Jesus, Our Victor
The Point: Jesus Christ is the victorious Lord of all.
Get Into the Study
Use the following illustration to introduce the theme of victory within your group.
If there’s anyone in the world of professional sports who knows what victory feels like, it’s Tom Brady. Love him or hate him, he’d led the New England Patriots to four Super Bowl victories (in six tries) coming in to the 2016 season.
Few people were surprised, then, when Brady and the Patriots again reached the Super Bowl at the end of the most-recent season. People were surprised, however, when the Patriots’ opponent in the game — the Atlanta Falcons — jumped out to a 28-3 lead in the third quarter. The mighty Patriots were being defeated by 25 points with less than half the game to play.
To put that in perspective, teams that are behind by 25 or more points in NFL games lose 99.8 percent of the time — that’s all the NFL games in history, not just the playoffs. In fact, prior to Super Bowl LI, there had been 2,551 NFL games in which one team was losing by 25 points or more. Those losing teams had come back to win the game exactly 4 times.
Amazingly, the Patriots made it 5 times in the Super Bowl. Led by Tom Brady once again, they scored 31 unanswered points to win the game in overtime.
After the game, Brady was asked: “When you’re down 28-3, how do you have belief in yourself that this is still obtainable?” He answered: “Cause we’re in the locker room with each other every day, and we know what we’re all about. That’s what it comes down to — belief in one another, and everyone doing their job.”
Interestingly, belief is a major key for Christians seeking to understand and live in light of the victory we have in Christ.
— Sam O’Neal is the content editor for Bible Studies for Life:Adults.
Study the Bible
Use the following information to supplement this discussion question: Why is it important that Jesus holds the keys to death and Hades?.
Say: When we talk about death, there are many people who admit to being afraid of death. A recent survey by the National Institutes of Mental Health shows that “fear of death” is second in the top five fears among people in the US. There were 68% of the people surveyed who said they were afraid of death.
Here are the top 5 fears:
Fear of public speaking – 74% of US population
Fear of death – 68% of US population
Fear of spiders – 30.5% of US population
Fear of darkness – 11% of US population
Fear of heights – 10% of US population
Then read Question #4 (Why is it important for our lives that Jesus holds the keys to death and Hades?)(PSG p. 18) and invite volunteers to respond to the question.
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
(National Institutes of Mental Health, September 2016)
— Donna McKinney wrote this Leader Extra. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.
What is a recent victory you have celebrated?
What comes to mind when you hear the word “Victor”?
What words or phrases would you use to describe a victory?
What’s your initial reaction to these verses?
What pat of John’s description of Jesus grabs your attention?
When have you sensed God’s presence during a worship experience?
What do you find most encouraging about Jesus’ authority in these verses?
What kinds of things make you question that God is in control?
What things reassure you that God is in control?
Jesus has all authority. How should this truth impact our daily lives?
How can the vision of Christ in these verses give our church courage to share the gospel?
How would you describe Jesus’ victory over sin and death to someone who hasn’t heard about it?
What steps can we take this week to experience victory over temptation and sin?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional:
Here’s a brief five-minute teaching video about this session: Victory, Session 1