(Columbia Pictures, 2007)
Main Point of Discussion:
Through Christ, you can have a fresh start.
The Movie Clip:
“A Second Chance.”
Ghost Rider is another Marvel comic book super hero brought to the big screen. This story is about Johnny Blaze who as a teenager made a deal with the devil to save his father’s life (De Ja Vu of a Charlie Daniels song… but with no fiddle). Now, the devil has come for his due. By day, Johnny is the world’s most famous motorcycle stunt man... but at night, in the presence of evil, he becomes the Ghost Rider. Forced to do the devil's bidding, Johnny is determined to confront his fate and use his curse and powers to defend the innocent.
Introducing the Clip:
Tonight I want to show you a clip from the movie
Ghost Rider. The story is about Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stuntman who as a teenager sold his soul to the Devil in order to save his dying father. But the Devil tricked him and although his father was healed of his terminal cancer, he died the next day in a devastating motorcycle accident.
Since that moment Johnny has carried the heavy burden of the guilt on his shoulders. In this scene he is questioning life, searching for forgiveness, and looking for freedom from guilt. The movie isn’t that great- I’d skip it if I were you. But I like this scene. Watch this!
BEGIN CLIP AT 25 minutes and 38 seconds as they enter JB’s place. (Personally, I wouldn’t start the scene until about 26 minutes and18 seconds after Mack looks at JB’s religious book that has a freaky picture on it. The key dialogue in the scene starts after Mack turns off JB’s music and chimp video.)
This jump is nuts. All right man? I mean, field goal to field goal, and now you’re adding cars? I mean, what are you trying to prove?
That it’s me.
That it’s you?
Riding the bike.
Of course it’s you, man. Who the hell else is it gonna be? You know what? You’re freaking me out. You’re freaking me out because you’re reading this comparative exponential religiosity crap. It’s getting in your brain. I mean, what’s going on man?
Do you believe people get second chances?
I don’t know.
If somebody makes a mistake, a big mistake, do you think that person should have to pay for it every day for the rest of their lives?
Are you talking about your daddy’s accident?
(pause) Well… I’m just looking for a sign.
What kind of sign?
That I can take a negative and turn it into a positive. That I can have a second chance too.
JB, what happened way back when to your daddy was not your fault. You know that right? (pause)End at 28 minutes and 10 seconds during that dramatic pause, before Mack’s next line.
Johnny asks the questions so many people around the world are asking… “If somebody makes a mistake, a big mistake, do you think that person should have to pay for it every day for the rest of their lives?”
Some of us in this room may be asking the same question. Our friends are asking it. Our family members are asking it.
If somebody makes a mistake, a big mistake, do you think that person should have to pay for it every day for the rest of their lives? And how big is “a big mistake?” What about medium sized mistakes? Or what about a whole bunch of little mistakes? Is there a cap or threshold where we finally will max out and be condemned?
Tonight we are going to answer these questions. Tonight we are going to take an honest look at some of the things we’ve done. Most of us are willing to admit we’ve done some bad things…it would be nice to know for sure that we can be forgiven and free.
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 and your dream vehicle if you were to take a trip across the country. Why?
- ASK A FEW: In the scene we just saw, it was obvious that Johnny is carrying a lot of guilt. What are some of the things that kids today feel guilty about?
- Can you think of a time you did something you completely regretted and you still feel guilty about it? (leader: Be prepared to share a time when you sinned and felt guilty for a long period of time, please use discernment.)
- ASK A FEW: How would you feel if we could go back in time and give you the chance to never do that?
Read the following passage:
I John 1:8 (NLT)
ASK SOMEONE: What does this verse tell us about sin? (We all sin.)
ASK EVERYONE: Raise your hands if you have ever felt like you were the only one who struggled with sin?
ASK SOMEONE: According to the above passage, what is one thing everyone of us needs to understand? (We are sinners)
ASK SOMEONE: If we don’t admit we have sinned what are we doing?
ASK A FEW: What do you think it means to live in the truth?
ASK EVERYONE: In the clip Johnny said he was looking for a second chance. Remembering God knows every sin…remembering He wants us to be honest and live in the truth…how many of you are looking for a second chance too? (They don’t need to answer out loud, but allow students a moment or two to quietly think about this question.)
Group Leader: (Then say to your group…) “Well, tonight I have good news because God has not just given us a sign, He has given us a very clear answer on how to have a second chance.”
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.
Read the following passage:
I John 1:9 (NLT)
ASK A FEW: How do we confess our sins?
ASK A FEW: What does it mean when the Bible says “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness”?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: I know tonight I have asked you some pretty tough questions, but let me ask you how many of you need to and want to confess some things to God? (Again, allow some time for your students to pray quietly and confess their sins.)
But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
AROUND THE CIRCLE: Who is one person you can share these two verses with this week?
Close small group in prayer.
Tonight we’ve been talking a lot about sin and forgiveness. As you and I live our lives every day we need to revisit these two verses. We need to daily admit we sin, live in truth and confess our sins. Not because it’s some ritual that we’re forced to do… but because we care about our relationship with God and we want to be right with Him.
It always amazes me that God is so faithful when it comes to forgiving us. No matter where we have been or how dirty we get, He is always there to clean us up.
You ended your groups tonight asking if there is at least one person you could share this with. I know many of you are thinking about a lot more than just one. However many… don’t just read the verses, I want to encourage you to share what you experienced here tonight with them.
Let’s take a moment to thank God for His love and grace in our lives and ask Him for the courage to share what we did here tonight with at least one person.
Close in Prayer.
Written by Todd Pearage