- We are sinners who need a Savior. (Week 13)
- Christ died for all sinners.
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.Romans 5:6 NLT
Our lesson this week will be a little different than our normal format. We are going walk through Holy Week or Passion Week. Holy Week or Passion week is the time from Palm Sunday through Easter.
The Jews had suffered a lot under the Romans. They were looking for a Messiah that would conquer the Romans. They wanted a strong earthly king.
God had a different plan when he sent Jesus. Jesus was born in a barn not a palace. He was born to poor parents from a small country town not to a royal family. Jesus’s teaching and ministry on earth was different. His followers were often the lonely, outcast and overlooked.
The way Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was also much different. He came on a donkey instead of a horse. The donkey was a sign of humility. The greeting Jesus received was from an Old Testament prophet. Compare the verses below.
8 Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,
“Praise God for the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Praise God in highest heaven!”
10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.
11 And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”Matthew 21:8-11 NLT
Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you.Zechariah 9:9 NLT
He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.
We can celebrate Jesus and what he is done for us every day. We don’t have to wait for a special holiday. How can you celebrate Jesus today?
Jesus Curses the Fig Tree
12 The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. 14 Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it.
Jesus Clears the Temple
15 When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, 16 and he stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. 17 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
18 When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so amazed at his teaching.
19 That evening Jesus and the disciples left the city.
The outside courtyard of the Temple had been turned into a market. Many people who came to Jerusalem traveled great distances and were not able to bring their own animals for sacrifice. They would buy animals at the Temple. Also, they needed a special type of money to use at the Temple. The leaders allowed vendors to sell animals and change money in courtyard. The prices were very high and unfair. The courtyard was supposed to be place for non-Jews to worship God. Instead of a place of worship it was a place where people were being taken ripped off.
Jesus’s actions remind us that church is God’s house. It is to be place of prayer and worship.
Tuesday was a day of teaching and turmoil. Jesus was a master teacher who used object lessons. Like the fig tree they passed on the way to Jerusalem. Look back at verses 12-14 from yesterday. Now let’s see what happened on the next (Tuesday).
20 The next morning as they passed by the fig tree he had cursed, the disciples noticed it had withered from the roots up. 21 Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day and exclaimed, “Look, Rabbi! The fig tree you cursed has withered and died!”
22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.Mark 11:20-24 NLT
Jesus knew time with The Disciples was limited. He wanted them (and us too.) to understand what we can do through faith. God will never leave us. He wants us to know that he will always. God always provides what we need.
The Temple leaders did not like Jesus. His teaching was very different than theirs. They challenged Jesus’s authority.
1 One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. 2 They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”
3 “Let me ask you a question first,” he replied. 4 “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”
5 They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. 6 But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.” 7 So they finally replied that they didn’t know.
8 And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”Luke 20:1-8 NLT
The Bible doesn’t record much for Wednesday. Jesus continued teaching in the Temple each day.
37 Every day Jesus went to the Temple to teach, and each evening he returned to spend the night on the Mount of Olives. 38 The crowds gathered at the Temple early each morning to hear him.Luke 21:37-38 NLT
According to tradition Judas sold Jesus out on Wednesday, that is why some call it Spy Wednesday.
10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests to arrange to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted when they heard why he had come, and they promised to give him money. So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.Mark 14:10-11 NLT
Thursday is known as Maundy Thursday. Check out the video from GotQuestions.org.
Maundy Thursday was when Jesus celebrated the Passover. This was when he started what we know as Communion or the Lord’s Supper. In our church that is something we observe every Sunday. It is a reminder of what Christ did for us. Our logo is a chalice or cup used during the Passover.
17 In the evening Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 As they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here will betray me.”
19 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one?”
20 He replied, “It is one of you twelve who is eating from this bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”
22 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.”
23 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many. 25 I tell you the truth, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.”
26 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.Mark 14:17-26 NLT
Today’s video Crucified from The Action Bible includes The Passover observance through the Crucifixion.
Good Friday is a reminder of how much God loves us and why Jesus had to day. Jesus came to earth for this moment. Jesus dying on the cross was the only way to restore our relationship with God.
Everyone is a sinner.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.Romans 3:23 NLT
The consequence for sin is death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23 NLT
The good news is that God provided a way for us to have eternal life. It is a gift that we can’t earn. We have to choose to receive it.
Today’s video The Sealed Tomb from The Action Bible includes the events from the death of Jesus to the resurrection.
Friday and Saturday were dark days for the Disciples and other followers of Jesus. They are frightened and confused. It is a dark day but Sunday is coming.
See you guys Sunday.