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Bible Studies

Matthew, Mark and Luke
Lesson 25
The Arrest and Trial of Jesus

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Reading assignment for this lesson: Matthew 26:36-75, 27:1-26, Mark 14:32-72, 15:1-15, Luke 22:40-71, 23:1-25.)

Jesus took his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. His betrayer, Judas, led an armed crowd there to arrest Jesus. Jesus was hastily taken to the chief priest's home for a nighttime trial and was declared guilty of blasphemy. The religious leaders did not have authority to carry out a death sentence, so they took Jesus to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, on trumped-up charges of treason against the Roman Empire. Pilate could see that Jesus was not guilty, but he gave in to political and religious pressure and sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion.

1. Jesus and His disciples went to a place outside Jerusalem called Gethsemane, meaning "wine press."

a) What did Jesus mean by the "cup" when He prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me"?
b) How did Jesus' actions at Gethsemane demonstrate the human side of His nature?
c) What is your impression of the disciples from their actions at Gethsemane?
(See Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:40-46 , Isaiah 51:17, Jeremiah 25:15, Hebrews 5:7-9.)

2. The chief priests and the elders sent an armed crowd to arrest Jesus (Matthew 26:47-56, Mark 14:43-52, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:2-12). Judas knew where to find Jesus and led the crowd to Him. To identify Jesus to the crowd, Judas greeted Him with a kiss, a common form of greeting at the time.

a) Did Jesus act in accordance with His own teachings when the crowd arrested Him? Why? (See Matthew 5:38-45, Luke 6:27-31, 9:52-56.)
b) What do Jesus' teachings and example tell us about dealing with belligerent people? What about belligerent nations?

3. The crowd that arrested Jesus took Him to the home of the high priest. The scribes and the elders had assembled there for what was apparently an informal meeting of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council. Did Jesus get a fair trial by the Sanhedrin? Why? (See Matthew 26:57-75, Mark 14:53-65, Luke 22:63-71.)

4. When Jesus was arrested, all His disciples fled in terror, fearing they would suffer the same fate. Peter, who had boasted he would never desert Jesus (Matthew 26:33-35, Mark 14:29-31, Luke 22:31-33, John 13:36-38), came and waited secretly outside the high priest's home to see what would happen. When he was recognized, Peter denied being one of Jesus' followers and swore an oath that he did not even know Jesus! When the rooster crowed, Peter remembered Jesus' prediction of his denial, and he wept bitterly.

How did Peter's shame and remorse for his cowardly denials of Jesus actually help to prepare him for his future role as a major leader of Christianity? (See Matthew 26:58, 69-75, Mark 14:54, 66-72, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:25-27, Matthew 18:2-4, 20:25-28, 23:11-12, Luke 9:46-48, 18:9-14, Romans 12:16.)

5. a) Why did the religious leaders take Jesus to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, and demand that He be crucified? (See Matthew 27:1-2, Mark 15:1, Luke 23:1, John 18:28-32.)
b) Of what crime did they accuse Jesus? (See Matthew 27:11-14, Mark 15:2-5, Luke 23:2-5, John 18:33-37.)

6. Why didn't Jesus defend Himself when Pilate questioned Him? (See Matthew 27:11-14, Mark 15:2-5, Luke 23:2-5, John 19:9-10, 18:33-37, Isaiah 53:7, 10, Matthew 20:27-28, 26:28, 26:42, John 10:11, 13:1.)

7. a) Did Pilate think Jesus was guilty of the crimes He was accused of?
b) In what ways did the religious leaders pressure Pilate to have Jesus crucified? (See Matthew 27:15-26, Mark 15:6-15, Luke 23:13-25, John 18:38-40, 19:4-16.)

8. a) What role did the Jewish religious leaders play in the death sentence for Jesus?
b) What role did Pilate play?
c) What role did the Jewish people play?
d) What role did Jesus play in His own death?

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