King’s Cross by Timothy Keller – Chapter 7 – The Stain

Opening prayer

Read the italicized passages of Scripture in Chapter 7.


  1. What was the idea behind the cleanliness laws (p. 71)?
  2. Timothy Keller writes “Jesus couldn’t have agreed more with the religious leaders about the fact that we are unclean before God, unfit for the presence of God.  But he disagreed with them about the source of the uncleanness, and about how to address it” (p. 72). According to Jesus, what is the source of our uncleanness and how does it need to be addressed?
  3. Timothy Keller describes our world today when he says, “… we live in a world now where we don’t believe in judgment, we don’t believe in sin, and yet we still feel that there’s something wrong with us” (p. 73).  Why do we have this lingering feeling that there is something wrong with us come from?
  4. Have you ever felt that feeling?  What are some ways that we try to overcome that feeling?
  5. What is the source of our uncleanness (pp. 74-76)?
  6. Jesus says that trying to address that sense of uncleanness through external measure is impossible (p. 76).  What are some examples of that futility?  Describe how we sometimes see this happening even in Christian ministry.
  7. What were some of the preparations that the High Priest went through before and during the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, so that he would be clean as he represents the people to God?
  8. Zechariah 3:1-4b reads, “1Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” 3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”  What does the Lord’s vision to Zechariah say about us?
  9. In verses 4b, 8b and 9b the Lord says to Joshua,  “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”… I am going to bring my servant, the Branch… ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.  How did God do this through a second Joshua?  What kind of a reversal of fortune did he experience to take away our stain?
  10. In closing, read the last two paragraphs of the chapter.

Closing Prayer

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