Introduction: When we left Jesus and the disciples last week, Jesus
was preparing them for His death ( Mark 12:1-11) and for a time of
arrest and trials ( Mark 13:9-11). The beginning of trouble for them
is now at hand. Let’s plunge into our study and learn more about the
last few hours of Jesus’ life here on earth.

  1. Physical Preparation

    1. Read Mark 14:3-5. The Bible gives us an enduring way to
      determine the value of this perfume gift. It cost more
      than a year’s wages. What is the average yearly wage where
      you live? (U.S. Department of Labor Statistics say the
      average wage of U.S. workers in 2002 was $36,000.)

      1. What do you think about the “stewardship” of spending
        this amount on perfume? (The purchase price of the
        average new car in the U.S. in 2003 was $28,000,
        according to Motor Trend. You could buy a new car and
        pay for the gas for several years, or you could buy a
        bottle of perfume.)

      2. Is a harsh rebuke appropriate?

    2. Read Mark 14:6-8. Why does Jesus say this is appropriate?
      (Because it is preparing Him for his burial.)

    3. Read John 12:1-3. John does two things. He identifies the
      woman as Mary, the brother of Lazarus, and he fixes the
      date of the dinner as six days before Passover.

      1. Read Mark 14:1. Mark starts out by saying it is two
        days before Passover, and then he has a “flashback”
        story that goes back four days. Why? (Mark wants us
        to focus on how Jesus’ closest friends treated Him as
        He approached death.)

      2. How do you react to Jesus’ death? Does it awaken in
        you a desire for self-sacrifice?

  2. Betrayal

    1. Read Mark 14:10-11. John 12:4 reveals that the person who
      objected to the waste of money in the perfume gift was
      Judas. What connection, if any, do you see between this
      gift, Jesus’ rebuke and Judas’ decision to betray Jesus
      for money?

      1. Matthew 26:15 tells us that Judas betrayed Jesus for
        thirty silver coins. The NIV Study Bible reveals this
        was about four months wages. For Mary, the last few
        days of Jesus’ life were about sacrificial giving.
        For Judas, the last few hours of Jesus’ life were
        about personal profit. How do you think most
        Christians approach their relationship with Jesus?

        1. I often hear people say that a church or
          religious service “does not meet my needs.” Is
          this legitimate, or is this “Judas-think?”

        2. How do you react if you are spiritually rebuked?

  3. Last Supper

    1. Jesus sends Peter and John to Jerusalem to make
      preparation for the Passover meal. Read Mark 14:17-20.
      When did they eat this meal? (“When evening came.” That
      means after dark on Thursday (Nisan 15, according to the
      Bible Knowledge Commentary).)

      1. What day was Jesus crucified? (Jewish reckoning of
        time was that a day ran from sunset to sunset. Mark
        15:34-45 tells us that Jesus died about 3:00pm on
        Friday (Nisan 15). Thus, Jesus was crucified on
        Passover – the celebration of the blood of the lamb
        saving the first-born son and freedom from slavery in

        1. The death of the first-born Egyptian sons during
          Passover convinced Pharaoh to free the Jews.
          Contemplate this symbolism of the sacrifice of
          God’s Son to free us from sin.

      2. Mark 14:19 (compare Matthew 26:25) reports that even
        Judas declared that he would not betray Jesus
        (“Surely not I”). Was he just lying? Or, do you think
        he had some rationale for his statement? (Remember
        when we studied Mark 11 and Jesus’ triumphal entry
        into Jerusalem as a king? Perhaps Judas thought that
        he would, by his actions, force Jesus to re-establish
        the kingdom of David. Maybe he thought it was not a
        betrayal, but rather the application of superior

    2. Read Mark 14:21. Where does trying to outsmart God get us?

    3. Read Mark 14:22-24. The Bible Knowledge Commentary tells
      us that it was customary for the “head of the house” to
      explain the meaning of the Passover meal – reciting
      Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. Jesus gives a new
      explanation. What is it?

    4. Read Mark 14:25. Matthew 26:29 makes it clear that Jesus
      will not drink “this fruit of the vine” until He drinks it
      with the disciples in heaven. Why did Jesus make this
      promise? Why not also refrain from eating bread?

      1. Read Exodus 6:6-7. I read a number of Bible
        commentaries and other descriptions of the Passover
        which suggest that during Jesus’ time it was
        customary to drink four cups of red wine. These cups
        would be passed around in sequence and each would
        have a special significance. Although the description
        of the significance of the cups vary, some say that
        for each cup one of the four statements of redemption
        contained in these verses was recited.

        1. Cup 1 – Bring: I will bring you out from the
          yoke of Egypt.

        2. Cup 2 – Deliver: I will deliver you from being

        3. Cup 3 – Redeem: I will redeem you and execute
          judgment on the Egyptians.

        4. Cup 4 – Take: I will take you as my people and
          be your God.

      2. Which cup would represent what Jesus said in Mark
        14:24? (It would be the third cup.)

      3. If the fourth cup remained to be drunk, why would
        Jesus say He was not drinking it until they were
        together to drink it in heaven? (The forth cup
        celebrated God taking them away from Egypt to a place
        where He would be their God. With this background,
        this is a beautiful statement which makes perfect
        sense. The last cup would be drunk together after
        they were safely in heaven, rescued from this sinful

  4. Failure

    1. Read Mark 14:26-29. Jesus said two things. Which one got
      Peter’s attention? (The good part is that Jesus says He
      will meet them at a pre-arranged place. But, Peter focuses
      on the part about the “sheep scattering.”)

      1. Why?

    2. Read Mark 14:30-31. Do you think that Peter meant what he
      said? Was he willing to die for Jesus?

    3. Read Mark 14:32-41. How many times did Peter fail Jesus by
      not watching and praying? ( Mark 14:41 – three times.)

      1. Was this disowning Jesus? In what way had these
        disciples failed Jesus? (In the last part of Mark 14
        Peter explicitly denies Jesus three times. But, I
        think the failure to watch and pray was also a type
        of denial of Jesus.)

      2. What if we are willing to die for Jesus, but unable
        to watch and pray for Him each day?

        1. Is it possible to have great determination for
          the important faith challenges of life, but have
          spiritual failure in our daily routine?

    4. Read Mark 14:42-47. Who cut off the ear of the servant of
      the high priest? ( John 18:10 reveals this was Peter.)

      1. Was Peter willing to die for Jesus? (Yes! An armed
        mob came and he was ready to fight.)

      2. Which would have been more important to Jesus:
        praying and watching in Gethsemane, or being willing
        to fight the mob?

      3. Which was more important, being willing to fight the
        mob or being willing to give up a year’s income to
        anoint Jesus with perfume?

        1. Can you find any lessons in this for your life?

    5. Read Mark 14:48-50. Why did Peter and the rest flee?
      (Jesus was not going to fight. They were willing to fight,
      but afraid to sacrifice.)

    6. Friend, this week we see that Jesus and Mary have an
      attitude of sacrifice. Judas has a “my profit” attitude
      and the disciples are willing to fight, but fear to
      sacrifice. How about you? What is your attitude about
      serving Jesus?

  5. Next week: Tried and Crucified.