Read Genesis 2:1-3. Do you think the explanation
for Jesus resting in the tomb has anything go do
with this? (I think it has everything to do with
this. Jesus has now ransomed back what He created
during the creation week. He celebrates it by
resting. Most Christians celebrate Sunday because
it is when Jesus rose from the grave. They miss
the most important point, the celebration in rest
of Jesus’ victory over evil.)

D. Read John 3:14-15 and Numbers 21:8-9. Why would
God want sinners to look at a snake, of all
things, to be saved?

1. Why is Jesus compared to a deadly snake? (The
snake represents sin. Jesus died for us. He
became sin who knew no sin. 2 Corinthians

E. Think again about our prior discussion about the
sacrifice of the lamb and the messaging that God
has for us. What does the snake being compared to
Jesus say to us about the importance of the law?
(This is about us facing our sins. If the law had
not been important, then at that foundation
meeting heaven would have decided to simply modify
the law in some way.)

F. Friend, the cross teaches us the immeasurable love
of God, and it teaches us the importance of the
law. Will you decide today to honor what Jesus has
done for you by taking the law and His sacrifice

IV. Next week: Christ’s Victory Over Death.

Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.