NextLevel Online: Between Two Trees

Session 5: He Has Done It - Transforming the Grotesque into the Beautiful

Why is it easy to forget the pain in our story? Why we feel like God sometimes has forsaken us? What was Jesus singing Psalm on the cross?


Classroom Instructions

Materials: Lesson Outline
  • The Pain of Our Stories

    • My story.

    • It ’s easy to talk about the beauty of the cross, but sometimes it’s easy to forget the pain of our story

  • My God, My God, Why have You Forsaken Me?

    • Because of my story, I identify more with these words from the cross than anything else in the gospel story (Psalm 13: 1-3).

    • My response to my story’s pain:

      • Tell no one.

      • Hide it all from everyone…even God himself.

  • Psalm 22

    • On the cross, why was Jesus singing this Psalm?

      • Psalm 22:1-31

      • The Psalm follows the plight of the cross.

    • Jesus sang this Psalm not just because he understood it’s beginning, but because he understands how this Psalm ends.

  • He Has Done It

    • It ’s easy in this world caught between two trees to get trapped in our wounds—to believe that God has abandoned us.

    • But Christ sings this Psalm not because of the way it begins but because of the way it ends: Psalm 22:29-31

Discussion Questions for Video 5:

  • How do you feel that God has forsaken you in your life? In other words, where is the brokenness in your story?

  • How has the Lord shown up for you when you cried out to Him: “Where are you, Lord, and why have you forsKen me?”

  • How has our pain blinded us to God’s presence?

  • Why do humans hide? What is the role of shame?

  • What are some ways that our story can keep us locked up and hidden away from everyone?

  • Do you let people in? Do you have the community established in your life where you can go to them with anything you have faced? Why? Or Why not?

  • What does bringing our story to the cross look like?

  • How do we talk about and celebrate the victory of “Christ’s triumph” when people are in the midst of their greatest pain?

  • How can our brokenness benefit others?

  • What song are you singing with your life?

  • How does Ps. 22 teach us to worship?

  • How can artistic expressions of pain (Psalms, paintings, poems, etc.) fuel our transformation?

  • What “half-finished” stories do we have in our lives, where we see the bad parts, but overlook the blessing?

  • What scars do you have that tell the beauty of God’s redemption?

  • Who do you need to start sharing your story with today?

  • How can we turn to God during times of pain and suffering instead of forsaking him and turning away from God?

  • How can we let Jesus in and begin to transform our rooms that we have created to protect us from pain?

  • How can transformation play a role in our ability to disciple others?

  • What might be different about your life if you understood and applied the truth that God meets us where we are in the darkness rather than abandoning us?

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.