Lesson 13

Crucified and Risen

(Matthew 27 & 28)
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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!

  1. Judas


    1. 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.)


    2. Read Matthew 27:4-5. Did the religious leaders comfort Judas by telling him that he did the right thing?


      1. What responsibility did the religious leaders think belonged to them?


    3. 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 benefit.)


      1. 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.)


  2. Pilate


    1. 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.)


    2. 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.)


    3. 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!)


    4. 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 crowd.


    5. 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.)


  3. The Crucifixion


    1. 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.


    2. Read Matthew 27:45-46. Are those insults getting to Jesus?


      1. 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 sin comes.)


      2. 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 God.)


      3. 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.)


    3. 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.)


    4. 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!


      1. 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.)


  4. Jesus' Resurrection


    1. Read Matthew 27:65 and Matthew 28:1-3. How secure could Jesus' opponents make His tomb? (Not secure enough!)


    2. 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.)


    3. 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!)


    4. 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.)


      1. 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.)


    5. Read Matthew 28:18. What is Jesus' place in the universe? (All authority has been given to Him!)


    6. 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.)


    7. Re-read Matthew 28:20. What help does Jesus promise? (That He will be with us through to His Second Coming.)


      1. 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.)


      2. 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!)


    8. 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?


  5. Next week we start a new series of studies on the Role of the Church in the Community.

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Lessons on Matthew

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