Sermon Discussion Questions:
1. "All forgiveness comes with a price." What does that mean? What way does this inform your own approach to forgiveness?
2. Why did Jesus have to die? Look at Romans 3:23-26 and discuss what it is saying.
3. What is the connection between Jesus' work and the powers of darkness being defeated? How does that truth affect your life?
4. How does the ugliness of the cross magnify the love of God?
Sermon Outline Notes
Forgiveness comes with a price
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
- Col 2:13-15
Why did Jesus have to die on the cross to forgive us? Couldn’t He have forgiven us without the death of Christ?
Aren’t we able to forgive each other easily?
- If I forget to text you back…
- All true forgiveness comes with a price—you absorb the loss
- The nature of the offense affects the price
- The nature of the offended also affects the price
All forgiveness comes with a price.
Five reasons Jesus had to die for us to be forgiven:
To Cancel Debt
“…by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands,” (Col 2:14). What is this referring to?
Here is Paul’s assumption: there is a “record of debt” that stands “against us” with “legal demands.” This is a methodical account of not only all that we have done—it isn’t merely a record, but is a summary of the cost has been of what we have done—it is a record of debt. And this debt stands against us—it is not for us. And it makes legal demands. So, the picture is like that of us being summoned to court because we had defaulted on a loan and threatened with further legal action if we fail to pay. What is it we owe?
God made us to image Him. That is what we are designed for. So that means that our bodies, our minds, our talents, our time, our relationships, our desires, our dreams—all of it is intended to reflect His good, pure, and holy character. And if we do not, that is sin.
What does our sin cost? “You were dead” (Col 2:13)
“The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). We’ve run up a debt.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
Forgiveness is found in this debt being “cancelled” or “blotted out”
- If our debt is cancelled, what happens to the debt?
“This he set aside, nailing it to the cross,” (Col 2:14)
Of course, a record of debt wasn’t nailed to the cross, a piece of paper wasn’t. A person was nailed to the cross. If you pay a debt, you must have the resources. What did Jesus have?
- “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed,” (1 Pet 2:22-24)
- “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,” (2 Cor 5:21).
To Make Us Alive
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt…” (Col 2:13-14)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed,” (1 Pet 2:24)
To Defeat the Devil
“He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him,” (Col 2:15).
What are the “rulers and authorities”?
- “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places,”(Eph 6:12)
“In other words, the powers refers to dark cosmic forces that are at work in the structures of God’s world,” (NICNT)
Jesus disarms the rulers and authorities…how?
- 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Heb 2:14-15)
- The “Satan” is an accuser. He accuses us an account of our sin. But our sin has been paid for!
- And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Rev 12:11)
Jesus puts them to open shame by triumphing through the cross
- How much were the cosmic forces of evil at work to create Good Friday? And yet, it is their ultimate undoing.
To Display the Horror of Sin
“If Jesus’ demise is construed merely as a death — even as a painful, tortured death — the crucial point will be lost. Crucifixion was specifically designed to be the ultimate insult to personal dignity, the last word in humiliating and dehumanizing treatment. Degradation was the whole point,” (Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion, p. 77).
“The cross is the worst extreme of the tortures inflicted upon slaves…To bind a Roman citizen is a crime; to flog him is an abomination; to slay him is almost an act of murder; to crucify him is – what? There is no fitting word that can possibly describe so horrible a deed.” – Cicero, (106-43 BC)
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
To Display the Love of God
“The cross of Jesus displays the most awful exhibition of God’s hatred of sin and at the same time the most august manifestation of his readiness to pardon it,” (Octavius Winslow).
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
- Isa 53:10-11
What does Jesus see? What could possibly satisfy one who is suffering such atrocities? Those who are being made righteous by His atonement. God is satisified to atone for your sins, He is happy to not only forgive, but to pay what forgiveness costs.
1. The Blood of the Lamb Silences the Accuser