The Last 24 Hours

The Last 24 Hours (7)

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:

  1. To study the passage prior to the coming Sunday’s sermon. If used in this way, all the questions will be fresh and participants will be starting with a blank slate. You may choose to use as many (or few) of the questions in order to help the group truly hear God’s word.
  2. To discuss the passage following the Sunday’s sermon. If used in this way, not all of the questions will apply so the leader will need to choose which to use. (Or the group may choose to discuss their own questions that occurred to them during the sermon.)

Matthew 27:27-56

Coincides with Easter Sunday, April 16

Preliminary question:

  • Nearly everyone has an aversion to suffering and pain. What is the most painful thing you have ever experienced?

Matthew 27:57-61

Coincides with Palm Sunday, April 9

Preliminary question:

  • What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

Matthew 26:11-26

Coincides with Sunday, April 2

Preliminary question:

  • Can you think of times when you have seen people (or yourself!) “pass the buck”?

Matthew 26:57-68

Coincides with Sunday, March 26

Preliminary question:

  • What do you think are some marks of dead religion?

Matthew 26:30-35, 36-46, 69-75

Coincides with Sunday, March 19

Preliminary question:

  • Has there ever been a time when it was difficult for you to admit something to another person?

Matthew 26:14-15, 20-24, 47-50; 27:3-10

Coincides with Sunday, March 12, 2017

Preliminary question:

  • Have you ever been let down by someone you trusted?
  • How did it make you feel?

Matthew 26:6-13

Coincides with Sunday, March 5, 2017

Preliminary question:

  • What was the most valuable gift you ever received?
  • What was it that made the gift valuable in your eyes?
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