Week 8: Crucifixion and Apocalypse Now

Week 8:  Crucifixion and Apocalypse Now

1.  Why was Jesus crucified?

Ask four volunteers to read aloud each of the biblical texts on pages 123-124 of #OTB.

Discuss: Jesus’ death is by crucifixion, the Roman method of execution.  What did Jesus do to threaten the power of Rome?

2.  Torture and the abuse of power

Jesus was tortured and killed.  What was your reaction when you first heard about the torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq?  What tempts nations to torture?

Hooded prisoner photo from Abu Ghraib


3.  Did Jesus ‘have to die’?  What does Jesus’ actual teaching in the Sermon on the Mount tell us about the contrast between power as abuse and power as sharing.  Ask two volunteers to read the selections on pages 141-143 in #OTB.

Discuss: How do we follow the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon of the Mount in today’s complex world? Can we do it alone, or do we need communities of support?


The meaning of the crucifixion is not that “God sent Jesus to die,” but that God sent Jesus to teach and minister, and his message was so challenging to the political and religious authorities that they killed him.  The revelation of the meaning of salvation is Jesus’ teaching is how we “follow him,” that is, how we do what he did and care for the poor, the outcast, women, and all those who were being crushed by the powerful of his time.

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