God's Eternal Plan - Lesson 9
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can describe the growing conflict between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders that climaxed during the last week of Jesus' life.
- The student can relate the story of Jesus with His apostles in the upper room.
- The student can tell of Jesus agony in the garden and of His betrayal by Judas.
- The student can describe the events which took place during the trial by Pilate including the final sentence.
- The student can explain the physical pain Jesus suffered on the cross and the spiritual anguish He experienced, both of which are important in the story of the cross.
- The student can tell of the burial of Jesus.
- Each student needs a Bible.
- Be prepared to sing "I Love Thy Kingdom Lord" and "When I Survey theWondrous Cross."
- Have ready the Written Review over Lesson 8 and the Worksheet for Lesson 9
- Be prepared to note a few key items on the board as the class progresses.
- Note that there are more things mentioned in the lesson plan than you would likely be able to cover in a 40 minute class period. So if you have more time, you can do all that is mentioned, if not, choose in advance what you will cover and do some short transitions to keep the story flowing. You may want to change the worksheet to fit your plan or at least be prepared to know what to skip or to give quick answers to fill in the blanks of what you do not have time to cover.
The last week of Jesus' life brought to a climax the conflict with the Jewish leaders which finally resulted in His trial by Pilate and His ultimate crucifixion.
Lesson Plan for Teaching the Class
Introduction: (7 minutes)
- Welcome the visitors.
- Sing "I Love Thy Kingdom Lord" if time allows.
- Give the answers to the Written Review over Lesson 8.
Learning Experiences: (30 minutes)
- Read 2 Timothy 1:9_10. Q: How does this passage relate to our study of God'sEternal Plan? A: God's purpose was formed "before the world began" and was eventually made manifest by Jesus' coming. Q: How has that plan developed to the point of our lesson today? A: The creation, the sin, the family, the nation, the prophets, the birth, the life, the teaching. Now we take the next step in the story.
- Read Matthew 20:18_19. Q: What has happened before that led Jesus to make this statement? A: Throughout His ministry, He has managed the conflict with the Jewish leaders. Sometime He would withdraw to let things cool down because He did not want to die until He thought His apostles were ready to continue His work. Now, He believes the time has come for Him to proceed to Jerusalem where the conflict will reach a climax.
- Read Matthew 21:6_9. Q: Where does this ride on a donkey take place? A: On the western slope of the Mount of Olives that led down into the Kidron Valley. From there Jesus could enter a gate into the walled city. Read Zachariah 9:9. Q: How did what Jesus did fulfill this prophecy and why is this important? A: The people shouting a welcome and the person riding on a donkey. During His final week, Jesus will fulfill many prophecies which shows that He, indeed, was the Messiah who would come to climax God's Eternal Plan.
- Read Matthew 21:13. Q: What are some reasons why Jesus drove out the moneychangers? A: They were overcharging the poor people who came to sacrifice. He wanted to do something that would bring attention to His being there and that would agitate the Jewish leaders who were for the status quo.
- Read Matthew 21:23_27. Q: How is Jesus continuing to let the conflict grow? A: He goes back to the temple, the most public place in Jerusalem. He spars with the leaders by asking a question that puts them in a very bad light by being unable to answer His question about John the Baptist.
- Read Matthew 21:33_46. Q: What do the various characters in the parable represent and what is the overall meaning? A: The tenants are the Jewish leaders. The owner is God. Those who come to collect the rent are the prophets.The son is Jesus, the Son of God. The meaning is that the tenants will kill Jesus but the owner, God, will not let them get away with that. He will take the kingdom of God away from them and let Gentiles have it, along with the Jews who will accept Jesus.
- Read Matthew 22:34_39. The scribe asked Jesus a question which he thought would be difficult for Him to answer and one which the Jewish leaders argued over. Q: Of all the things in the Old Testament which Jesus might have said were the greatest commands, what did he choose and why? A: Love God and love your neighbor. These encompass so many of all the commandments. "LoveGod" really covers the first four of the ten commandments and "love your neighbor" effectively covers the rest. Q: What does it mean to "love God?" A:It means to put God first in your life, to Honor him, and to obey Him. He is the greatest and most powerful force in the universe but I can approach Him, at least to the extent that I can hear His words and follow them. The second command to"love your neighbor," includes every person anywhere. We are to good do everyone, especially those of God's family." So we are kind and helpful to others both physically and spiritually, putting others ahead of ourselves. Q:What are some good examples of loving your neighbor? A: (Let the class tell of specific cases they know about inside the church and out.)
- Read Matthew 23:27_36. Q: What are some of the names Jesus uses to refer to the Jewish leaders? A: Hypocrites, whitewashed tombs, killers of prophets,snakes, brood of vipers, condemned to hell. He says all the punishment for prophet killing will descend on them because they are about to kill the greatest of the prophets. Q: What fairly immediate punishment will God send on them? A: Jerusalem will be destroyed. In all of this, we see Jesus heightening the conflict.
- To observe the Passover feast, Jesus selects an upper room in a house in the upper city of Jerusalem, to the west of the Tyropian Valley which ran along the west side of the temple grounds. Read John 13:2_9. Q: What message was Jesus giving with the washing of the disciples' feet? A: That we should all be willing to do the most humble task to help others and to further the kingdom. Jesus' was not intending to say that we must wash each others feet in some public ceremony, but that we should be willing to do any task, no matter how humble,to benefit others. Q: What are some things you have seen people do that would be the kind of thing Jesus wants us to do? A: Taking meals to the sick, mowing the lawn of someone who cannot do it for herself, helping someone who is too sick to care for himself, going to the jail to teach the gospel, taking an interest in a teenager who needs some spiritual help, etc.
- Also on this occasion, Jesus took the elements that were on the Passover table and used them to institute a ceremony in memory of the death He was about to die. Read Matthew 26:26_29. Q: What special meaning does the bread have? A:It represents His body but the body represents the incarnation, God being with us in the flesh. Only God in the flesh was able to live the perfect life that was required to make salvation possible for us. Q: What special meaning does the cup have? A: It represents His blood but the blood represents the concept of sacrifice of atonement. In shedding His blood, Jesus became the perfect sacrifice for sins that could really take away our sins. All the sacrifices in the Old Covenant pointed forward to the coming of the final, greatest sacrifice. So when we take of the cup, we think not only of the blood, but of what the shedding of His blood meant-Jesus suffering in my place so that I could be forgiven. Two good concepts to remember when taking the Lord's Supper, then, are incarnation and atonement.
- Jesus and the apostles leave the upper room and go to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prays three times for God to "take this cup from me." Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. Q: Why did Jesus find going through the plan which had been planned for centuries so difficult? A: Probably not only because of the physical pain He would experience but, even more, because of the weight He would fell of the sins up on Him. He had never sinned but would be carrying the sins of all.He would even, for the first time feel the separation from God which sin brings.
- After Judas identifies Jesus with a kiss, the Jewish soldiers take him to the Jewish officials who give Him a mock trial, even bringing in witnesses to lie about Him. Having convicted Him of blasphemy because He called Himself the Son of God,they take Him to the Roman governor, Pilate. Although Pilate finds Him innocent, because of the pressure of the crowd calling out for Him to be crucified, Pilate gives in to the wishes of the Jewish leaders and sentences Him to be crucified. The Roman soldiers mock Him and beat Him with a whip and then take Him to the place of crucifixion to be killed. Q: What was so bad about death by crucifixion? A: It was a prolonged way to die. The position on the cross with the arms outstretched and the feet nailed to the cross, made it hard for the person to breathe. If he put the weight on his arms, he could no raise his chest for a breath and if he put the weight on his feet so he could get a breath, the pain on his feet was great. Eventually the person usually died for the lack of oxygen because he could not breathe normally. Read Luke 23:46 and John 19:30. Q: What do these two statements suggest? A: That Jesus' body was dying butHis spirit was going to God as the spirits of the righteous do when they die. Also, Jesus considered His work finished. He had done what He came to do. Read John 17:4. Q: Did Jesus come to establish His kingdom and fail? A: No,he did all He came to do and so could say, "It is finished."
- Read John 19:38_42. Q: Who was involved in Jesus' burial and what arrangements did they make? A: Joseph and Nicodemus. They took the body and put it in Joseph's new tomb, which was near the place of crucifixion. ReadMatthew 27:62_66. Q: Who wanted a guard at the tomb and for what reason? A: The Jewish leaders wanted the guard because they wanted to be sure that no one took the body and then said that Jesus had been raised.
- Study the words to "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" and then sing the song.
- With this lesson we resume the drawings that summarize the mystery that is being gradually revealed. With this lesson comes the drawing below. Here is the statement: Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sins. The verses, which are the memory verses for this lesson, are shown below. John 3:16-"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes on him should not perish but have eternal life. Isaiah 53:6-"with his stripes we are healed."
- Read the words of "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" and compare them with what we have learned about Jesus' death.
- Applications have been suggested during the course of the lesson.
Evaluation and Assignment:
- Study the worksheet to prepare for the written review.
- Draw the pictures we have studied so far in telling the story that discloses the mystery.
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