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Sabbath School Lessons on Jesus Through the Eyes of Mark
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About the Author
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 41 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 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!
- Read Mark 14:53-54. Put yourself in Peter's place. Is he
- Is Peter hoping that Jesus will do some miracle to
- Why does Peter follow at a distance?
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Read Mark 14:69. Is this accusation more dangerous than
the first? (Yes. This girl is now sharing her charge with
- Read Mark 14:70. Has she gotten the attention of others
with her accusation?
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Jesus Before the Sanhedrin
- Read Mark 14:55-56. Jesus is at trial before the "whole
Sanhedrin." We require fair and impartial judges. How were
- Who do you think arranged the false witnesses to
- 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.)
- 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).)
- Why did not the Sanhedrin stop the trial of
Jesus and start prosecuting these false
- Read Mark 14:57-61. Why didn't Jesus answer these charges?
(He was not required to testify against Himself.)
- 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
- 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.)
- 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
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Why were the Jewish leaders so angry with Jesus?
- Jesus Before Pilate
- 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.)
- 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?
- What do you think Pilate was trying to do? (He
was insulting the Jewish leaders. He does not
seem to care about Jesus.)
- 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.)
- Read Mark 15:15. On what basis was Jesus flogged and
crucified? (Pilate wanted to please the crowd.)
- How important to you is it to please those around
you? Are you willing to sacrifice principle to
- What point is Mark making to us? (It was not a just
- Jesus and the Cross
- 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.)
- Why was being laughed at such a powerful weapon?
(They were mocking Jesus about something that was
true - He was their King!)
- 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?"
- Read Mark 15:25,29-30. Was it possible for Jesus to come
down from the cross and save Himself?
- If He did, who would not be saved?
- 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.)
- Look again at Mark 15:31. Is this a true statement?
- Read Mark 15:37-39. Was the centurion one who had mocked
Jesus? Why did he change his mind?
- 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.)
- 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?
- 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.