The Joshua Victor Theory

Calm our deep distress

March 25, 2013

Sermon on Luke 23, for Palm Sunday (Sunday of the Passion), about Jesus' suffering on the cross, and its transformative power on the thief on the cross, and also for us. How to see the matter aright, of our sins and Jesus' self-sacrifice.

Sermon Talking Points

Read past sermons at:

Listen to audio at:

  1. Palm Sunday (Sunday of the Passion) begins Holy Week, and a strange tension or mix of attitudes and emotions. How did Jesus respond to these various forces that pushed or pulled on Him? How does His suffering on the cross have a unique gravity or magnetism that moves us to respond?

  1. Read verse 2 of “Jesus, Refuge of the Weary” (LSB 423). When have you passed by the cross of Jesus, without repentance? What sin still clings to you that you are reluctant to give up in confession? How does Jesus silently plead with us to lay it down?

  1. Why is it a harmful reaction to simply condemn the mob, but not see our sin at the cross? 1 Timothy 1:15-16; Matthew 7:1-5. What parallel is there from the thief on the cross’ confession, to Paul’s words in 1 Tim. 1:15? How does the cross of Jesus expose our sin?

  1. What about Jesus’ words and actions changed the thief? How did Jesus’ words cut right to his heart? Prov. 27:6. Why was Jesus’ friendship and love so unexpected? What would have fed the mockers’ fury instead?

  1. How does God “kill and make alive”; “wound and heal”? Deuteronomy 32:39; Galatians 5:24-25.

  1. How does Hebrews 12:2-4 remind us that Jesus has endured everything for us? What moved Him to do so?