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Questions for discussion (from Good Word Online):

Leading Question: Is it safe to say out loud that different people will view the cross quite differently because of their personal experience?

In the New Testament, the story of the cross yields a rich diversity of metaphors as the various writers struggle to share the power and beauty of the Gospel message. Given that diversity, it is important to recognize that not all metaphors will speak with equal power to every person. In that connection the Ellen White’s “diversity” quotation, cited in lesson 4, is worth citing again:

Every association of life calls for the exercise of self-control, forbearance, and sympathy. We differ so widely in disposition, habits, education, that our ways of looking at things vary. We judge differently. Our understanding of truth, our ideas in regard to the conduct of life, are not in all respects the same. There are no two whose experience is alike in every particular. The trials of one are not the trials of another. The duties that one finds light are to another most difficult and perplexing.

So frail, so ignorant, so liable to misconception is human nature, that each should be careful in the estimate he places upon another. We little know the bearing of our acts upon the experience of others. What we do or say may seem to us of little moment, when, could our eyes be opened, we should see that upon it depended the most important results for good or for evil. (MH 483)

The following metaphors are prominent in the New Testament. It could be a rich experience for a Sabbath School group simply to share their experiences in the light of the different metaphors.

  • Slavery-Redemption: Mark 10:45; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
  • Condemnation-Justification: Rom 3:19-24.
  • Alienation-Reconciliation: 2 Cor 5:18-21.
  • Wrath-Propitiation/Expiation: Rom 3:25-26, in the context of Rom 1-3.
  • Defilement-Cleansing: 1 John 1:5-9.
  • Lost-Found: Luke 15.