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Sabbath School Lessons on His Wondrous Cross - The Story of Our Redemption
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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 37 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 6: The Passion Week *
Introduction: How do you feel the last day or two of your vacation?
Each week, when Sunday evening rolls around, how do you feel? My bet
is that a large number of you start thinking about having to go back
to work. You wish your vacation or the weekend could be longer. So,
you treasure those precious last hours of freedom. Imagine if your
vacation or weekend were followed not by work, but by your torture
and death? How much more precious would you view your last hours
then? Our lesson this week looks at the last week of Jesus' life on
earth as a man. Let's plunge in and see what we can learn!
- Background to the Triumphal Entry
- Read Luke 19:11-13. The parable of the ten talents (here,
"minas") is familiar to most of us. A king gives money to
his servants, tells them to invest it, and when he returns
asks them about their investments. Sort of a Bible version
of the modern television program "The Apprentice" with
Donald Trump. Look at verse 11, why did Jesus decide to
tell this parable at this time? (The people thought that
Jesus was going to set up His kingdom here on earth at
- Why is the story of the ten talents appropriate to
that concern? (We know now that Jesus was not going
to set up His kingdom right then. So, the lesson is
that they should be productive until the time of His
- If you are not familiar with this story of the talents,
read Luke 19:14-25. The rest of you know that two of the
three servants report putting the king's money to work and
getting a good return. One servant just hides the money
and gives it back. When the king returns, he rebukes the
one servant, takes his money back, and gives it to the
most productive servant.
- Let's read the very last part of this story: Luke
19:26-27. Did you remember this? (I'll bet that even
those who know this story well, did not remember the
statement in verse 27!)
- What is the point of this parable? (If you are simply
lazy, and do not work for the king, you will lose all
that you have been given. If you are hostile to the
king, you will be killed.)
- If you thought Jesus was about to set up His kingdom
here on earth, what would you conclude based on His
statement in verse 27? (That those who opposed Him
were going to die.)
- Triumphal Entry
- With this background in mind, let's get to Jesus'
"triumphal entry." Read Luke 19:28-32. If you were one of
the disciples who was sent ahead, what would you think
when you found the colt just as Jesus had said? (The idea
would be reinforced that this was no ordinary man. He
could not only tell the future, but He had authority to
claim private property.)
- Read Luke 19:33-36. Why would the people throw their coats
of the road for the colt to step on? Would you do this
with your new coat? (Read Matthew 21:4-5. I think the
people understood that Jesus riding the colt showed He was
coming to Jerusalem as King. See also 1 Kings 1:37-39.
They threw their coats on the ground to give a proper path
for the new King! See 2 Kings 9:13)
- Read Luke 19:37-38. What were the people saying? What were
they thinking? (They thought the Messiah was at hand. It
was the day they had waited for their entire life!)
- Read that portion of a Messianic prophecy found in
Psalms 118:26-27. Would the people have had this
prophecy in mind? If so, what would it tell them?
(Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah!)
- Matthew's account adds another detail. Read Matthew 21:4-5. What does Matthew say is going on here?
- The fulfilled prophecy Matthew is quoting is
Zechariah 9:8-10. Read this text in Zechariah.
- Put together all of the evidence we have studied. The
parable that ends with the killing of the enemies of the
king. Jesus' supernatural knowledge of the colt. His claim
to be entitled to use the colt. The specific fulfillment
of Messianic prophecy about the liberation of Israel and
world peace. What verdict does this evidence demand? (The
hopes and dreams of Israel are being fulfilled right now.
This is the day! Friends, this is it!)
- Is there any dark spot in this evidence? (That stuff
about the "delay" in the story of the talents.)
- Read Luke 19:39-40. Were the people just getting carried
away? Were they engaging in unauthorized celebrations?
Were they acting contrary to Jesus' will? (No. Again the
only logical conclusion is that supernatural power
attended this celebration. All nature was about to break
out in song.)
- You know the end of the story. What is Jesus doing? How
does this make any sense? Why were not the Pharisees right
in asking Jesus to rebuke the crowd? Why was Jesus
allowing the crowd to get "revved up" for nothing? (I
think Jesus was doing three things. First, He was clearly
staking His claim to be King. Second, if you read texts
like John 7:30, we see that Jesus had not been killed
earlier because "His time had not yet come." The time had
now come. As the Bible Exposition Commentary points out,
the Jewish leaders planned on killing Jesus after Passover
( Matthew 26:3-5), but God had ordained that the "Lamb of
God" would be killed on Passover. Thus, Jesus was forcing
the hand of the Jewish leaders with this celebration.
Finally, the peace prophecy in Zechariah 9 envisioned
God's people accepting Him. They did not. As a result,
peace, was not in their future.)
- The Beginning of the End
- Read Luke 19:41-44. Why did Jesus say that Jerusalem would
be facing destruction instead of peace? (They did not
- If the Jewish nation had accepted Jesus would things
have been different? (Jesus says, Luke 19:42, that
they could have known what would bring them peace.
What they refused to know was Jesus.)
- Describe Jesus' feelings right now? Remember these
are the last few days of His life here, and Jerusalem
has turned away from Him. (This adds another insight
into Jesus' attitude about the death of His enemies.)
- Read Luke 19:45-46. What is beginning to happen here? How
is Jesus' role beginning to change? (Judgment is beginning
to fall on Jerusalem and the temple.)
- Is this a warning to us? If we reject Jesus, will we
- Read Luke 19:47-48. If the lines are beginning to be
drawn, and Jerusalem is on the wrong side of the line, how
do you explain the fact that "all the people" at the
temple "hung on [Jesus'] words?" (Amos has this picture of
the possibility of being a "burning stick snatched from
the fire." Amos 4:11. Jesus holds out His hand to each
individual who will accept Him.)
- The Combat Strategy
- Read John 13:2-5. What was the extent of Jesus' power and
authority at this time? (God had put all things under
- When you have just been given power and authority,
what do you do with it?
- What did Jesus do with His power and authority?
- Read John 13:6-8. Isn't Peter right? King Jesus should not
be washing feet!
- Jesus says that "later" they will understand. Explain
to me how you understand Jesus' statement that unless
Peter gets his feet washed, he has no part with
Jesus? I thought Peter was looking out for Jesus'
authority when he said "No washing of my humble
feet!" (Read 1 Peter 3:20-22. The cleansing of water
symbolizes Jesus cleansing of our sins.)
- Read John 13:12-17. What other lesson was Jesus teaching
His disciples? (He was teaching them an attitude of
- How does this fit the "death to the enemies of the
king" line of Luke 19:27?
- Let's go back and pick up a verse that I skipped.
Read John 13:1. What is the full extent of Jesus'
love? (I imagine this points to Jesus' death on our
behalf. But, the immediate context is that Jesus
shows His love to us by teaching us to have the right
attitude towards our fellow Christians.)
- Is serving others your idea of a "good time" for
those last few hours of the weekend or your vacation?
- Read Luke 22:39-42. What was Jesus facing? (He had now
come right up to the time of His arrest, torture and
- What was His concern for His disciples? (Jesus was
praying for them!)
- Describe Jesus' attitude about His coming torture and
death? (He wanted to avoid this - but He was willing
to submit His will to the will of the Father. It was
a servant attitude.)
- Read Luke 22:45. Why were the disciples asleep? (They were
exhausted by sorrow.)
- "Sorrow" about what? (I fear not simply the death of
Jesus, but the death of their hope that He was about
to become King.)
- Friend, how about you? Are you alert to your
responsibilities while we wait our coming King? Are you
performing your duties with a servant's attitude? Have you
submitted your will to God's will? It is not too late to
decide to follow Jesus!
- Next week: Passage to Calvary.
* Copr. 2005, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.