Several years ago Mel Gibson directed a film called The Passion of the Christ. It was very popular, but I didn't care for it-it focused too much on the violence of Jesus' suffering (the word "passion" comes from the Latin word for suffering), and not enough of the grace revealed by his death. I'd like to invite you to a Lenten Bible study starting tonight: "The Death of the Messiah." We offered a similar study during Advent. We will explore each of the four gospel accounts of Jesus' passion: his betrayal, arrest, trial, and crucifixion, noting their similarities and differences.
Studying the different gospel accounts of the Passion always brings up great questions:
Who is the naked guy in Mark 14:51-52?
Why does John include the detail of lanterns and torches in 18:3?
Where exactly is the Garden of Gethsemane?
Did Jesus or Simon of Cyrene carry the cross-and what difference does it make?
Who was Pontius Pilate-and why do we remember him in the Apostle's Creed?
What is significant about the name Barabbas?
Tonight we'll explore Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem, the Cleansing of the Temple, Passover, and the Institution of the Lord's Supper.
Mark 11:1-26; 14:12-25
Matthew 21:1-22; 26:17-30
Luke 19:28-40, 45-48; 22:7-30
In addition to the gospel texts, at the beginning of each session we will explore an artistic depiction of Jesus' passion as it relates to that evening's gospel material. Four Wednesdays: March 22 and 29, April 5 and 12, 5:30-7:00 p.m., upstairs.
I hope to see you!