lENT 2021 bIBLE rEADING PLAN
March 29th: Gospel of the Kingdom, part 1 -- Dr. Tim Mackie (bibleproject.com)
For the next two days, we will explore the origin of Palm Sunday and the message it carries for us today. Palm Sunday is a day when we commemorate Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem that kick-starts the series of events leading to his death and resurrection. Jesus' unjust trial and execution seemed like a tragedy to his friends and family, yet for Jesus, his death was an expression of God's love as he entered into our suffering so that he could overcome it. In the story of Jesus, we are invited to see that even the most unwelcome and tragic events cannot thwart God’s plan to restore our world.
Read and Discuss
Video Question 1: How did this video explanation expand your view of heaven?
Read Matthew 19:28-30
The new heavens and earth is not some strange world we can’t begin to understand. When Jesus talks about the new creation, he mentions things we are familiar with like family, homes, and places of work (fields). But things will also be different than the world we know now. The future earth will be so permeated with God’s own life and love that death will be no more and power structures will be turned upside-down. What happened to Jesus on Easter morning is what God has in store for the whole universe. Everything will be renewed.
Question 1: Consider one scenario in your life that is hurting and broken. What do you think that situation will look like when it is fully renewed?
Question 2: Jesus’ sacrifice created a clean space where heaven and earth continue to overlap. Consider again that scenario in your life that needs renewal. How can you imitate Jesus in that situation? What can you sacrifice that would allow others to see a little pocket of heaven on earth?
Question 3: Who usually gets to enjoy the first, best, and most powerful scenarios on earth? Who usually has to endure the last, worst, and most vulnerable situations on earth? Read Matthew 19:30 again. What will it be like when Jesus renews all things?
Read Romans 8:18-22
While we wait for the new creation, we have to deal with evil, death, and chaos. But when Paul reflects on the future hope of the world, he says the earth will be “liberated from its bondage to decay.” Paul says that creation is groaning like a woman in childbirth. The new creation is taking form, being knit together in our midst, even when we can’t see it. But we see hints of it. Every now and then we see movement on the surface, and one day soon it will be pushed forth into fullness of life.
Question 1: Consider the childbirth metaphor in verse 22. How is the world as we know it like a woman in labor? How is the new heavens and earth like a newborn?
Question 2: Jesus taught us to pray, “Father, your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” Take some time now to ask God to turn our hearts, homes, neighborhoods, and cities into pockets of heaven on earth.