Each of the four Gospel writers designed their story to focus attention on the last day of Jesus’ life. It is like the director of a movie slowing the action and allowing the camera to linger on the most significant incidents and characters. The main character, of course, is Jesus. During his final 24 hours, he interacts with different individuals: a worshiper, a betrayer, people hostile to him and his own disciples.
The power of story, the medium most used to create our Bibles, is that it allows the reader to participate. We feel something about each of the characters: delight in those who are good, discomfort over the unfaithful, and anger towards the evil ones. More importantly, we can enter the story by identifying with these characters, as we see in them our own attitudes and behaviour. We learn how to be disciples of Jesus by watching how he relates to people who are very much like us.
The seven studies in this booklet coincide with the GCC sermon series. For each discussion, there is a preliminary question to help the group focus on that week’s topic. Following this is a set of reflection questions, which will enable the group to both engage with the story and to consider implications for the life of following Christ. You may choose to use the study in one of the following ways: