SOURCE FOR QUESTIONS
Mark 14:1 through 16:20
KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.” (Mark 15:39)
The final chapters of Mark contain the account of the most crucial event of all time: Jesus’ ultimate deed of servanthood. Chapters 14 and 15 are sometimes called the “passion narrative,” and offer Mark’s account of the events that were preliminary to Jesus’ death, His Crucifixion, and details regarding His burial. Chapter 16 gives the Resurrection story.
Not one of the events that transpired was an accident, nor was Jesus a victim. The plotting of the religious leaders, the betrayal by Judas, the trials, the mocking and physical abuse, and the agony of the Cross were all foretold by the prophets. Jesus willingly submitted Himself and was obedient to His Father’s plan, thereby making it possible for all people to be delivered from sin and death.
The city of Jerusalem was exceedingly crowded during this final week before the Crucifixion, because Passover had to be observed there. Jesus’ nights during this time were spent either on the Mount of Olives, where the Garden of Gethsemane was located, or in Bethany, a city about two miles from Jerusalem on the east side of the Mount of Olives.
After Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, arrest, and the mockery of a trial, Mark tells how Jesus was led away to be crucified. Crucifixion was an agonizing and degrading form of punishment used by the Roman government. Jesus died about 3:00 p.m. on Friday, and was buried quickly before the Sabbath began at 6:00 p.m.
On Sunday morning, the angel inside the tomb declared the message that contains hope for every person: “He is risen.” Because Jesus conquered death, every soul has the opportunity to have eternal life.
SUGGESTED RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS
- The word Messiah means “Anointed One.” Given this, why were some of those present at the home of Simon the leper indignant when Mary anointed Jesus? Mark 14:4-5
Their perspective was that the costly ointment could have been sold and the proceeds used to help the poor. Point out to your class that while Mark says “some” had indignation, John specifically identifies Judas (see John 12:4-5). Judas’ indignation over this act of worship was likely related to greed, rather than any altruistic motive.
Three hundred pence was the equivalent of three hundred days’ wages at that time — a tremendous sum. However, those who saw waste instead of love in Mary’s gift to Jesus did not recognize that love puts no price tag on its methods of expression. This was exemplified by God when He gave His only Son to die on the Cross as an expression of His infinite love for mankind.
- Why do you think Jesus made the comment, “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her”? Mark 14:9
Jesus praised Mary for her actions. Her values were from her heart: personal and spiritual. She could not stop Jesus’ death, but she could anoint Him for His burial. Though she was motivated by her love for Him, and not for personal fame, Jesus said her action would always be remembered.
Discussion may lead to the various ways our acts of love for Christ someday may be remembered long after we leave this earth. We need to ask ourselves: Are our actions motivated by our love for Him or for desire of recognition? How are we building spiritual memorials now that will last for eternity?
- What instructions did Jesus give two of His disciples about finding the place where they would spend the Passover? (Mark 14:13-15) What are the benefits of simply obeying God’s instructions?
Peter and John (identified in Luke 22:8) were told to go into the city and look for a man carrying water, and follow the man to his destination. (You may wish to explain that water carrying was generally a woman’s work, so a man carrying a water pitcher would have been quite noticeable. This made it easy for the disciples to recognize the man who would lead them to the upper room.) Peter and John were then to inquire of the homeowner regarding provisions for the Passover. He would show them a large upper room, furnished and prepared for the Passover. Peter and John acted in obedience to Jesus’ instructions, and everything happened just as Jesus had said it would.
In response to the second question, your students may bring up such thoughts as: we will have peace with God, we will enjoy the blessings that follow obedience, we will enjoy unhindered communication with God, we will have a conscience void of offence, and eventually we will enjoy eternity with God.
- In Mark 14:22-25, during the Passover observance with His disciples, Jesus instituted the ordinance we know today as the “Lord’s Supper.” What did the broken bread and “fruit of the vine” symbolize? Why is this observance significant to us?
The broken bread symbolized Jesus’ broken body. The fruit of the vine was a picture of Jesus’ Blood being “poured out for many.”
This observance is significant to us because it illustrates the fact that Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, offered Himself as a sacrifice. His body was broken and His Blood was shed that we might come to God through Him, in full confidence that He will hear us and save us from our sins.
This could be an opportunity to encourage your class to participate in the ordinance services if they are saved and living a victorious Christian life. Many have received wonderful blessings, healings, and spiritual experiences as they looked back during this time of memorial to the death of Jesus at Calvary. You may wish to refer to 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 for further instruction on the significance of the Lord’s Supper.
- During Jesus’ trial, why do you think He refused to answer Pilate’s questions? (Mark 15:5) What can we learn from Jesus’ example here?
Class discussion may bring out such thoughts as:
• Jesus remained silent as a fulfillment of Scripture. (See Isaiah 53:7.)
• He did not need to defend Himself; He had committed no crime.
• It would have been futile to answer Pilate. Jesus’ trial was pure mockery and a façade. Also, Jesus knew His time had come to give His life for our sins. His work on earth was done, and He had no reason to prolong the trial or try to save Himself.
In response to the second question, your class should reach the conclusion that we can “speak” through our lives, even without words. They may also bring up that it is not always necessary to defend ourselves or have the last word in a situation.
- We read in Mark 15:37 that Jesus “gave up the ghost.” Why did Jesus have to die?
Jesus had to die in order to pay the penalty for the sins of mankind. This question will provide you with a good opportunity to review the fact that the descendants of Adam and Eve — every person born into this world — inherited their sinful nature. Instead of coming into the world desiring to do right, all are born with an inclination toward evil, which leads to sinful actions. Acts of sin may be dramatic or subtle, but they always separate the sinner from God, and the penalty is death.
Thankfully, that is not the end of the story. Because of God’s great love for His creation, He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to this world to live as a man and die on the Cross in the place of sinful man. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. Because of His death, if we follow the steps God has laid out, we can regain the connection that was lost in the Garden. Through a spiritual rebirth, the inner sense of separation and emptiness vanishes in a moment of time, and we are forgiven of our sins and are at peace with God.
- In Mark 16:6, the message to the women who came to the sepulcher was, “He is risen.” Why is that message so important to us today?
The Resurrection of Christ is fundamentally important to the Christian faith for many reasons:
1. Jesus kept His promise to rise from the dead, so we in turn can believe the rest of His promises.
2. The Resurrection means the Ruler of God’s eternal Kingdom will be the living Christ. It is not just some idea, dream, or theory.
3. Jesus’ Resurrection gives us the hope that we will be resurrected too, and we will be taken up to forever be with Him when He returns for His saints.
4. The power of God to raise Jesus from the dead can also raise us from being spiritually dead, and give us new life both morally and spiritually.
5. The Resurrection of Jesus gives evidence that believers can present to a lost world. We do not merely tell of a good man or a good teacher who died and is buried somewhere in a grave. Jesus is the only spiritual leader to ever rise from the dead. We tell about a risen Savior who can change lives today!
6. Jesus’ Resurrection validates God’s Word.
The death and Resurrection of Christ was not just an event that occurred over two thousand years ago. The power of the Cross and of His Resurrection are real today and will give new life and hope to the one who will totally surrender, take up his cross, and follow Christ.