(Touchstone Pictures 1998)
Main Point of Discussion:
God calls us to be willing to sacrifice our lives on a daily basis.
The Movie Clip: Armageddon
is a global destruction film about a ‘planet killer’ asteroid that’s on a collision course with earth. In response, the government puts together two teams of astronauts to land on the asteroid, drill a hole, and blow it up from the inside using a nuclear bomb. At the end of the film, the remote detonator for the bomb malfunctions, so someone has to stay behind and blow it up manually. Ben Affleck’s character is chosen, but Bruce Willis’ character overpowers Affleck, sends him to safety, and gives his life to save the earth and the love of his daughter’s life.
Introducing the Clip:
Today I want to show you a clip from the movie Armageddon. This is the end of the movie, and Ben Affleck has been chosen to sacrifice his life by manually setting off a bomb that will destroy an asteroid hurtling towards earth. As we watch the clip, put yourself in his place and try to imagine if you would react the same way.
The clip can be found at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXj4Edr0ig0
On the DVD, begin the clip at 2:50 and end at 9:50.
What an amazing example of someone who was not only willing to go and save the planet, but even willing to give his life in the process. In today’s society, sacrificial people are harder and harder to find, but as Christians we need to think about what it means to be like Christ.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, tell everyone your name whether or not you think the earth could ever get blasted by a ‘planet killer’ asteroid.
- ASK A FEW: Would you have been willing to draw straws? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: How would you feel if you drew the short straw? Would you actually follow through?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think Bruce Willis was willing to trade places with Affleck?
- ASK A FEW: How would you feel if you were Affleck? What would you say to Willis?
Read the following passage:
ASK SOMEONE: Why do you think Jesus tells us twice in this passage that His command is for us to love one another?
ASK A FEW: Do people normally struggle with loving each other? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: What is the relationship with being Jesus’ friend and loving each other?
ASK A FEW: Is part of loving each other being willing to ‘lay down your life’? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: How was Willis’ sacrifice in the clip we watched a lot like the sacrifice Jesus made? (Leaders: He gave his life to save the world, he took the place of the person who was supposed to die, etc.)
ASK A FEW: How was the sacrifice different? (Only Jesus’ sacrifice paid the price for sin and provides eternal salvation.)
ASK A FEW: Have you ever ‘laid down your life for your friends’? If so, what did it look like?
ASK A FEW: What are specific ways we can lay down our lives for our friends?
ASK A FEW: Are we supposed to lay down our lives for our enemies as well? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: Can you really call something ‘love’ if there isn’t sacrifice involved? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: What would the world think of Christians if we all took this passage seriously?
ASK A FEW: How will you “lay down your life” this week for someone?
When Jesus taught this command to His disciples, He had not yet given His life on the cross. But a short time later they witnessed the greatest act of sacrifice the universe had or ever will see. And because of that, the disciples went out and changed the world because of what Jesus did for them. Not only that, they even gave their lives in serving Christ and gave an example of what true love means. I want to give us an opportunity to lay down our lives for Jesus so He can use this group to change our world.
John 15:12-17 (NLT)
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.
Hang up a large poster board with the words “He died for me…I’ll live for Him” at the top, then give students an opportunity to sign their name on the board. Hang up the signed board and tell students that you’ll leave it up as a reminder for us to lay down our lives for Jesus and each other every day.
Close in Prayer
Written by Lane Palmer