THE PASSION, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS

Passion is a strong feeling of love, hate or anger. Passion of Jesus is the great sufferings of Jesus, which  was a deep emotional anguish.

Learning outcomes 

By the end of this topic, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the events of the Lord’s supper
  • State relevance of the Lord’s supper to Christians today
  • Describe the events that took place at mount Olives
  • Describe the events that took place between the arrest and burial of Jesus
  • Relate the relevance of the sufferings and death of Jesus to Christians today
  • Explain the importance of resurrection of Jesus to Christians
  • Describe the resurrection of Jesus – the evidence of his resurrection
  • Narrate the ascension of Jesus

The plot against Jesus 

The Jewish religious leaders were determined to ensure that Jesus was either arrested or killed (Lk.22: 1 – 6)

They were helped by Satan who entered into Judas Iscariot one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Judas  decided to betray Jesus. He communed with the Jewish leaders who agreed to pay him money to betray Jesus. He searched for a way to betray Jesus without knowledge of Jesus.

He forgot who was Jesus.

Judas agreed to betray Jesus probably because:

  1. He belonged to the party of Zealots who wanted political changes
  2. He was probably frustrated by Jesus’ approach to the Kingdom of God which was establishing a peaceful spiritual kingdom
  3. He expected Jesus to establish a political kingdom
  4. He was greedy for money
  5. Satan entered him

 

LESSON ONE: THE LORDS SUPPERS/ THE LAST SUPPER. LK 22: 7 – 13

The last supper was the lost Passover meal that Jesus took before his arrest. Passover is celebrated in  obedience to God’s command to Moses. It is a remembrance of Israel’s deliverance by God from slavery  in Egypt.

The Passover meal

Preparations for the Passover, Read Luke 22: 7 – 23. 

Peter and John were sent by Jesus to go and prepare the Passover meal. They were to do so in a house  in the city. They were taken to the house by, a man who was carrying a vessel of water. They were given  a big furnished upper room upstairs. They prepared the Passover meal as instructed by Jesus.

Passover meal 

During the meal with the 12 disciples / apostles Jesus told them that this was going to be his last meal  with them before his death. He took a cup of wine gave thanks to God and said “Take this and share it  among yourselves. I tell you that from now on I will not drink this wine until the Kingdom of God  comes.” The cup of wine was his blood that he was going to shed for them. Wine therefore symbolized  the blood of Jesus, shed for the purification of humankind and forgiveness of sins. This blood is the New Testament and covenant with Christians.

After drinking of wine, He “took a piece of bread, gave thanks to God “ and shared it and told them that  the piece of bread represented his body which is “given for them”.  He presented his death as a sacrifice whose blood sealed the new covenant. His death replaced the  sacrifices of the Old law, those of animals, which sealed the Sinai covenant. The new covenant will be for all people including Gentiles. This is to fulfil God’s promise of salvation for all people.

Jesus and disciples ate Passover together so that henceforth Christians would eat the meal together in  remembrance of Jesus. Passover was initially taken to remind them of the deliverance from Egypt. But  during the last supper, Jesus gave the Passover a new meaning.

As they ate, Jesus foretold of his betrayal by one of his disciple.

SAQ.

  1. Which items were used to celebrate the Passover in the Old Testament? ii. What items do modern Christians use to celebrate the Lord’s Supper?

Comparisons of the Lord’s Supper and the Passover

  • The Passover commemorates the divine act of redemption of the Jews from their bondage in Egypt while the Last Supper commemorates the deliverance of human kind from sin.
  • The Passover feast reminded the Israelites that they were free, redeemed people while the Lords Suppers is to remind Christians of their forgiveness of sins. The death of Jesus set Christians free from  sins.
  • Passover was followed by the Old covenant of Mount Sinai. The Lords suppers is a new covenant based on the death of Jesus for sins of humankind
  • Passover (Old testament) was sealed by the blood of Lambs while New Covenant (Lords suppers) is sealed by the blood of Jesus on the cross.
  • Items for celebrating in Passover (old testament) are different from the cup of wine and pieces of bread used by Jesus to celebrate his last supper with the disciples.

Relevance of the Lord’s Supper today 

Christians celebrate the Lords supper. This celebration is called the Eucharist, the Lords suppers, or  Lords meal. Christians celebrate it as an act of repentance; through which they receive assurance of  forgiveness of their sins. The presence of Jesus becomes a reality when Christians share bread and wine.

Bread and wine are symbols of heavenly feast, which Christians will partake in God’s kingdom.

The Lords supper is also a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God. It is a time for rededication to  Christ and self-renewal. Through the celebration of the Lords supper, Christians anticipate the second  coming of Jesus and the establishment of Gods Kingdom. It is also a time to remember the death and  resurrection of Jesus and reflect on God’s love for humankind.

The Argument about Greatness. Read Luke, 22: 24 – 30

A question arose among the disciples. They wanted to know who among them was the greatest? Jesus  told them that they do not belong to the world system of authority given on the basis of wealth and  fame.

The authority among the disciples will be determined on the basis of their service to others. The  greatest is the servant. Jesus likened himself to a servant hence disciples are called to serve. By sharing  in trials and sufferings of Jesus, the disciples will share in his ruling power over the new Israel.

Leadership in church should be understood in terms of service – being a servant of people. In the  community of Christians, all people who are followers of Jesus are all equal.

SAQ. In your opinion, which are the signs of greatness in the world?

Jesus Predicts Peters’ Denial. Read Luke, 22: 31 – 38

Jesus told peter that Satan had received permission to test or tempt all the disciples but Jesus had  prayed for Peter’s faith not to fail. Jesus told Peter that he shall deny Jesus three times before the cock  crows.

Jesus was telling his disciples that they will encounter hostility in their evangelism hence they should be  prepared for suffering and opposition because of Him as Isaiah 53:12 says ‘he shared the fate of evil  men.’

Jesus death was imminent inevitable. The disciples were expected to be strong

 

LESSON TWO: PRAYER, ARREST OF JESUS AND DENIAL BY PETER

Learning Outcomes. By the end of this lesson, you shall:  a. Narrate the events that took place at Mount of Olives

  1. Describe the arrest of Jesus
  2. Discuss Peter’s denial of Jesus
  3. Describe the arrest of Jesus

Prayer on the Mount of Olives. Read Luke. 22: 39 – 46

After celebrating the last supper, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives with his disciples to pray to resist  temptation. Jesus went ahead of his disciples, knelt down and prayed.  Jesus left them to pray by himself. He said” Father if you will, take this cup of suffering away from me.

Not my will, however, but your will to be done” (42). An angel came to strengthen him. He prayed  earnestly, in agony and turmoil great than the physical pain. He sweated great drops of blood.

After praying, Jesus found his disciples asleep “worn out by their grief” vs. 45). Jesus asked them to  wake up and pray to avoid temptation.

Significance 

The disciples fell asleep. This was a sign of moral and physical exhaustion. Jesus expressed inner struggle  about the fulfillment of his messianic mission. He prayed for God’s help. Christians should always pray to  avoid temptation and seek God’s help.

Betrayal and arrest of Jesus. Read Luke, 22: 47 – 53

Jesus was arrested by: the chief priest, elders, officers of the temple guard, and a crowd of people as he  talked to his disciples. He was taken to the house of the high priest. Judas had identified Jesus with a  kiss. Jesus asked Judas” him “Judas, is it with a kiss that you betray the Son of man?”

Jewish religious leaders had come to arrest Jesus as they arrested other criminals. Jesus told his disciples  not to resist his arrest. He rejected armed resistance refusing the role of a political messiah. Peter  followed him from a distance.

Peters Denies Jesus. Read Luke, 22: 54 – 65

After Jesus was arrested he was taken to the house of the High Priest. As Peter sat warming himself with  others, a maid identified Peter. She said, “This man too was with Jesus.

Peter denied knowing Jesus

three times. After the third denial, the cock crowed just as Jesus predicted.

Jesus turned and looked at Peter who remembered the words of Jesus.

“Peter went out and wept  bitterly” (Vs. 62). Weeping was a sign of repentance

 

LESSON THREE: THE TRIALS AND CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS

Lesson Outcomes. By the end of this lesson. You should

  1. Describe trials of Jesus by the various authorities
  2. Explain the importance of the judgement by Pilate
  3. Narrate events leading to crucifixion of Jesus
  4. Trials of Jesus by the various authorities
  5. Trial by the Sanhedrin Lk.22: 66 – 71

After being taken to the house of the High Priest, the next morning Jesus was taken to the Jewish  religious council or court; called the Sanhedrin. They all asked him if he was the messiah. Jesus told they  wouldn’t believe whatever he says. But “ the Son of Man will be seated on the right hand of Almighty

God.” (Vs. 69). Jesus told them he was the Son of God. The Sanhedrin accused Jesus of blasphemy, a sin  punishable by death.

Trial before Pilate. Read Luke 23: 1 – 5

The second court was the Roman court. The judge was Pilate, the Roman Governor. In this court the  Sanhedrin accused Jesus of:

Inciting people to revolt, and rebelling against Roman authority

Forbidding people to pay taxes to the Emperor

Claiming to be the king, a Messiah,

They could not accuse him of blasphemy before Pilate since this offence was not acceptable under the  Roman law. Pilate asked Jesus if he was the king, Jesus replied, “ So you say”. (vs.3). Pilate found no fault  with Jesus so he sent him to Herod.

Trial by Herod. Read Luke, 23: 6 – 12

Herod was in Jerusalem. When Jesus was brought before him, he expected Jesus to perform miracles to  impress him. He asked Jesus many questions and Jesus kept quiet. Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus,  and ridiculed him. They put on him royal clothes; then sent Jesus back to Pilate.

Jesus is sentenced to Death. Read Luke 23: 13 – 25

Jesus was brought back to Pilate a second time. Pilate repeated that Jesus was not guilty (innocent) of  any crime. Pilate offered to have Jesus beaten and then released.  The crowds, leaders and chief priests gave their judgement. “Kill him!” and release Barabbas, who was a  rioter and a murderer. Pilate did not find Jesus guilty. But he did what they wanted. He released  Barabbas and “ handed Jesus over for them to do as they wished” (vs. 25).  v. The crucifixion of Jesus. Read Luke 22: 26-43  Jesus was led away to be crucified. Solders forced Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross for Jesus. Women  followed Jesus and weeping. Jesus told them not to weep for Him but for themselves and their children.

Jesus was then crucified at a place called Golgotha (place of skull) or Calvary together with two male  criminal; one on His right and the other on His Left. Jesus asked God to forgive them (persecutors) for  they did not know what they were doing.

The Jewish leaders, said “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah whom God has  chosen” (vs. 35); Solders mocked Jesus and said “Save yourself if you are the king of Jews” and one  criminal hanged with Jesus mocked Jesus and told Him “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and me”.

The other thief rebuked him saying they deserved the punishment for their deeds but Jesus had done  nothing. This thief repented and told Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King”. Jesus told  him that he would be in paradise with Jesus on that day (vs. 42 – 43).

On top of the cross, Jews wrote, “This is the King of the Jews” (vs. 38).

 

LESSON FOUR: DEATH OF JESUS. Read Luke. 23: 44 – 50

Learning outcomes. By the end of this lesson,

  1. Describe the death of Jesus
  2. Narrate the burial of Jesus
  3. State relevance of the suffering and death of Jesus to Christian life today
  4. The death of Jesus. There was darkness from 12 o’clock until thee o’clock. The veil/curtain of the temple tore into two. Jesus cried out with a loud voice “ Father, into they hands I commit my spirit”. At  this shout Jesus died.

The Roman centurion saw and praised God. He declared, “Certainly this was an innocent man”. The  multitude that watched the crucifixion and death went home beating their breasts, a sign of repentance.

The women, who knew Jesus from Galilee, stood at a distance watching all these things.

The burial of Jesus. Read Luke 23: 50 – 56.

Joseph from Arimathea, a town in Judea sought permission from Pilate to bury the body of Jesus. He  was waiting for the coming of the Kingdom of God, a likely secret disciple of Jesus. He was a good and  honorable man.

The body of Jesus was laid in a sepulchre (Tomb) where nobody had ever been laid. Jesus’ burial in  Joseph’s tomb fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy that the suffering servant of Yahweh was buried in a rich man’s  tomb (Isaiah 53:9)

The Galilean women and Joseph saw where the body of Jesus was laid. They went home, and prepared  spices to use to wash Jesus’ body. They rested on the Sabbath.

Relevance of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ to Christian life today

Christians today should practice or do the following activities.

  • Pray in times of sorrow, pain, trials and temptations.
  • They should not give up when rejected.
  • They should be aware of hypocrites and traitors amongst them. v They should be willing to suffer for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
  • They should be ready to fight for a just cause  vii They should never condemn the innocent.  viii They should go through their suffering bravely.
  • They should know and accept suffering as a part of the Christian calling
  • They should not be afraid of rejection by people l  xi They should be encouraged that Jesus suffered for them.

In which ways can Christians prepare for their death? 

Death is inevitable. Hence, Christians should at all times: live a holy life, repent sins, forgive those who  have wronged them, make a will, accept death as inevitable, and read the word of God

 

LESSON FIVE: THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS. Read Luke 24: 1 – 53

The Resurrection.

Resurrection refers to the event of Jesus rising from the dead

After the Sabbath day, on Sunday morning; Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome  (Joanna) and other women, went to the tomb with the spices they has prepared. They found the  entrance open. The stone covering the tomb was rolled away. The tomb was empty. The body of Jesus  was not in the tomb.

Suddenly, two men, who were angels, appeared dresses in dazzling and shining clothes. They said “ Why  are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? He is not here; he has been raised. ”

The women went and told the 11 disciples, who did not believe them. Peter ran to the tomb and found  it empty.

Women were the first to witness the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is significant as they (women)  were empowered to become witnesses of Christ as evangelists beyond the Jewish culture.

Witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus

The disciples en route to Emmaus

Two disciples were traveling to Emmaus, which was 11 km from Jerusalem discussing Jesus suffering,  death and the empty tomb. Jesus met them but their eyes were blinded and they did not recognize him.

The disciples explained to Jesus the events that had taken place and how they had hoped that Jesus  would liberate Israel from the Roman rule.

Jesus explained to them the scriptures concerning the messiah. When they got to Emmaus, they invited  him to dine with them for it was evening. When Jesus, “took the bread and said the blessings; then he  broke the bread and gave it to them”, the disciples recognized Jesus but he vanished out of their sight  (vs. 30-31). They returned to Jerusalem and told the 11 disciples that Jesus has risen.

Jesus appears to his Disciples. Read Luke 24: 36 – 49.

As the two disciples explained the event that happened on the journey to Emmaus, Jesus came and said to them ‘Peace be with you’ (vs. 36). Disciples were terrified and frightened. He asked them to look and touch his hands, and feet. He was not a ghost.

He has flesh and bones unlike ghosts, which do not have.  He explained to the apostles his mission, which was prophesied by prophets, and written in the Law of  Moses, and Psalms (v.44).

He commissioned the disciples to preach repentance and remission of sins and be his witnesses. He also promised to send them the promise of the father (Holy Spirit)  SAQ. What was the nature of the resurrected body of Jesus?  d. The ascension of Jesus, Luke, 24: 50 – 53

From Jerusalem, Jesus took his disciples to Bethany, a town outside Jerusalem. He lifted his hands and  blessed them. As he blessed them, he was lifted up and carried to heaven.

The disciples worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. They continued to go to the  temple to praise and give thanks to God.

The disciples were now confident about their mission and who Jesus was  e. The importance of the resurrection of Jesus to Christian

Resurrection is the foundation of Christian faith. Christianity is based on the fact that Jesus resurrected  and was taken up to heaven. Further to this:

  1. Resurrection proved that Jesus is the Son of God.
  2. Through resurrection, Christians have hope of eternal life
  3. Through resurrections, Christians are assured of a new life in Christ Sin and death were conquered by resurrection, giving hope of victory to Christians over death and sin.
  4. Resurrection is a fulfillment of the writings of the prophets. It fulfilled Old Testament prophesies by  Moses, Elijah, Elisha and others.
  5. It is a proof that there is life after death.
  6. Through resurrection, man was reconciled to God.
  7. Jesus has power over death, over Satan and his Kingdom of darkness
  8. It led to the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Revision questions 

  1. Give the different names used in reference to the lord’s supper by Christians in different churches
  2. Describe the institution of the lord’s supper c, State the Christian teaching about the lord’s supper
  3. What is the meaning of the lord’s supper to Christians?
  4. Compare the Passover feast with the practice of the lord’s supper
  5. Describe the prayer on mount olives
  6. Describe the betrayal and arrest of Jesus
  7. State the reasons that made Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus
  8. Describe the trial of Jesus under the following headings:- the council of Sanhedrin, the trial before Pilate, the trial before Herod and Pilate’s judgement.
  9. Why do you think Pilate agreed to have Jesus crucified?
  10. Identify and explain the lessons that Christians learn from the actions of Pilate during the trial of Jesus
  11. Actions taken by the Jewish leaders to ensure that Jesus was put to death
  12. Explain the crucifixion of Jesus
  13. Describe the death of Jesus
  14. The burial of Jesus
  15. Define the term resurrection
  16. Describe the four witnesses of the risen Christ
  17. Describe Jesus’ appearance to the disciples
  18. Describe the ascension of Jesus
  19. Give five evidences from the bible to show that Jesus rose from the dead
  20. Explain the significance of passion, death and the resurrection of Christ
  21. What is the significance of Jesus resurrection to Christians today
  22. Explain five importance of eulogy of death of the society.
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