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Big Idea

A saving faith in Jesus only occurs through the cross. The cross helps us to better understand the love of God and the price of our forgiveness.
Key words: “Life-changing love”

Faith and the Cross of Christ

Romans 3:23

We are reminded from the last study that we did, that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Can you recall what the definition of sin means? (Answer: Missing the mark).

Romans 3:25

Faith in the blood of Jesus is necessary. Jesus shed his blood on the cross so we could be saved through faith. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (Heb. 9:22). What is faith? It is an active trust and reliance upon what Jesus has done for our salvation. So what did Jesus actually do?

Read on in Mark.

Mark 14:26-42 Jesus was abandoned by those who walked with him

Q. What do you notice in these verses?

  • His disciples (particularly Peter), made a promise that they did not keep (v31).

  • They fell asleep when Jesus needed them the most.

Q. Can you describe how Jesus would have felt?

Mark 14:43-51 Jesus was betrayed by one who was close to him

Q. What do you notice in these verses?

  • Judas kissed Jesus to show the soldiers who he was.

  • It was customary for disciples to greet their Rabbi with a kiss.

Reflection: What is the hardest thing about being betrayed?

Mark 14:53-72 Jesus was falsely accused, and none came to his defense

Q. What do you notice in these verses?

  • In the morning the full Sanhedrin met to accuse him. (Luke 22:66-67)

  • Jesus gave no answer to the false evidence, except when asked: Are you the Son of God? (vs 62)

  • It was hard for Jesus to have Peter deny him three times.

Reflection: How would Jesus have suffered emotionally during a time like this?

Mark 15:1-20 Jesus was condemned to crucifixion, while a criminal walked free

Q. What do you notice in these verses?

  • Jesus did not answer any of these accusations brought against him (vs 5).

  • Pilate knew it was a set up, so he gave the crowd a choice (vs 14).

  • Those who were loyal to the Jewish leaders chose Barabbas over Jesus (vs 11).

  • Jesus was flogged and set to be crucified (vs 15).

Reflection: Everyone was responsible for Jesus’s death: His disciples who deserted him; Peter who denied him; Judas who betrayed him; The crowds who stood by watched; Pilate who wanted to please the crowd; and the soldiers who tortured him.

Mark 15:21-41 Jesus was tortured with whips and insults, then nailed to a cross

Q. What do you notice in these verses?

  • Jesus was beaten approximately forty times by a whip with lead and bone.

  • Victims were forced to carry their crosses along the longest routes, as a method of shame and warning.

  • Jesus was nailed to the cross.

Mk. 16:1-8 Jesus was raised from the dead

Jesus not only died, but he was raised from the dead. The truths of Christianity are based upon Jesus rising from the dead (See I Cor 15:14). There is indisputable evidence that Jesus was raised from the dead.

Q. Do you believe that Jesus was raised from the dead?

Romans 4:23-5:2

We are justified by faith in what Jesus did on the cross. This is the example of the “life changing love” of Jesus. This justification by faith includes Jesus as our “Lord.”

Q. What is a Lord?

  • Answer: A master.

Repentance (Jesus as our Lord) is a part of being justified by faith.


The Good News is that when we respond to the cross through biblical faith in what Jesus did for us, we encounter his blood, and our sins are washed away! We will explore what a biblical, faithful response is in our next study.

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