When we do something wrong, we’re used the idea of punishment. Some parents might take away treats from children, or give them timeouts, or a stern talking-to.
When we get caught speeding, we expect a fine, or demerit points.
When someone commits a crime, they can expect punishment in terms of fines, jail time, community service, or in some places, death.
The ancient law systems of the OT gave us the famous “eye for an eye” concept. That the punishment should match the crime, and death was very much a part of that system. This was the context into which Jesus was born – a society with a system of law front and centre, which included these principles.
Let’s think about it from another angle – if you borrow money to buy a house and fail to keep up your payments, the bank takes the house, right? Or if you let it fall into disrepair, and it loses all the value the bank paid for, what then?
Now, what if you were given life itself, on condition that you use it properly? If you don’t, what should happen? You can imagine where I’m going – you would expect life to be taken away. Is that how God works?
We’ll see how God has managed that reality, in the past, in Jesus, and today.
We’ll learn about a system of sacrifices in the Old Testament part of the Bible, with a network of priests offering sacrifices of animals and other goods at a temple in the heart of Jerusalem. We’ll learn what this has to do with Jesus.
Question: When have you been punished for an infraction? Was the punishment fitting, or not?
Meeting with a Group? Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide[permalink append=”#comments”]Discuss the Challenge[/permalink]