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

      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

    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

      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.