1 Corinthians: Christ Crucified



Scripture verse: “For I am determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”



  1. Students should memorize the verse and know that Jesus was crucified for our sins.
  2. Students should know that the cross is an important symbol of Christianity and why.


Background on the book:

            This letter was written by St. Paul to the struggling church at Corinth while he was staying in Ephesus for 2 ½ years during his third missionary journey around 55 AD. Paul had visited Corinth for about a year and a half during his second missionary journey and planned to visit again the following winter.  Corinth was one of the greatest trading centers of the world. It was located on a 4-mile-wide isthmus separating northern and southern Greece; because of the dangers of sailing around the tip of Greece, many ships were pulled out of the water at Corinth and hauled on rollers across the land bridge! Corinth was famous for its markets and luxuries, but also for drunkenness, pagan idols, and immorality. The young church there had serious problems dealing with these issues. Find Corinth on a map.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Review the background of the book. Find the places on the map.


  1. Scripture lesson: I Corinthians 2:2, 1:18, Galatians 6:14, Romans 5:8-9. Find these and read them aloud. Memorize our verse today. Try a memorization game: Students line up on one side of the classroom, facing teacher. Each student in turn can take a "giant step" if he can give the next word of the verse -- as in the game "Mother, May I." First student to reach the teacher is the winner.


  1. Discuss the concept of sin: What is it? What are some sins? Have we ever sinned? Did Jesus ever sin?  What do our earthly parents do if we sin? Would it be only fair and just for God to punish us for our sins? Instead, who was punished?


  1. Review the events of Holy Week leading up to Jesus’s crucifixion. Why is the cross a symbol of our salvation? Why is Jesus called the Lamb of God? How are we forgiven for our sins? Remind the students that the story ends, not with the crucifixion, but with the empty tomb!


  1. Review that great song “Before Thy Cross” and the Troparion of the Cross.

Before Thy Cross                    O Lord, save thy people

We bow down and worship    And bless thine inheritance.

O, Master                                Grant victories to all Orthodox Christians

And thy holy resurrection       Over their adversaries.

We Glorify!                             And by virtue of thy Cross

                                                Preserve thy habitation.

     Why do we bow down before the cross? How does the cross save us?


  1. Why is the cross “foolishness”? When we share Jesus with our friends, do we focus on the cross and only the cross, or on Orthodoxy, the ritual, our Church, how nice our friends at Church are, etc.? Do we sometimes feel foolish when telling people in our “sophisticated” society about Jesus?


8.  Have the students divide in pairs. One will be the Christian and one the non-Christian friend. Assign a topic for each pair to prepare a skit.  Give them 5 minutes, then enjoy! Samples topics might include:

            Friend asks the Christian why he (or she) always wears a cross to school?

            Friend invites the Christian to a Sunday morning party and the friend must explain why he/she can’t go.

Friend tells the Christian that Jesus was just a nice man who taught nice things.


9. Close with prayer.