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Lesson 12: Tried and Crucified *

Introduction: Our study this week brings us to the heart of the gospel. Jesus gave up His life so that you might live. Let's dive into our study!

  1. Peter


    1. Read Mark 14:53-54. Put yourself in Peter's place. Is he nervous?


      1. Is Peter hoping that Jesus will do some miracle to save Himself?


      2. Why does Peter follow at a distance?


      3. With the previous answer in mind, why would Peter sit with the guards in front of a fire where his face was illuminated? (Either Peter is not thinking clearly, or he is again yielding to human weakness (he wanted to get warm). For safety, it would have been much better to stay cold and keep his face in darkness.)


    2. Let's skip down to Mark 14:66-68. Read. Why did Peter go to the entryway? (Perhaps to get out of the illumination of the fire. Perhaps so that he could make a quick exit.)


    3. Read Mark 14:69. Is this accusation more dangerous than the first? (Yes. This girl is now sharing her charge with others.)


    4. Read Mark 14:70. Has she gotten the attention of others with her accusation?


      1. Notice the text says, "After a while" they accused Peter of being a follower of Jesus because He was "a Galilean." Why did it take a while? Why would they say he was a Galilean as opposed to saying they had seen him with Jesus? (These people had not seen him with Jesus. They were thinking over the charge that this girl made and Peter's denial. His denial revealed that he had a Galilean accent. It suddenly hit these people that this guy was from Galilee, and thus must have been with Jesus.)


    5. Read Mark 14:71. Is Peter saying bad words? What does it mean that he called down curses on himself? (He was not swearing in the sense we think of today. He was saying that bad things should happen to him if he were not telling the truth.)


      1. Why would he call down curses on himself since he knew he was lying? (He figured worse things would happen to him if he told the truth.)


      1. Is Peter willing to die for Jesus now? (Read Mark 14:30-31. He said he was willing, and I believe that was true. But now he has changed his mind. He does not really want to die.)


    1. Let's step back a minute. Assume that Jesus was not resurrected from the dead. Would Peter continue to witness about Jesus and face death? (Peter was willing to die when he figured that Jesus would be king. When things were going the wrong way, Peter was not willing to lose his life. This is strong evidence that Peter's continued witness was based on his belief that Jesus was resurrected and was the Messiah.)


    2. Read Mark 14:72. Did Peter cry in front of the group? Why did he cry? (His heart was broken because of his failure to be faithful to Jesus.)


  1. Jesus Before the Sanhedrin


    1. Read Mark 14:55-56. Jesus is at trial before the "whole Sanhedrin." We require fair and impartial judges. How were these judges?


      1. Who do you think arranged the false witnesses to appear?


      2. What was the goal of the Sanhedrin with these witnesses? (Read Deuteronomy 17:6. Their problem was that they needed at least two witnesses to say approximately the same thing before they could give Jesus the death sentence.)


      3. How serious a crime was it to be a false witness? (It not only violated one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:16), but a false witness in a death penalty case was to be put to death ( Deuteronomy 19:16-21).)


        1. Why did not the Sanhedrin stop the trial of Jesus and start prosecuting these false witnesses?


    2. Read Mark 14:57-61. Why didn't Jesus answer these charges? (He was not required to testify against Himself.)


      1. How is the High Priest feeling about now? (He is ready to strangle his assistants. They are incompetent with the false witnesses. No doubt the High Priest is exasperated and decided to take a chance that Jesus will be willing to say something incriminating.)


    3. Read Mark 14:61-62. Why did Jesus now decide to answer this question? (Read Matthew 26:63. Matthew adds a detail that Mark leaves out. The High Priest charged Jesus under oath to answer. One commentary that I read said, based on Leviticus 5:1, this required Jesus to answer. I'm not sure that is the way Leviticus 5 should be interpreted, but clearly the High Priest is increasing the pressure for Jesus to answer.)


      1. Consider for a moment Jesus' answer. What is the High Priest thinking? If he thinks Jesus is a lunatic, why kill Him? If he thinks Jesus is a rival, how can he ignore this?


    4. Read Mark 14:63-65. What should be the answer to the High Priest's question? (They still need another witness! Jesus' own testimony is not sufficient. Deuteronomy 17:6.)


      1. What attitude towards Jesus do we see in these verses? (They were so desperate to convict Jesus they were willing to violate the law in small and large ways. Their anger is revealed in the spitting, hitting and beating.)


        1. Why were the Jewish leaders so angry with Jesus?


  2. Jesus Before Pilate


    1. Read Mark 15:1-10. What did Pilate think of the charges against Jesus? (The Greek word translated (v. 10) "envy" means "ill-will," "jealousy," spite. He did not think the charges had any legal merit.)


      1. Consider in more detail verses 9-10. What would be the logical answer to that question? "Yes, we would like our king back, please?" Would the Jewish leaders acknowledge that Jesus was their King?


        1. What do you think Pilate was trying to do? (He was insulting the Jewish leaders. He does not seem to care about Jesus.)


    2. Read Mark 15:11-14. What crime against Rome had Jesus committed? (None. If Pilate really believed ( Mark 15:2) that Jesus was a revolutionary who was trying to become the King, then he would have a crime on his hands. Apparently, he decided that Jesus was no threat to Rome.)


    3. Read Mark 15:15. On what basis was Jesus flogged and crucified? (Pilate wanted to please the crowd.)


      1. How important to you is it to please those around you? Are you willing to sacrifice principle to please?


      2. What point is Mark making to us? (It was not a just sentence.)


  3. Jesus and the Cross


    1. Read Mark 15:16-19. Satan has only a very short time to make Jesus sin. What temptation(s) does he use as his best weapons? (Notice that being laughed at and torture are in the same league when it comes to temptation.)


      1. Why was being laughed at such a powerful weapon? (They were mocking Jesus about something that was true - He was their King!)


      2. How do you react when people laugh at you? What if they are laughing because they are too ignorant to know the truth? What if they are below your "class?"


    2. Read Mark 15:25,29-30. Was it possible for Jesus to come down from the cross and save Himself?


      1. If He did, who would not be saved?


    3. Read Mark 15:31-34. Everyone around Jesus is saying that He cannot save Himself. What do Jesus' words reveal about His thinking? (Read Psalms 22:1-2. Jesus quotes a text that is a plea to God to save. With the load of our sins on His shoulders, and the crowd questioning His power, Jesus was severely pressed on the point of whether He was coming through this. He would not rely on His own power. He worried that God had forsaken Him.)


      1. Look again at Mark 15:31. Is this a true statement?


    4. Read Mark 15:37-39. Was the centurion one who had mocked Jesus? Why did he change his mind?


      1. What is the significance of the curtain (that separated the holy from the most holy place) being torn from top to bottom? (A divine sign that the symbolism of the sacrifices had ended. It had all been fulfilled in the death of Jesus.)


    5. Friend, Jesus gave up His life for you. He was tortured for you. What is your response to Him? What is your attitude towards others?


  4. Next Week: Buried - But Risen!
* 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.

© 2017 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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