- Free will. Could Jesus have chosen another course? Could He have sidestepped the brutal treatment He received and returned unscathed to the heavenly home He loved so much? Could He have acknowledged the awfulness of sin without dying from its consequences? If He could have, why didn’t He? You and I possess free will just as Jesus did. How can we use that God-given free will to receive the reward of perfect love that repels sin?
- The gift. What was apparently the most costly personal gift Jesus received during His ministry on earth? What if Mary had been one of your friends? Would you have gasped in horror when you realized how expensive the fragrant oil she offered was? The disciples lamented the huge cash outlay fof this gift. What did Jesus think of it? How is the value of this gift “repeated a thousand times in the hearts” of others touched by God’s love? What about your heart?
- The new covenant. What was the ultimate expression of redemption predicted in the Old Testament? The New Testament? Throughout eternity, will we continue remembering the supreme sacrifice Christ paid on our behalf? We drink of the “wine” during communion. Will we continue to do so after the resurrection of the righteous?
- Gethsemane. Was Jesus suffering greater and harder to bear in Gethsemane than on the cross? Explain your answer. What was the “moment in time” that the destiny of human beings rested in the balance? What would have been the consequences if Jesus had let people suffer from sin as they deserved? When Jesus sees the wickedness of the world today, do you think He ever regrets the supreme sacrifice He made? Why or why not?
- Judas sells his soul. Was Judas such an evil man? Didn’t his speech, his clothing, his manner of dealing with people seem to come almost always from a penitent heart? Why did Judas run away from Jesus and take his life? How close had Judas come to accepting Jesus? Do you think Judas was unaware–or was deeply convinced–that he had made poor judgments and was lost?
- Peter’s Denial. Can you imagine Peter’s embarrassment when he realized what he had said about Jesus in the courtyard? How can you explain the speed of Peter moving from denying Jesus to being a full follower of Him? What triggered Peter’s change of attitude? What can we do to keep from following the Judas example of holding onto a me-first attitude and leaning instead on Peter’s self-denial and total surrender to Jesus?