Ministry Resources

Highlights In the Life of Christ

The six lessons in this course focus on the life and ministry of Jesus, from His birth to His resurrection.

Jesus Dies In Our Place

A Plot Against Jesus

The main religious leaders hated Jesus because He preached against their sins. They were jealous because crowds followed Him. He healed the sick people and even brought several dead people back to life. Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about the Messiah, but still the leaders refused to believe in Him. They decided to arrest Jesus, accuse Him of being a revolutionary, and have Him put to death. However, they were afraid that if they arrested Jesus openly the crowds would defend Him. So they bribed one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, to lead them to Jesus at night.

For You to Do

1. Who were Jesus’ enemies?

a) The common people
b) Some religious leaders
c) Roman government officials

The Passover

The Passover was a celebration of the time when God set His people free from slavery. Every year at the Passover, a lamb was killed as a sacrifice for sin. This was a picture of the coming death of Jesus. When Jesus first began His ministry, John the Baptist had presented Him as “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” To do this, He had to take the punishment for our sins and die in our place. After Jesus ate the Passover supper with His disciples, Judas went to betray Him.

For You to Do

2. How did John introduce Jesus?

a) As the Son of God
b) As the Lamb of God who would take away sins
c) As the promised Messiah

Jesus In Gethsemane

Jesus prays Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him. He could have escaped, but He had come to the world to die in our place. He had told His disciples that He would be crucified and on the third day He would come back to life again. After supper He and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane where they often went to pray.

Mark 14:32-36 – They came to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him. Distress and anguish came over him, and he said to them, “The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch.” He went a little farther on, threw himself on the ground, and prayed that, if possible, he might not have to go through that time of suffering. “Father,” he prayed, “my Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet not what I want, but what you want.”

It was hard for Jesus, who had never done anything wrong, to take the blame before God for all the sins of the world. But He wanted to save us from sin. There was no other way to give us eternal life, so He died for our sins.

For You to Do

3. Memorize Jesus’ words: “Not what I want, but what you want.”

Jesus is arrested While Jesus prayed, angels came to encourage and strengthen Him. His disciples had gone to sleep. Finally, He woke them up to let them know that the time had come. Judas was leading a crowd who would arrest Him.

Luke 22:52-54 – Then Jesus said to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and the elders who had come there to get him, “Did you have to come with swords and clubs, as though I were an outlaw? I was with you in the Temple every day, and you did not try to arrest me.” . . . They arrested Jesus and took him away into the house of the High Priest.

For You to Do

4. Which disciple betrayed Jesus? _____________

Jesus On Trial

Jesus was on trial six times:

  1. Before a retired High Priest
  2. Before the active High Priest
  3. Before the Jewish rulers
  4. Before Pilate, the Roman governor
  5. Before Herod, the governor of a neighboring province
  6. Before Pilate, the second time

Mark 15:1 – Early in the morning the chief priests met hurriedly with the elders, the teachers of the Law, and the whole Council, and made their plans. They put Jesus in chains, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.

Luke 23:2-3 – They began to accuse him: “We caught this man misleading our people, telling them not to pay taxes to the Emperor and claiming that he himself is the Messiah, a king.” Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “So you say,” answered Jesus.

John 18:36, 38-40 – Jesus said, “My kingdom does not belong to this world; if my kingdom belonged to this world, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish authorities.”

Then Pilate went back outside to the people and said to them, “I cannot find any reason to condemn him. But according to the custom you have, I always set free a prisoner for you during the Passover. Do you want me to set free for you the king of the Jews?”

They answered him with a shout, “No, not him! We want Barabbas!” (Barabbas was a bandit.)

Mark 15:10-15 – He knew very well that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask, instead, that Pilate set Barabbas free for them. Pilate spoke again to the crowd, “What, then, do you want me to do with the one you call the king of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” “But what crime has he committed?” Pilate asked. They shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he set Barabbas free for them. Then he had Jesus whipped and handed him over to be crucified.

For You to Do

5. Which governor tried Jesus? ______________

6. What did the governor say?

a) I find him guilty
b) I cannot find any reason to condemn him
c) The case is dismissed.

Jesus Crucified

Prophecies fulfilled

Jesus’ enemies lied about Him at the trial. The soldiers made fun of Him, spit on Him, and whipped Him. They marched Him through the streets with two criminals each one carrying his cross on the way to the hill called Calvary. They nailed His hands and feet to the cross, and He hung there surrounded by a mock ing crowd. This was the Son of God, and these were the people He was dying for—sinners to be saved from eternal death. He could have called down fire from heaven and destroyed them all, but He prayed: “Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.”

Isaiah had written that the Messiah would die for the sins of the people:

Isaiah 53:5-8 – But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received. All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved. . . . He was arrested and sentenced and led off to die, . . . He was put to death for the sins of our people.

Other prophets had written that He would be betrayed by a friend. His hands would be pierced. His bones would be out of joint. People would mock Him, give Him vinegar to drink, and gamble for His clothes. This all happened at the crucifixion of Jesus, just as the prophets had said.

For You to Do 7

Read Isaiah’s prophecy three times.

Jesus’ Death

Not everyone who watched Jesus die was making fun of Him. One of the two thieves believed in Him and was saved from his sins there on the cross beside Jesus.

Luke 23:42-43 – And he said to Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!” Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.”

Luke 23:44-46 – It was about twelve o’clock when the sun stopped shining and darkness covered the whole country until three o’clock; and the curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father! In your hands I place my spirit!” He said this and died.

Matthew 27:54 – When the army officer and the soldiers with him who were watching Jesus saw the earthquake and everything else that happened, they were terrified, and said, “He really was the Son of God!”

For You to Do

8. Write your name in the blanks. When Jesus died on the cross, He died for the sins of ___________ He took the punishment that _____________ deserved so that _____________ could be saved and could enjoy eternal life. Thank You, God, for sending Your Son to take the place of ______________.

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