Community Group Questions 12/18/11

Sermon Title: The Luminary, Part 3: Lumens

Main Text:  John 1:1-2, 14; 20:11-14

Topics:

  • According to John 1:1-2, the Word, the term John uses to describe Jesus, is God.
  • According to John 1:14, the Word, dwelt among us and we saw His glory.  How bright is God’s glory?  When Moses asks to behold God’s glory, He tells him that no one can see His glory or they would die.  So, typically it would not be a good thing to behold God’s glory, so what does John mean here?
  • John’s term for dwelt is a key.  The word for dwelt actually means: “tabernacled.”  The Tabernacle was the portable tent in which God’s glory dwelt with His people.  God’s glory was in the Holy of Holies with the Ark of the Covenant.  No one was allowed in there accept the High Priest, once a year.  On the day of atonement, he would go in and sprinkle blood from the sacrificial lamb on the top of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • The Ark of the Covenant was a box about the length of a man with two angels one at the head of the box and one at the foot. In between the angels on the top of the ark is where the blood of the sacrificial lamb would be sprinkled.
  • This is how Israel would worship the Awesome, Glorious, Most Holy God.
  • John suggests that Jesus “tabernacled” among us bringing this imagery to mind.  Through his book, John shows how Jesus fulfills the tabernacle, leading up to the climactic moment of His resurrection.  Mary Magdalene enters into the tomb, sees where Jesus had been laid.  Two angels stood, one at the head and one at the foot.  In the middle of them was left the blood stained grave clothes of the lamb.  John is saying the empty tomb is the new Holy of Holies.
  • And who is it that enters and beholds the altar, it is Mary Magdalene, the epitome of unclean.  She had been possessed by seven demons.
  • What is John trying to say?  God’s glory is now accessible to ANYONE!
  • Often times people feel like they have done too much sin to be loved or saved by God.  But that is not true, God accepts anyone who puts their faith in Him.
  • Often times even as Christians we forget Jesus’s incredible sacrifice on the cross, and victorious resurrection from the tomb - and walk around in guilt and shame.  We allow our thoughts to overwhelm us and chain us down.  We allow them to be weights around our necks.  But Jesus has wiped those away!  He has freed us!

Key Questions:

  1. What is the most overwhelmingly bright thing you have ever seen?
  2. In the Bible, God says no one can see God in His glory or they would die, why do you think that is?
  3. Read Isaiah 6:1-7. What do you think Isaiah felt like?
  4. Read Exodus 33:18-23. What do you imagine that would have been like if you were Moses?
  5. John says, in 1:14, that God was with us and we beheld His glory. Before he explains that in the rest of the book, what should we expect that to have been like?
  6. In the Old Testament we learn that the High Priest is the only one that, once a year, can enter God’s presence in the Holy of Holies. How do you think you would have felt if you were the High Priest entering the Holy of Holies?
  7. Read John 20:11-14. From what we talked about on Sunday, how is John presenting the tomb as like the Holy of Holies?
    • two angels standing at either end of where Jesus laid
    • the Ark of the Covenant was about the length of a man
    • on the Ark in between the angels is where blood was sprinkled, in the tomb: in between the angels were blood stained grave clothes.
  8. God decided to reveal the risen Lord to Mary Magdalene first. Who do you think would have seemed a more logical choice?
  9. John is communicating that through Jesus, anyone can enter God’s presence. What types of things that make people feel like they can’t go before God?
  10. What are some practical things we can do to remind ourselves that because of Jesus we can come into God’s presence just how we are?
  11. What are some practical ways we can encourage other Christians when we sense that they are struggling with shame?
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