Introduction: Our study this week brings us to the heart of the
gospel. Jesus gave up His life so that you might live. Let’s dive
into our study!

  1. Peter

    1. Read Mark 14:53-54. Put yourself in Peter’s place. Is he

      1. Is Peter hoping that Jesus will do some miracle to
        save Himself?

      2. Why does Peter follow at a distance?

      3. With the previous answer in mind, why would Peter sit
        with the guards in front of a fire where his face was
        illuminated? (Either Peter is not thinking clearly,
        or he is again yielding to human weakness (he wanted
        to get warm). For safety, it would have been much
        better to stay cold and keep his face in darkness.)

    2. Let’s skip down to Mark 14:66-68. Read. Why did Peter go
      to the entryway? (Perhaps to get out of the illumination
      of the fire. Perhaps so that he could make a quick exit.)

    3. Read Mark 14:69. Is this accusation more dangerous than
      the first? (Yes. This girl is now sharing her charge with

    4. Read Mark 14:70. Has she gotten the attention of others
      with her accusation?

      1. Notice the text says, “After a while” they accused
        Peter of being a follower of Jesus because He was “a
        Galilean.” Why did it take a while? Why would they
        say he was a Galilean as opposed to saying they had
        seen him with Jesus? (These people had not seen him
        with Jesus. They were thinking over the charge that
        this girl made and Peter’s denial. His denial
        revealed that he had a Galilean accent. It suddenly
        hit these people that this guy was from Galilee, and
        thus must have been with Jesus.)

    5. Read Mark 14:71. Is Peter saying bad words? What does it
      mean that he called down curses on himself? (He was not
      swearing in the sense we think of today. He was saying
      that bad things should happen to him if he were not
      telling the truth.)

      1. Why would he call down curses on himself since he
        knew he was lying? (He figured worse things would
        happen to him if he told the truth.)

      1. Is Peter willing to die for Jesus now? (Read Mark
        14:30-31. He said he was willing, and I believe that
        was true. But now he has changed his mind. He does
        not really want to die.)

    1. Let’s step back a minute. Assume that Jesus was not
      resurrected from the dead. Would Peter continue to witness
      about Jesus and face death? (Peter was willing to die when
      he figured that Jesus would be king. When things were
      going the wrong way, Peter was not willing to lose his
      life. This is strong evidence that Peter’s continued
      witness was based on his belief that Jesus was resurrected
      and was the Messiah.)

    2. Read Mark 14:72. Did Peter cry in front of the group? Why
      did he cry? (His heart was broken because of his failure
      to be faithful to Jesus.)

  1. Jesus Before the Sanhedrin

    1. Read Mark 14:55-56. Jesus is at trial before the “whole
      Sanhedrin.” We require fair and impartial judges. How were
      these judges?

      1. Who do you think arranged the false witnesses to

      2. What was the goal of the Sanhedrin with these
        witnesses? (Read Deuteronomy 17:6. Their problem was
        that they needed at least two witnesses to say
        approximately the same thing before they could give
        Jesus the death sentence.)

      3. How serious a crime was it to be a false witness? (It
        not only violated one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus
        20:16), but a false witness in a death penalty case
        was to be put to death ( Deuteronomy 19:16-21).)

        1. Why did not the Sanhedrin stop the trial of
          Jesus and start prosecuting these false

    2. Read Mark 14:57-61. Why didn’t Jesus answer these charges?
      (He was not required to testify against Himself.)

      1. How is the High Priest feeling about now? (He is
        ready to strangle his assistants. They are
        incompetent with the false witnesses. No doubt the
        High Priest is exasperated and decided to take a
        chance that Jesus will be willing to say something

    3. Read Mark 14:61-62. Why did Jesus now decide to answer
      this question? (Read Matthew 26:63. Matthew adds a detail
      that Mark leaves out. The High Priest charged Jesus under
      oath to answer. One commentary that I read said, based on
      Leviticus 5:1, this required Jesus to answer. I’m not sure
      that is the way Leviticus 5 should be interpreted, but
      clearly the High Priest is increasing the pressure for
      Jesus to answer.)

      1. Consider for a moment Jesus’ answer. What is the High
        Priest thinking? If he thinks Jesus is a lunatic, why
        kill Him? If he thinks Jesus is a rival, how can he
        ignore this?

    4. Read Mark 14:63-65. What should be the answer to the High
      Priest’s question? (They still need another witness!
      Jesus’ own testimony is not sufficient. Deuteronomy 17:6.)

      1. What attitude towards Jesus do we see in these
        verses? (They were so desperate to convict Jesus they
        were willing to violate the law in small and large
        ways. Their anger is revealed in the spitting,
        hitting and beating.)

        1. Why were the Jewish leaders so angry with Jesus?

  2. Jesus Before Pilate

    1. Read Mark 15:1-10. What did Pilate think of the charges
      against Jesus? (The Greek word translated (v. 10) “envy”
      means “ill-will,” “jealousy,” spite. He did not think the
      charges had any legal merit.)

      1. Consider in more detail verses 9-10. What would be
        the logical answer to that question? “Yes, we would
        like our king back, please?” Would the Jewish leaders
        acknowledge that Jesus was their King?

        1. What do you think Pilate was trying to do? (He
          was insulting the Jewish leaders. He does not
          seem to care about Jesus.)

    2. Read Mark 15:11-14. What crime against Rome had Jesus
      committed? (None. If Pilate really believed ( Mark 15:2)
      that Jesus was a revolutionary who was trying to become
      the King, then he would have a crime on his hands.
      Apparently, he decided that Jesus was no threat to Rome.)

    3. Read Mark 15:15. On what basis was Jesus flogged and
      crucified? (Pilate wanted to please the crowd.)

      1. How important to you is it to please those around
        you? Are you willing to sacrifice principle to

      2. What point is Mark making to us? (It was not a just

  3. Jesus and the Cross

    1. Read Mark 15:16-19. Satan has only a very short time to
      make Jesus sin. What temptation(s) does he use as his best
      weapons? (Notice that being laughed at and torture are in
      the same league when it comes to temptation.)

      1. Why was being laughed at such a powerful weapon?
        (They were mocking Jesus about something that was
        true – He was their King!)

      2. How do you react when people laugh at you? What if
        they are laughing because they are too ignorant to
        know the truth? What if they are below your “class?”

    2. Read Mark 15:25,29-30. Was it possible for Jesus to come
      down from the cross and save Himself?

      1. If He did, who would not be saved?

    3. Read Mark 15:31-34. Everyone around Jesus is saying that
      He cannot save Himself. What do Jesus’ words reveal about
      His thinking? (Read Psalms 22:1-2. Jesus quotes a text
      that is a plea to God to save. With the load of our sins
      on His shoulders, and the crowd questioning His power,
      Jesus was severely pressed on the point of whether He was
      coming through this. He would not rely on His own power.
      He worried that God had forsaken Him.)

      1. Look again at Mark 15:31. Is this a true statement?

    4. Read Mark 15:37-39. Was the centurion one who had mocked
      Jesus? Why did he change his mind?

      1. What is the significance of the curtain (that
        separated the holy from the most holy place) being
        torn from top to bottom? (A divine sign that the
        symbolism of the sacrifices had ended. It had all
        been fulfilled in the death of Jesus.)

    5. Friend, Jesus gave up His life for you. He was tortured
      for you. What is your response to Him? What is your
      attitude towards others?

  4. Next Week: Buried – But Risen!