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Sabbath School Lessons on Matthew
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 13: Crucified and Risen *
Introduction: The time has come for us to study Jesus' sacrifice on
our behalf. Words cannot adequately describe it. What incredible
love! What incredible mercy! What incredible unselfishness He showed
towards us. Let's dig into our Bibles and witness Jesus' astonishing
sacrifice for you and me!
- Read Matthew 27:1-3. What event caused Judas to feel
remorse? (That Jesus "was condemned." That reinforces my
thinking that Judas did not really think Jesus would allow
Himself to be captured and condemned.)
- Read Matthew 27:4-5. Did the religious leaders comfort
Judas by telling him that he did the right thing?
- What responsibility did the religious leaders think
belonged to them?
- Read Matthew 18:7-9 and compare these verses with Judas'
current situation. What did Judas think he would get out
of betraying Jesus? (Hopefully, he could take credit for
Jesus claiming His kingdom on earth. But, at least he
would have thirty silver coins. He thought he would
- What actually happened to Judas? (He lost his money,
the kingdom and his life. Plus, it seems he lost
eternal life. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18 that we
think we will benefit from sin, but in fact it would
be better to lose a hand, foot or eye, then what sin
will cost you.)
- Read Matthew 27:11 and Luke 23:3-4. Matthew fails to
mention Pilate's reaction. What does this mean for Jesus?
(It means He should be set free.)
- Read Matthew 27:12-14 and Luke 23:13-16. The Jewish
leaders bring accusations (not witnesses) against Jesus,
and He asserts His right not to answer. Why not respond?
(In the United States we call it the "Fifth Amendment
right" right to remain silent and not take a chance on
incriminating yourself. Numbers 35:30 and Deuteronomy
19:15 show that God's people had a similar rule in that a
simple confession was not enough to convict.)
- As we can see from Luke, these false accusations and
Jesus' silence are not enough to convince Pilate or Herod
that Jesus has committed any offense. Read Matthew 27:19.
What is the importance of this message to Pilate? (Barnes'
Notes says "Dreams were considered as indications of the
divine will, and among the Romans and Greeks, as well as
the Jews, great reliance was placed on them." Pilate's
own judgment is now reinforced by a divine message!)
- Read Matthew 27:15-18 and Matthew 27:20-23.What would you
do if you were Pilate? You have your own judgment,
divinely reinforced, against the unreasoned will of the
- Read Matthew 27:24-26. What does this teach us about the
future of religious liberty? (The government gives way to
the crazy, demon-driven crowd. The evil person is
released and the innocent person is sentenced to death.)
- The Crucifixion
- Read Matthew 27:41-44. How do you deal with insults that
mock you in your area of strength? If you are very good-looking, someone says you are ugly. If you are very
strong, someone says you are weak. If you are very smart,
someone who is dumb calls you stupid.
- Read Matthew 27:45-46. Are those insults getting to Jesus?
- Read Psalms 22:1-2. We see that Jesus is quoting
Psalms - or perhaps Psalms is prophesying what Jesus
will say. Is Jesus showing a lack of faith in His
Father? (First, this could hardly be a sin for the
Bible would not predict a sinful statement by Jesus.
Second, it is not sin to say, "God, why don't you
answer? God, where are you when I need you?" The
reason is that you are looking to God for help. It is
when you trust yourself, or turn away from God that
- Read Isaiah 59:1-2. What does this suggest is the
reason for Jesus' statement? (Jesus carried our sins.
He died for our sins. Our sins separated Him from
- What is the great irony of the insults hurled by the
religious leaders? (While Jesus could have killed
them all and stopped His agony, He suffered by dying
for their sins. Not only were the charges completely
false, but Jesus suffered these insults and pain
because of the sins of humans.)
- Read Matthew 27:50-51. What does the curtain have to do
with Jesus' death? (Jesus fulfilled the sanctuary's
sacrificial system. Hebrews 7:25-28. The sanctuary system
no longer had any value. It was replaced by Jesus pleading
His blood for us in the heavenly sanctuary. The fact that
the curtain is torn from the top down shows that this was
a supernatural act.)
- Read Matthew 27:52-54. Imagine the terror of the religious
leaders who witnessed people being raised to life and the
Romans admitting Jesus was God!
- Why did God raise people to life then? Why not wait
until Jesus is raised to life on Sunday? (At His
death, Jesus defeated sin and death. This is powerful
evidence that Jesus rested in the grave on the
Sabbath only to celebrate His defeat of sin and
death. Just like Sabbath celebrates the work of
Creation ( Exodus 20:11) and release from Egyptian
slavery ( Deuteronomy 5:15), Jesus now celebrates our
new life and our release from the slavery of sin and
death by His Sabbath rest.)
- Jesus' Resurrection
- Read Matthew 27:65 and Matthew 28:1-3. How secure could
Jesus' opponents make His tomb? (Not secure enough!)
- Read Matthew 28:5-7. Do they have to take the word of the
angel? (No! The angel shows them the empty tomb and tells
them that Jesus will appear to them in Galilee.)
- Read Matthew 28:8-10. Why doesn't Jesus wait to see them
in Galilee, just as the angel stated? (I love this! Jesus
apparently cannot wait! He wants to see the women who
stayed with Him through His crucifixion ( Matthew 27:54-56)
and share with them the good news!)
- Read Matthew 28:16-17. How could a person doubt if they
had seen Jesus alive? (Read 1 Corinthians 15:6 and John
20:24-25. We have the account of Thomas being slow to
believe (because he was not present with the others), and
we have large numbers of disciples. The point is that
Jesus' followers came to belief at different times.)
- Why mention the doubt? If Matthew's goal in writing
his gospel is to have us believe Jesus is God, how is
it helpful to mention that eye-witnesses doubted?
(This gives us confidence in Matthew's honest
account. If he was making this all up, he would not
mention doubt. More important, Matthew wants us to
know that Jesus being killed and coming alive is
something that might take a while to accept.)
- Read Matthew 28:18. What is Jesus' place in the universe?
(All authority has been given to Him!)
- Read Matthew 28:19-20 and Matthew 24:45-46. Recall that
when we studied Matthew 24 we decided while we wait for
Jesus to return our job is feeding the flock - advancing
the Kingdom of God. What specific detail does Matthew
28:19-20 add? (We need to be making new disciples,
baptizing them and teaching them.)
- Re-read Matthew 28:20. What help does Jesus promise? (That
He will be with us through to His Second Coming.)
- How is that true? I thought Jesus returned to heaven?
(Read John 14:16-20 and John 16:5-7. Jesus does
return to heaven, but Jesus is present with us in the
Holy Spirit which lives in us! Talk about Jesus
being with us - He lives in us if we are willing.)
- Have you ever said "I wish I had been a disciple of
Jesus so that I could have asked Him questions?" Is
that question based on improper assumptions? (I think
so. Since Jesus is available to live in us through
the Holy Spirit, if you ask the Holy Spirit for
direction you are in the same position as Jesus'
disciples! What an amazing thought!)
- Friend, Jesus suffered insults, pain and death to give us
the opportunity for eternal life. What are you doing to
share that good news with others? Why not commit today to
sharing the good news?
- Next week we start a new series of studies on the Role of the
Church in the Community.
* Copr. 2016, 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.