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!

  1. The Watch

    1. 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.)

      1. Why?

      2. 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.)

      3. 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.)

    2. 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.)

      1. 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.)

    3. 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.)

      1. Was it true that God could figure out another way?
        (Any other way would leave us forever dead.)

      2. 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.)

      3. 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

    4. Read Mark 14:37-38. How do you think Jesus felt about the
      disciples sleeping?

      1. 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.)

    5. Read Mark 14:39-42. What is it that Jesus is praying
      again? (It must be the same prayer He prayed in v.36.)

      1. Have you prayed several times for something and God
        told you “No.”

        1. 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.)

  2. The Cross

    1. 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

      1. 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.)

        1. For whom was Jesus dying? (The people who were

        2. 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
          or justification.)

      1. What argument convinced Pilate to let Jesus be
        whipped and crucified? (“Wanting to satisfy the
        crowd” – pure weakness in the face of unreasoning

    1. Read Mark 15:16-20. How do you feel about being
      embarrassed? Shamed? Being the butt of jokes and ridicule?

      1. 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?

      2. What is your response if you have the opportunity to
        “get back” at those who make fun of you?

      3. Was Jesus (v.18) the King of the Jews?

        1. What would you have said or done if you had been

      4. 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.)

    2. Read Mark 15:24-37. Is the statement in v.31 true?

      1. 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?

      2. Notice particularly verse 34. Had God forsaken Jesus?
        (As we will see below, God had not forsaken His Son.)

        1. 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

        2. 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)

        3. What impact do your sins have on your ability to
          see that God is working in your life?

      3. 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?

      1. 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?

  1. The Resurrection

    1. 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.)

      1. 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’

    2. 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.)

    3. 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?

      1. 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
        their mind.)

      2. 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
        present understanding.)

    4. Read John 20:19-22. What is our role in light of Jesus’
      resurrection? What attitude should we have?

    5. 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?

  2. Next Week: The War Within