Tonight we continue in our "Risen King" series, studying the main evens of the Easter story. This week we are focusing on the Lord's Supper and the crucifixion of Jesus. We will be considering why Jesus came to die, what his new covenant means for us, and how we respond to Christ crucified, a living sacrifice and offering for our reconciliation with God.

The format of our gathering time will be slightly different than other Wednesday nights. Instead of the more traditional "listen to a lesson/teacher" structure, I will be inviting students to read/hear more passages of scripture individually during large group time. We will leave scripture on the screen longer, with time to reread, write in response, draw, or pray in response to the words of God. Instead of me teaching from the front, I'll be guiding the students through this time of reading and responding to the Bible's continuous story of God's offering redemption to His people, ultimately through the body and blood of Jesus. As I wrote yesterday, students will be invited to receive communion with the understanding that this is not simply a religious routine, but is a declaration of belief and faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the one whose blood and body were given so that we may have eternal life. Students who wish to not receive communion will be invited to simply stay seated, reading and reflecting on additional passages that will be on-screen.

I invite you to meditate on the same passages we will be reading together tonight, considering the weight, power, and love shown to us as God's children:

John 1:35-37 -- The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.

Luke 22:7 -- Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed…

Exodus 12:21‭-‬23 -- Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you

Luke 22:14-20 -- And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

Leviticus 17:11 -- For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life

Luke 22:32-43 -- Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.

John 10:14-18 -- “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,  And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father."

Isaiah 53:3‭-‬5,7-- He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed...He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter…
Take a few moments to write or thinks about:
- What emotions are stirred up in you when you think about Jesus on the cross?
- What questions or thoughts would you ask God about the crucifixion?

1 Corinthians 11:23‭-‬26 --- For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."  In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.