FAITH QUEST

The Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus

Workshop Leaders’ Bible Study

This workshop leader’s Bible study is a historical, theological, and contextual introduction to the “Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus” rotation of Kirk of Kildaire’s Faith Quest workshop rotation program.  It is intended to provide workshop leaders with:

·        A historical context for understanding the Bible story.

·        A Biblical context for reading and teaching the story.

·        The theological basis for the concepts to be taught to the children.

In Kirk of Kildaire’s Faith Quest program, workshop leaders attend a one-hour Bible study two weeks prior to the start of a new rotation.  This Bible study helps workshop leaders understand how the concepts to be taught to the children are derived from the Bible story and how the lessons in the rotation fit together to reinforce the concepts.  It also provides an opportunity for the workshop leaders to grow in their own faith and understanding of the Bible.

It will be helpful to have a chalkboard, whiteboard, or flip chart for writing down questions or observations during the Bible study.

Note:  This is not a comprehensive study of the text, but only a few notes to help provide context and background for workshop leaders.  Consult titles cited in the reference list at the end of these notes for more information.

Scripture:

Luke 23.  Individual workshops will emphasize various parts of this chapter.

Memory verse for this rotation:

John 3:16 (CEV):

"God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die."

Concepts:

  1. Even though he was accused of doing wrong, Jesus was innocent.
  2. Jesus suffered and died so that our souls can live forever.
  3. When we mess up, Jesus forgives us.
  4. Jesus is obedient to God.

Prayer Concerns & Prayer

·        If workshop leaders do not know each other, give them an opportunity to introduce each other and say which workshop they will be leading.

·        Begin the Bible study by praying for God’s guidance as teachers begin a new rotation.

Reading the text

Ask a workshop leader to read the text aloud.  For this rotation, you might want to read only 23:1-25 and 23:33-43, two of the sections that the workshops focus on.

Ask the workshop leaders what questions came to mind as they heard the story or read it before the Bible study.  Write down any questions that arise and will need to be answered during the Bible study.

Historical, Theological, and Biblical Contexts

Historical context: Why write an account of Jesus’ crucifixion?

Alan Watson puts it very nicely in his book The Trial of Jesus: “The Gospels are not written by eyewitnesses, nor do they attempt to set out the course of Jesus’ life as modern biographies would.”[1]  They are instead theological accounts of the life of Jesus whose aim is to help Jesus’ followers understand the significance of his life, death, and resurrection.  The passion narratives, especially, serve this purpose.  According to scripture, “anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse” (Deut. 21:23).”  How can one reconcile this mandate with the claim that “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:11)?  The passion narratives are theological accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus.  They were written to help his followers understand how one under God’s curse by law could be the Messiah.  This predicament is what is commonly known as “the scandal of the cross.”

Historical Context: What are the political interests of Pilate, Herod, and the “leaders of the people”?

The political structures in the Gospels were put into place during what we call the “intertestamental period,” the years between the time of the Old Testament and the time of the New Testament.  Therefore, understanding the political context of the time of Jesus requires understanding some of the history of Palestine in this intertestamental period.  Some of this history is recorded in the book of Daniel, which is where much of our understanding of the term “Messiah” comes from.

In the second century BCE, Judea was under Syrian rule and in 167 the king of Syria, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who sought to Hellenize Judea (turn it into a Greek city-state) and suppress Judaism, decreed that sacrifices to Greek gods be made in every Judean city and village.  He placed an altar to Zeus on the Temple altar at Jerusalem and sacrificed to Zeus there.  This is the “abomination that makes desolate” that is referred to in Daniel 11:31.  This decree and this sacrifice led to the “Maccabean revolt,” a guerrilla resistance movement led by Judas Maccabeus (i.e., Judas “the Hammer”) and his brothers.  They came to be known as the Maccabees, and after their revolution succeeded (this is the victory that is celebrated at Hanukkah, the “Feast of Dedication,” when the temple was purified and rededicated) and they became the legitimate rulers of Judea, they came to be known as the Hasmoneans, their family name.  Their goal was not only religious freedom, but also political independence for Judea.  Their dynasty lasted from 167 BCE to 37 BCE.[2] 

In 63 BCE, in Idumea, there lived a soldier and politician named Antipater (the father of Herod the Great of birth-story fame).  The Idumeans had been forcibly converted to Judaism under the Hasmoneans, so the family of Herod was, at least technically, Jewish.  Antipater’s successful intervention in a conflict between two of the Hasmonean brothers and his faithful service to Pompey and Julius Caesar in the Roman campaign to dominate Palestine earned him Roman citizenship and the title of procurator of Judea.  In time, Antipater made his son, Herod the Great, governor of Galilee.

In 40 BCE, the Roman Senate appointed Herod the Great king of the Jews, even though the throne of Judea was occupied still by a Hasmonean (remember that the Hasmoneans were in favor of an independent state).  With Marc Antony’s help, Herod conquered Jerusalem and began a rule marked by total loyalty to Rome.  It was in this time that the third temple, the temple that Jesus and his disciples knew began to be built, fashioned after great Greek and Roman temples.  Upon the death of Herod the Great, Augustus divided the kingdom among Herod’s sons.  Herod Antipas (the Herod of the trial/crucifixion story) was made tetrarch (Herod had four sons; “tetrarch” means “one-fourth ruler” of Galilee.  He ruled in Galilee throughout the lifetime of Jesus, from 4 BCE until 39 CE.  He maintained his father’s loyalty to Rome.[3]

The Palestine of Jesus’ time was a time of complete political domination by Rome, with some memory of the fight for an independent Judea.  Herod Antipas probably had responsibilities and authority in Galilee that were equivalent to Pilate's responsibilities and authority in Judea and Samaria.  Both Pilate and Herod had very strong political loyalty to Rome.  Herod also had some responsibility for maintaining the integrity of Jewish life and he had aspirations to become, like his father, “king of the Jews.”  Herod and Pilate’s interests did not completely overlap and in fact come into conflict.  Raymond Brown sees Pilate’s sending Jesus to Herod for an investigative interview (Luke 23:6-12) as a form of diplomacy.  “Luke 13:1-2 tells of Pilate having mingled the blood of Galileans with their sacrifices¾presumably Galileans who had come to Jerusalem to sacrifice at a feast.  Luke 23:12 reports that enmity had existed between Herod and Pilate.  Does Luke mean the readers to connect these two statements, so that Pilate might not increase the enmity by spilling the blood of another Galilean at a feast?”[4]  Maybe.  One thing that is clear in Luke’s account of Jesus’ passion is that it resulted in some level of political understanding between Herod and Pilate.

One implication of Roman domination of Judea was Roman control over the priestly garments.  Alan Watson points out that the priestly garments were kept locked in a storage chest in Pilate’s palace.[5]  These garments were required for celebration of any feast, such as Passover.  One of the reasons that the crowd was so feared by Jewish and Roman leaders alike was that during religious feasts, the crowd was reminded of Roman control over their religious life.  Festivals¾especially Passover, which celebrates God’s deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt¾roused the crowds resentment of Rome and their memory of the fight for political independence.  Herod and Pilate were both responsible for keeping the Pax Romana, the peace that the Roman Empire claimed and so cherished.  The security of their authority and political position in the Empire rested on keeping the crowds under control.  Jesus’ life would have been a small price to pay for that peace.  Likewise, the leaders of religious life would have been aware that their access to religious practice was closely guarded by Rome.  They may have felt a huge obligation to keep the crowd under control or else risk losing access to the implements of religious observation.

The attached chart tries to portray these contending interests schematically.

Historical Context: What was expected of a “Messiah”?

In his book, The Trial of Jesus, Alan Watson asks and attempts to answer two questions: “Did Jesus have characteristics that caused people to believe he could be the Messiah?  If so, what did these people expect of him?”[6]

In Jesus’ lifetime, the idea of the Messiah was one who:

1.      Would be heralded by the return of Elijah.

2.      Is descended from the line of David.

3.      Would save Jerusalem from foreign domination.

4.      Would bring back the dispersed Jews to Israel.

5.      Would settle the tribes upon the land.

6.      Would put an end to war.

7.      Would defend against those kings who seek to destroy the Temple.[7]

Raymond Brown, in The Death of the Messiah, argues that there was no such clear, widespread, and uniform messianic expectation during the life of Jesus.  Messiah may have meant Davidic king, or a prophetic figure, or a priestly figure.  There was among Christians, however, a very widespread and uniform understanding of Jesus as Messiah after the resurrection.  In other words, there was no clear, unified Messianic hope before the life of Jesus; it was only after his resurrection that Christians saw Jesus as Messiah and developed a unified understanding of what that title meant.  During Jesus’ lifetime, it is probable that:

1.      Some of his followers thought him to be the Messiah and they seem to have understood Messiah to be the anointed king of the House of David who would rule over God’s people.

2.      When confronted with this identification, Jesus responded ambivalently for two reasons:  (1) associated with the role of Messiah (as his followers understood it) were features that Jesus rejected¾absence of suffering and death, a claim to rule over other nations, public acceptance and coronation, having places of honor and power to assign, and an emphasis on Davidic descent and family connections¾(2) Jesus recognized that the meaning and role of “Messiah” was up to God to design; he did not fully understand what Messiah meant himself, but was open to God’s leading.

3.      Jesus’ ambivalent response (not clearly claiming to be Messiah but not clearly rejecting that title) was enough for his enemies to hand him over to the Roman authorities as a would-be king.[8]

Historical Context: What are Luke’s interests in interpreting and writing the story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion?

The Gospel According to Luke was written probably around 80-85 CE.[9]  It is not an eyewitness account and does not claim to be an eyewitness account (see Luke 1:2).  It is actually part of a two-volume work beginning with the gospel and ending with Acts.  Because the writer of Luke-Acts (as the two books together are referred to) sometimes writes in first-person plural in Acts, Luke may have been written by a physician who traveled with and was a co-worker of Paul.[10]  Together the two books constitute a single story in which Luke portrays “a history of salvation.”[11]  In this story, Luke “grasps the meaning of Jesus and the church for the world in a single vision, and he tells that story so that what happens with Jesus foreshadows the church’s experience and what happens in the church finds meaning as the continuation of Jesus’ story.”[12]  In other words, Luke takes a long view of the life of Jesus and tells us how his life continues in the church through the Holy Spirit.  Thus what the poet T.S. Elliot says is really true of Luke’s passion narrative:

What we call the beginning is often the end

And to make an end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from.[13]

Some say that Luke sees history as occurring in three periods: the time of Israel, the time of Jesus, and the time of the church.  The time of Jesus was a special time of salvation during which Satan departed the earth for a while (Luke 4:13) and did not return until the time of Jesus’ passion (Luke 22:3).[14]  With his resurrection, Jesus defeated once and for all Satan and the powers of death and evil.  Jesus lives and reigns at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56), and through the grace of the Holy Spirit Jesus continues to live and exercise power and authority in the world through the church.  Luke is careful to recount this salvation history in an orderly fashion (Luke 1:3) so that his mostly gentile audience can understand that God first fulfilled his promises to Israel and then extended those promises to the Gentiles.[15]  God’s saving work is for the whole world, Jew and Gentile alike.

A second overarching theme in the gospel¾in addition to salvation history¾is the fulfillment of scripture.  Luke reads and reinterprets Hebrew scripture in light of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and his telling of the story emphasizes how Jesus fulfills the promise of a Messiah and Savior.  This theme is particularly prominent in the story of the resurrection appearances when Jesus “interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures” (Luke 24:27).

Trial and Crucifixion Themes

There are several themes that Luke particularly carries throughout his passion narrative:

Christ in a cosmic battle with Satan

This is not the story of just one man’s death, but the story of the struggle of the Messiah with Satan and the powers of evil.  In his account of Satan entering Judas (22:3), of Jesus’ warning that Satan will “sift [the disciples] like wheat” (22:31), and of Jesus’ statement in Gethsemane that what is happening is “the power of darkness” (22:53), and in the echoes of Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the wilderness (22:43, 63-65; 23:7-11, 35-43), Luke makes it clear that Jesus is engaged in a cosmic struggle with Satan, death, and evil itself.[16]  Through his resurrection, Jesus wins the battle.

Christ as the Passover lamb

In 22:1-13, Luke mentions six times that Jesus was to celebrate the Passover meal with his disciples.  Luke is inviting his readers to understand that Jesus’ death on the cross is not simply a triumph of an evil, oppressive political system (represented by Pilate and Herod) or human greed (Judas), but the fulfillment of God’s plan for the Messiah.  Even Jewish sources attest to the connection between Jesus’ death and the Passover.  This connection is made by Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:7, which predates the gospels and in other gospel and epistle references:[17]

John 1:29                     Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

1 Peter 1:19                 You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.

1 Cor. 5:7                    For our Passover lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.

When you are teaching your lessons, it will be important to note that the children are just coming off of a rotation on the Passover in Exodus, so they will be very familiar with Israel’s salvation history and the significance of the Passover lamb for Israel.  Remind them of why God asked them to sacrifice a lamb (so that they would be “passed over” by the plague of the firstborn sons).  During the Passover rotation we told our children that for Christians, Christ is our Passover lamb.  Now is the time for them to learn how this came to be.

Christ as prophet

Throughout the passion narrative¾from the beginning when the disciples find the upper room just as Jesus had described to the end when Jesus cries, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"¾Jesus remains in control of the events that unfold.  “Jesus is not a passive victim, but the prophet who anticipates his own death and interprets its meaning for his followers.”[18]  This portrayal of Christ as prophet is part of an overarching theme of Luke-Acts: Jesus is the prophet like Moses who was promised in Deuteronomy 18:15: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people; you shall heed such a prophet.”  For Luke, the “prophet like Moses” literally was raised up (from the dead) by God.

Christ’s obedience and self-control

Luke’s portrayal of Jesus in Gethsemane and during his trial and crucifixion is of one who is completely devoted to God and in control of the events that are occurring.  In fact, throughout the whole passion narrative, even in the upper room with his disciples, Jesus faces his death with a calm, controlled majesty:

·        Even as he predicts Peter’s denial, he also predicts his turning back to strengthen Jesus’ followers (as happens in Acts 2:14-36). 

·        He instructs his disciples in how to serve each other after his is gone and bequeaths his kingdom to them (22:24-30). 

·        He prepares them for the trials and suffering that they will experience (22:35-38). 

·        In Gethsemane, he is portrayed as an athlete (the language of “anguish” connotes athletic exertion) struggling in competition (22:44). 

·        He warns his disciples against falling into temptation (22:40, 46). 

·        As violence erupts during his arrest, Jesus responds by healing his enemy (22:51).

·        It is a look from Jesus that reminds Peter of the prediction that he would deny Jesus three times (22:61).

·        Jesus’ behavior during his trial is marked by self-control and silence.  Note that he himself obeys his earlier instructions to his disciples not to defend themselves when they are brought before the authorities, but to rely on God’s guidance (Luke 210:12-15).

·        On the way to the cross, Jesus comforts the women, forgives the leaders, and reassures the criminal.

·        Finally, at his death, Jesus commends his spirit to God.

Luke Timothy Johnson points out that Luke, who was himself a Greek and probably well-educated in Greek thought, portrays Jesus as the ideal Hellenistic sophos, or wise man (philosopher) who right up until his death continues to teach and serve as an ideal role model for his disciples.[19]

Hard Theological Questions

Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

This question, should the children ask it, gets at the heart of the theological concept of “soteriology,” or salvation theology.  There have been many attempts to explain exactly how the death of Christ on the cross helps us.  It involves not only what Christ did, but also who Christ is.

In our “Brief Statement of Faith,” we affirm the following about Jesus:

 

“We trust in Jesus Christ,

            fully human, fully God.

       Jesus proclaimed the reign of God:

                   preaching good news to the poor

                               and release to the captives,

                   teaching by word and deed

                               and blessing the children,

                   healing the sick

                               and binding up the brokenhearted,

                   eating with outcasts,

                   forgiving sinners,

                   and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.

       Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition,

       Jesus was crucified,

                   suffering the depths of human pain

                   and giving his life for the sins of the world.

       God raised this Jesus from the dead,

                   vindicating his sinless life,

                   breaking the power of sin and evil,

                   delivering us from death to life eternal.”[20]

 

The first affirmation, that Jesus was “fully human, fully God,” is a classical Christological formula rooted in the Nicene and Chalcedon creeds.  It affirms not only the real, concrete, historical reality of Jesus of Nazareth, but also that he was “like us in all respects, except in that alienation from and hostility to the grace of God which is the essence of sin.”[21]  The second section of this confession, outlining the ministry of Jesus on earth, expands on this idea of Jesus as fully human.  As Daniel Migliore puts it, “Jesus is indeed fully human, but he is a new humanity. . . . He is the human being radically free for God’s coming kingdom and therefore radically free for communion with and service to the neighbor. . . . The claim is not simply that he is a human being but that he is the norm and promise of a new humanity in relation to God and to others.”[22]  This aspect of Jesus’ humanity comes through in Luke’s portrayal of him as an ideal teacher and role model.

That Jesus was “fully God” affirms that “what Jesus does and suffers is also the doing and suffering of God. . . . Jesus’ passion and death for us is not just the martyrdom of another innocent victim in an unjust world; it is also God’s suffering, God’s taking death into the being of God and there overcoming it for our salvation.  The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is not the victory of a solitary human being over death; it is God’s victory over sin and death for us all in the raising up of this man Jesus.”[23]  It is not just that we recognize the divine in Jesus, but through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus shows us what God is like: God is someone who takes on our suffering, who shows solidarity with the poor and sick and oppressed, and who freely humbles himself upon the cross.

What Jesus did on the cross and how it saves us has been explained through a number of “models.”  All of them stand together and none of them must or should dominate our understanding:[24] The first three are reflected somewhat in Luke’s Passion/Resurrection narrative.

The Moral Influence Model

A sense of guilt for our sins causes us to hide from God in shame.  In Christ we see God’s love, which has already forgiven us our sins, and our hearts are stirred to repentance and a response of love.  Christ’s life then becomes an example for us to follow.

Sample Texts and Hymns:

John 13:3-5

94, “An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare”

97, “Go to Dark Gethsemane”

The Priestly (Mediator) Model

In the Jewish sacrificial system, the priest, as mediator between God and humanity, offers sacrifices to atone for sin.  The blood shed on the altar is a sign of the people’s sorrow for their sin.  Christ is our great high priest, who lays down his life as a sacrifice in our behalf.

Sample Texts and Hymns:

1 Peter 2:22-25

103, “Deep Were His Wounds and Red”

The Military (Christus Victor) Model

God and Satan are locked in cosmic combat over the destiny of humanity.  Christ is God’s warrior who, after apparently suffering defeat on the cross, invades the realm of Satan (death) and does battle with sin and evil.  In the resurrection Christ shows that he is victorious over sin, and death, and evil, and Satan.  Christ leads out of captivity those who had been carried off by Satan.

Sample Texts and Hymns:

1 Corinthians 15:57

Colossians 2:15

260, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”

99, “Throned Upon the Awful Tree”

The Financial (Slavery or Imprisonment) Model

Humans are slaves to sin and death.  We are held captive by the forces of evil.  Christ offers his own life as our ransom.  We are redeemed at the cost of his life.

The Juridical (Satisfaction) Model

This model, developed in its earliest form by St. Anselm in the Middle Ages, draws on medieval feudal society.  God is like a feudal lord against whom a crime has been committed.  In the Middle Ages the gravity of a crime was measured against the rank of the one against whom it was committed: the higher the rank the more serious the crime.  Since God is infinitely supreme, the seriousness of human sin is infinite.  Only God has the power to provide infinite restitution (to satisfy) for the crime of human sin.  But it is the offender who must pay, so it must a human to satisfies the demand for restitution.  Therefore only one who is fully human and fully God¾Jesus Christ¾can make restitution.

Sample Texts and Hymns:

Galatians 3:13

Isaiah 53

93, “Ah, Holy Jesus”

98, “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”

Why did God choose such a violent, scandalous way of salvation?

Daniel Migliore offers three reflections on salvation through the cross and what God accomplishes by choosing to die at the hands of human violence:

1.      “Christ died for us in order to expose our world of violence for what it is¾a world that stands under God’s judgment, a world based on coercion and leading to death.”[25]  We see this especially in Luke’s portrayal of Jesus as one who counters the violence being done to him with healing and forgiveness.  The cross reveals God’s nonviolent love by unmasking our own violence.

2.      “Christ died for us in order to enter into utmost solidarity with us as victims of violence and to mediate God’s forgiveness to us as perpetrators of violence.”[26]  Throughout Luke’s gospel we see this solidarity not only in Jesus’ suffering on the cross but throughout his ministry.  Some of the stories that best portray Jesus’ compassion¾the Good Samaritan, the prodigal son¾come from the gospel of Luke.

3.      “Christ died for us in order to open a new future for a new humanity in the midst of our violent world.”[27]  Luke’s gospel, perhaps more than any other, looks toward the future and the continuing renewal that Christ offers us.  God has not submitted to the cross to eternalize it but to put an end to all crosses forever.  In Luke’s passion/resurrection stories we see Jesus promising new life (saying to Peter, “when you turn back”), new community (marked by humble, servant leadership), and new power (through the gift of the Holy Spirit) to his followers.  In the end, God’s nonviolent love is more powerful than our violent ways that lead to death.

The Presbyterian Church (USA)’s “Study Catechism,” approved for use in churches by the 1998 General Assembly, explains it this way:

 

Question 45. Why did Jesus have to suffer as he did?

Because grace is more abundant—and sin more serious—than we suppose.  However cruelly we may treat one another, all sin is primarily against God.  God condemns sin, yet never judges apart from grace.  In giving Jesus Christ to die for us, God took the burden of our sin into God’s own self to remove it once and for all.  The cross in all its severity reveals an abyss of sin swallowed up by the suffering of divine love.

Workshop Summaries

Ask each workshop leader to summarize his or her workshop.  As they do so, point out the concepts that each lesson reinforces.  Ask workshop leaders if they have any questions about the logistics or practical application of their lesson.

General Overview of the Story

·        Background – Holywood shows two movies for this rotation: Jesus, based on the Gospel According to Luke, shows the trial and crucifixion and the events leading up to it, beginning with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  This movie portrays the crucifixion rather graphically, however, so we have chosen a different movie, The Easter Story, based on the Gospel According to Mark, for the first- and second-graders.

·        Sequence – Apostles Playhouse and Antioch Arcade both include games that focus on narrating the event of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion in sequence.

Even though he was accused of doing wrong, Jesus was innocent.

·        Apostles Playhouse asks children to portray the trial scene and later reflect on what may have motivated Pilate to condemn Jesus even though he was innocent.

·        Praising Puppets places in a contemporary context the phenomena of “mob mentality” that pressured Pilate and that often pressures us into doing things even though we believe they are wrong.

·        Holywood teaches the events that lead up to Jesus’ trial and crucifixion and, in the workshop written for fourth- and fifth- graders, asks the children to look for “evidence” of Jesus’ guilt or innocence.  At the end of the workshop, the children will recite the second portion of the “Brief Statement of Faith” from the Book of Confessions.

Jesus suffered and died so that our souls can live forever.

·        Antioch Arcade focuses on the saving force of Jesus death on the cross and on the memory verse in the “Reflection” time of the workshop.

·        Creation Station

·        Good News using the stories of the two criminals crucified to the left and to the right of Jesus, the workshop reflects on Jesus’ promise to one of them that “today you will be with me in paradise.”

When we mess up, Jesus forgives us.

·        Apostles Playhouse asks the children to portray Jesus’ forgiveness of the crowds and the leaders of the people.

·        Good News teaches the story of the criminal who was repentant of his crimes.  In the “Application” time of the workshop, children will learn how we in the church repent of our sins and mistakes and ask Jesus for forgiveness during worship.  In the “Reflection” time, children will have an opportunity to think of something for which they want to Jesus to forgive them and affirm that Jesus does forgive them.

·        In Holywood children will each receive a wooden cross as a reminder that Jesus died to forgive us our sins and that they can ask Jesus’ forgiveness any time.

Jesus is obedient to God.

·        Creation Station focuses on Jesus’ participation in God’s plan in the “Reflection” time of the workshop.  “Right up until his death, Jesus did God’s work, instructing and preparing his disciples to teach God’s message, forgiving and comforting people, and pledging his spirit to God.”

·        Praising Puppets will give children an opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ willingness to do God’s will in his suffering and death on the cross during the discussion time after the puppet play.

·        Holywood teaches that Jesus was crucified, not because he was guilty of the charges brought against him, but because he was obedient to God’s will for his life, ministry, and death.

Review Questions

Return to the questions that were gathered at the start of the hour.  Have they been answered?  Are there any further questions about the Bible story or about the lessons?

Closing Prayer

Close the Bible study with a prayer.


Political Interests before and during Jesus’ Trial and Crucifixion


References

“A Brief Statement of Faith.”  The Book of Confessions.  Louisville, KY: Office of the General Assembly PC (USA), 1996.

Brown, Raymond E.  The Death of the Messiah.  New York: Doubleday, 1994.

Harper’s Bible Dictionary.  Ed. Paul J. Achtemeier.  New York: HarperCollins, 1985.

Johnson, Luke Timothy.  The Gospel of Luke.  Sacra Pagina Series, volume 3, ed. Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.  Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1991.

_______________.  Living Jesus: Learning the Heart of the Gospel.  New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999.

_______________.  The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation.  Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986.

Migliore, Daniel L.  Faith Seeking Understanding.”  Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991.

Ringe, Sharon H.  Luke.  Westminster Bible Companion, ed. Patrick D. Miller and David L. Bartlett.  Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995.

Watson, Alan.  The Trial of Jesus.  Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1995.



[1] Watson, xi.

[2] Harper’s, “Maccabees,” 588-590.

[3] Harper’s, “Herod,” 387-388.

[4] Brown, 767.

[5] Watson, 12.

[6] Watson, 5.

[7] Watson, 6-9.

[8] Brown, 473-480.

[9] Harper’s, “Luke,” 583.

[10] Johnson, Writings, 198.

[11] Harper’s, “Luke,” 584.

[12] Johnson, Writings, 199.

[13] T.S. Elliot, “Little Gidding,” 5:214-216, Four Quartets (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1943), 58.

[14] Harper’s, “Luke,” 584.

[15] Johnson, Writings, 204.

[16] Johnson, Luke, 335.

[17] Johnson, Luke, 335.

[18] Johnson, Luke, 335-336.

[19] Johnson, Writings, 220.

[20] “A Brief Statement of Faith,” ll. 7-26.

[21] Migliore, 145.

[22] Migliore, 147.

[23] Migliore, 148.

[24] Encyclopedia, “Salvation,” 334-336.

[25] Migliore, 160.

[26] Migliore, 160.

[27] Migliore, 160.