Introduction: The ultimate battle in the great controversy between
Jesus and Satan took place during the time frame when Jesus died on
the cross and was resurrected. With His life, death and resurrection,
Jesus won the battle over sin. The question is whether we will join
the winning side. Let’s plunge into our study of Jesus’ sacrifice for
us which allowed us to accept His the victory over death!
- The Watch
- Read Mark 14:32-35. We pick up the story during the last
hours of Jesus’ life. What is Jesus’ mental state? (He is
very sad and very troubled.)
- How do you feel after you sin? (You feel badly about
it. 1 Peter 2:24 says that Jesus “bore our sins in
His body” when He was crucified. I believe the weight
of our sins was making Him sad and troubled.)
- Jesus tells Peter, James and John to “keep watch.”
For what were they watching? (Jesus wanted them to be
alert. No doubt part of their “watch” was to look out
for the mob to come.)
- Notice Mark 14:35 again. Jesus asks that “the hour might
pass from Him.” For what is Jesus asking? (Jesus was going
through tremendous mental distress and He was about to go
through tremendous physical pain. He wanted to avoid it.)
- In the great controversy between good and evil, what
do you think was Satan’s reaction to verse 35? (Satan
hoped that Jesus would abort this mission. He hoped
Jesus would turn away from the sacrifice for us.)
- Read Mark 14:36. Is Jesus saying that He does not need to
die and that God could figure out a different way to do
this? ( Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus was tempted in “every
way, just as we are.” This text proves it. Jesus, like us,
knows that God can fix anything. Jesus, like us, does not
want to experience the painful, terrible things of life.)
- Was it true that God could figure out another way?
(Any other way would leave us forever dead.)
- What is the most important part of Jesus’ prayer for
us to incorporate into our prayers? (Jesus says “not
what I will, but what you will.” You can see that the
weight of sin, and Jesus’ humanity, has caused Him to
naturally shrink from what is coming. He wants to
avoid “the hour,” but He puts the matter in the hands
of His Father.)
- Have you ever been disappointed in God that He did
not fix some sort of problem in your life? Have you
ever thought that you should just claim the right to
some miracle? (Jesus did not “deserve” to suffer like
this. It was most unfair. We need to learn the
lesson that we are not the judge of what is “fair” in
our life. We need to simply place our trust in the
judgment of God who knows the end from the
- Read Mark 14:37-38. How do you think Jesus felt about the
- Remember I asked you earlier about what the disciples
were supposed to be watching. What do these verses
suggest? (Jesus is looking for support in this trying
time and the disciples are sleeping. Because Jesus
knows that a tremendous test is about to come to
them, He tells them to be alert to what is about to
happen (“watch”) and to pray.)
- Read Mark 14:39-42. What is it that Jesus is praying
again? (It must be the same prayer He prayed in v.36.)
- Have you prayed several times for something and God
told you “No.”
- If that has happened to you, how did you feel?
(Consider now what is happening here. Jesus is
not going to have the cup taken away, His
disciples are not giving Him moral support.
Jesus is facing Satan and His furies without any
help from His closest associates.)
- The Cross
- The mob has now come and arrested Jesus. Jesus is on trial
before Pilate. Read Mark 15:14-15. What is the answer to
Pilate’s question about whether Jesus committed any crime?
(Evidence and logic showed He had not committed any crime.
Judas, who had Jesus arrested, said Jesus was innocent
( Matthew 27:4). Pilate’s wife sent a note to him that
Jesus was innocent ( Matthew 27:19). Pilate himself
disclaimed responsibility for Jesus’ death (Matthew
- How did the crowd answer Pilate’s question “What
crime has He committed?” Did they present evidence?
Give a legal theory? (No. Mark 15:14 tells us they
simply turned up the volume.)
- For whom was Jesus dying? (The people who were
- Jesus had already prayed that this hour would
pass from Him. How would you feel now if you
were Jesus? (The people who you have come to
save are calling for your death without reason
- What argument convinced Pilate to let Jesus be
whipped and crucified? (“Wanting to satisfy the
crowd” – pure weakness in the face of unreasoning
- Read Mark 15:16-20. How do you feel about being
embarrassed? Shamed? Being the butt of jokes and ridicule?
- Think back to the last time that someone, who was not
your friend, deliberately embarrassed you. How did
you feel? What emotions came to the surface?
- What is your response if you have the opportunity to
“get back” at those who make fun of you?
- Was Jesus (v.18) the King of the Jews?
- What would you have said or done if you had been
- In the controversy between good and evil, what tools
does Satan use to win his points? (These verses are
examples of the comparison between Jesus and Satan.
Satan’s tools are mob pressure, lies, raised voices,
ridicule and physical violence. Notice in a debate
which side uses those tools.)
- Read Mark 15:24-37. Is the statement in v.31 true?
- As you look at these verses, remember that this is
Satan’s last, great, opportunity to cause Jesus to
sin. What temptations does he use?
- Notice particularly verse 34. Had God forsaken Jesus?
(As we will see below, God had not forsaken His Son.)
- Remember the verses ( Mark 14:37-40)we read a
little bit ago about Jesus asking His disciples
to watch and pray. They did not come through for
Jesus. Mark 14:50 tells us that when Jesus was
arrested “everyone deserted Him and fled.” Have
you ever felt that you were alone against your
- Did Jesus have reason to believe His Father had
forsaken Him? Why do you think Jesus said
this?(Remember the sacrificial system of the Old
Testament? That system was a “prophecy” of
Jesus’ coming sacrifice for us. Jesus was
bearing our sins and the weight of that sin
caused Him to believe a holy God had forsaken
Him. See John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7)
- What impact do your sins have on your ability to
see that God is working in your life?
- As you review these verses, what kind of a being is
Satan? Since Satan is the inspiration behind all that
was done to Jesus, what do you think about being on
Satan’s side in the conflict between good and evil?
What do you think Satan has in mind for you?
- Friend, if you honestly examine your life, whose side
are you on? When you consider what your sins have
done to Jesus, what direction do you want your life
to take in the future?
- The Resurrection
- Read John 20:1-2. Who did Mary think “they” were who had
taken Jesus?(Mary had seen Jesus take so much abuse she
probably thought this was the latest outrage – the Romans
or Jewish leaders had stolen His body.)
- Was it the goal of the Romans and Jewish leaders to
further abuse Jesus after His death? (No. Read
Matthew 27:62-66. The goal of the government and the
Jewish leaders was to make sure no one took Jesus’
- What had happened to Jesus? Where had He gone? (Read John
20:11-17. God had not forsaken Jesus. He had raised Him
to life. Jesus was about to go on His way back to heaven.)
- Read John 20:9. What does this say about the possibility
of conspiracies to make it look like Jesus rose from the
dead when He actually did not?
- What does this suggest about the mental state of
Jesus’ disciples? (The disciples could hardly have
engaged in a conspiracy to fake a resurrection since
they did not even understand that Jesus would be
raised from the tomb. This was a very bitter end to
their great hopes about Jesus ruling the nation.
Stealing Jesus’ body was the last thing they had on
- What warning is there in this about your
understanding of the future? (Friend, I get so
concerned about people who claim to know exactly how
prophecy will be fulfilled. We need to studying the
Word and be alert, rather than arrogant about our
- Read John 20:19-22. What is our role in light of Jesus’
resurrection? What attitude should we have?
- Friend, would you have gone through what Jesus did for
people who abandoned, physically abused and mocked you?
Jesus has an unbelievable love for us. He knows what it
means to feel alone and unwanted. He will be with you in
your difficult times when you feel alone. But most
important, Jesus has overcome death. If you accept His
hard-won victory over sin and death, you can live with Him
forever. Will you repent and join Jesus’ side in the great
controversy between good and evil?
- Next Week: The War Within