Easter Week Wednesday Bible Study April 8, 2020
Tonight we will study the events leading up to the crucifixion and burial of the Lord Jesus. I trust that while we are in our homes due to the MCO, we will take extra time to read and prayerfully consider the love of God that is revealed to us through the sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus. For myself, I wonder that as Jesus walked up the road toward Jerusalem, went down through the valley from the Mount of Olives, and then finally walked up the road to the top of the mountain where the Temple was located, if He thought of Abraham taking his son, Isaac, to this very place over two thousand years before. (Genesis 22:1-14) We know that Abraham was leading Isaac to this mount to be sacrificed, but God called to him and stopped Abraham, providing a sacrifice of a ram to die in the place of Isaac. Now Jesus was being led of His Father to give Himself for the sins of the world. John the Baptist had spoken of this three years before as Jesus began His public ministry –
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
At this time, after three years of proclaiming the Gospel, Jesus was walking toward His appointed death the Lamb that would die in our place. We read of –
I. The Preparation of the disciples. Read Mark 10:32-34
Jesus had told the disciples that He would be arrested, tried, and executed before this, but they had no idea about what He was telling them. They believed that Jesus is God and had given up everything to follow Him. How could they understand that Jesus could die. After all, He is all powerful –
Matthew 16:15-16 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Following a few days of preaching, teaching, and ministering in Jerusalem, we see the final night was spent with His disciples partaking of –
II. The Passover Meal. Read Mark 14:17-26
This meal would remind the disciples of God’s promised protection of His people through their obedience to Him. They remembered the promise of God to protect them through the blood of the lamb.
Jesus used this meal to teach them to love one another and serve one another. Read the Gospel of John, Chapter 16, verses 3 through 17.
The Lord also instituted what we commonly call ‘Communion’ or ‘The Lord’s Supper”. The church members would begin to have a special time of remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ giving His body for us by taking unleavened bread and eating it, and giving His blood for us by drinking juice from grapes.
During the supper they were again told of –
III. The Promise of the Resurrection. Read Mark 14:27,28
Jesus again told them what was going to happen to Him within a few hours and encouraged them what He would not stay in the grave but would see them again, after He was raised from among the dead.
Following the supper we learn of –
IV. The Prayer in the Garden. Read Mark 14:32-36
Jesus’ life was full of prayer, always speaking to His Father in Heaven. During the supper, Judas Iscariot departed to inform the Jewish leaders that they could finally arrest Jesus and told them of the place where He would be. Jesus led the disciples to this place and spent time in prayer. He understood perfectly what He was facing and agonized in prayer. Can you imagine how he felt – he was perfectly holy and pure having no sinful thought or action in Him – ever. Now He was going to take all of the sin of mankind unto Himself. How He must have been repulsed – to embrace to Himself, in Himself that which He hated with an infinite hate.
Jesus humbled Himself –
Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
We now see that Jesus becomes –
V. The Prisoner of the Priest Read Mark 14:43-53
Jesus had walked away from all of those that had tried to arrest Him during His ministry. The disciples had witnessed this and most likely believed that Jesus would simply walk away from them again – but this time was different. This time Jesus surrendered to them and allowed them to tie Him with ropes and lead Him away to be judged. The men with Jesus were so confused about what happened that they panicked “And they all forsook him, and fled.”
The Apostles John and Peter stayed together and followed at a distance to see what was going to happen. They saw the –
VI. The Prosecution of Jesus.
A. In the court of the Jewish Leaders. Read Mark 14:55-65
This hurriedly called gathering in the late hours of night and early hours of the morning was considered to be a meeting of just men to judge Jesus. In fact there was no justice involved at all. These men had already determined that Jesus needed to die. The Jews had no power to execute anyone, so they needed an accusation bring to the Roman governor that carried a death sentence.
The so-called court was filled with confusion but they finally came up with the accusation of blasphemy against God. The problem they had was the Romans would not sentence anyone based on a religious belief.
The accusation would be that Jesus had declared that He was the King of the Jews and that the Jews submitted to only one king, the Roman King – Caesar.
B. In the court of the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. Read Mark 15:1-14
Jesus was taken to the court of the governor, Pontius Pilate, very early in the morning and the accusation was stated. Pilate did not believe them because he knew them and how they operated –
Mark 15:10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.
Pontius Pilate could have released Jesus, but it would not have been a good political move. He wanted to keep the peace with the people and so we have –
VII. The Penalty declared. Read Mark 15:15
Pontius Pilate did not care about the life of one Jew and so simply in order to end this difficult situation, sentenced Jesus to be nailed to a cross and to hang there until dead. He did rebuke the Jews though by informing all who were involved and those who would pass by that the man being executed was the King of the Jews.
VIII. The Plan of God accomplished. Read Mark 15:22-37
Jesus was led away to the place of execution. Upon arriving at the place known as Golgatha, following the terrible beating and whippings at the hands of the soldiers, and finally carrying His cross to the place of execution, being humiliated by having his clothing removed (which was taken by the soldiers according to prophecy), having his hands and his feet nailed into the rough wood of the cross, and then set up between the heaven and earth, mocked, taunted, and ridiculed by those that gathered or were passing by on the highway.
Jesus knew all of the horrible details of His execution and death. This moment had been foretold at the very beginning of creation, the consequences of the sin of Adam and Eve. Not only the moment but also the method of execution –
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The soldiers crucified Jesus, driving large nails through His hands, and then placing one foot in front of the other, drove a nail through both feet, the nail going through the front of the food and coming out through the heel of the other foot into the wood of the cross.
Jesus knew all of the horrible details of His execution and death because God had revealed this time to David the Psalmist a thousand years before – Read
Psalm 22:1-18 To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
From the cross, Jesus cried out these words –
Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Reminding them and us about the agony He was in as spoken of before in Psalm 22.
Jesus knew all that was going to take place, and yet He loved us and gave Himself for us! Think about how much He loves you today. Talk to your family about how much God must love us –
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
IX. The Prophecy of Jesus’ burial fulfilled.
Paul not only declared how that he died, but also that He was buried. Let’s see why this is so important –
A. The burial foretold. Jesus declared the reality of His death in that He would also be buried. Read Matthew 12:39,40 –
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
B. The burial described.
1. The Roman guards testified to His death.
When Joseph requested of Pilate that he be able to take the body of Jesus, Pilate was surprised that Jesus would have been dead already. He sent his soldiers to confirm that Jesus was dead.
Mark 15:44-45 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
Note only did the soldiers testify of Jesus’ death, we know of –
2. The distress of the Pharisees.
It is interesting that the unsaved Jewish leaders remembered the words of Jesus about His resurrection.
Matthew 27:62-65 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
Why do you think they remembered His statement and the disciples did not? This will make a good point of discussion between family members.
3. The disciples testified to His death. They did not know what to expect
Mark 16:1-2 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
These women went to the tomb on the first day of the week, Sunday morning, fully expecting to find the body of Jesus as he was when he was laid there by Joseph and Nicodemus three days before. They expected to find him dead. Their desire was to prepare his body for a proper internment. The men had prepared Jesus for burial with care, but also in haste. They wanted to make sure that He was buried with love and care. They were very surprised that He was not in the tomb.
The Bible Study tonight will prepare us for the message on Sunday – The Resurrection. During these days we might consider the disciples spiritual and emotional condition as they discussed with one another what had just happened. They knew first hand the power of the Lord and could not understand how He could have been bound up, tried by the government, and executed. They believed that Jesus was dead, as we will see from the message on Sunday. They could not explain what had just happened. He had walked away from those that had tried to take Him by force on a few occasions and they had witnessed how He was always in control. It seemed now that the Jews and the Romans had taken control and killed Him. What do you think they talked about?