VERSES: Matthew 27:1-26; Mark 15:1-15; Luke 23:1-24; John 18:28-19:16
MEMORY VERSE: Mark 15:2 "And Pilate asked him Art thou King of the Jews?..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Jonah. Write "Jonah" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of class, so they may memorize another Old Testament book at home.
PRAYER: Thank God for His only begotten Son who died on the cross for the sins of the whole world.
SPECIAL SONG: No, Not One (see June 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Large Activity (see below)
- After being betrayed and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, bound and led away to the high priest and the council, and the scattering and denial of His disciples, Jesus had been up all night. When morning came, He was sent from the high priest to the governor, who had even more power and authority in matters of death, which is what the angry chief priests and elders wanted to happen to Jesus. They wanted Him to die. The governor asked the Jews what Jesus had done. The chief priests and elders said if He was not a criminal, they would not have brought Jesus there. The governor told the Jews to take Jesus back and judge him according to the Jewish law, but the Jews said they could not put anyone to death. So, the governor called Jesus into his judgment hall.
- As Jesus stood before the very important governor, Pontius Pilate, He was asked, "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus said, "It is as you say." But, when Jesus was accused of many things by the elders and chief priests, He said nothing. Pilate noticed that Jesus said nothing. He said to Him, "Can't you hear all of these many things they say against you?" but Jesus never answered with even one word. Pilate was amazed! Finally, Pilate told the people that he could find no fault or anything wrong with Jesus.
- The chief priests told Pilate that Jesus had stirred up trouble with all the Jews from Galilee to Jerusalem. When Pilate heard the word "Galilee," he was relieved and happy to send Jesus to Herod, who was the one who had authority over the Galilee area. Pilate thought that this would solve his problem with what to do about Jesus.
- So, Jesus was led to Herod. Herod was happy when he heard that Pilate was sending Jesus to see him because he had heard much about Jesus and wanted to see a miracle performed. When Herod found out that Jesus did not even answer his questions and no miracles were to be performed, he and his soldiers made fun of Jesus, put a beautiful robe on Him, and sent Jesus back to Pilate. Because of Jesus, Herod and Pilate became friends again.
- One of the rules at the feast of the Passover was that the governor could release one prisoner if the people wanted. There was a famous prisoner named Barabbas who had committed murder and was in prison at that time. When Pilate called all of the people together, He asked the people who they wanted to be released--Barabbas or Jesus. Even Pilate knew that the reason that Jesus was standing before him was because the Jews were envious of Jesus (Matthew 27:18).
- When Pilate sat down on his judgment seat, his wife told him that she had had a dream about Jesus and her advice was to have nothing to do with Jesus who was just and righteous.
- When the governor asked the huge crowd which person he should release, the chief priests and elders had persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released, but not Jesus. They all said together, "Barabbas!" When Pilate asked what he should do with Jesus, they all answered, "Crucify him!" (When someone is crucified, they are put on a cross until they die.) Pilate then asked the people, "Why, what evil has he done?" But all the people cried out even louder to Pilate, "Crucify him!!" When Pilate could see that he could do nothing to change the people's minds, he took water, and washed his hands in front of everyone as he said, "I am innocent of the blood of this good person." The people again answered him, "His blood be of us and on our children!" That meant that they would take the blame for what was going to happen. So, just to please the people, Pilate released Barabbas, a known murderer, to the people, but handed over an innocent Jesus to be crucified after they had whipped Him.
- No one likes to think about bad things happening to people, but in this case, Jesus wanted us to know and to remember what He went through on our behalf. By knowing about the unfairness, the scourging, and many other terrible things to come, we can understand how much He loved us. Read Romans 5:7, 8.
- What self-control Jesus had not to say anything to the chief priests and scribes! We notice that even Pilate was amazed at this.
- Discuss the choice that the Jews made by choosing Barabbas, a famous and well-known criminal to be released from prison instead of Jesus who had never ever sinned! Read Hebrews 4:15 and 1 Peter 1:19 and 1 Peter 2:22.
Materials needed: 9" x 12" brown construction paper, 1" x 10" yellow construction paper, scraps of tan and white construction paper, crayons, marker, scissors, glue.
- Hand out brown paper.
- Fold brown paper in half.
- Draw a large "T" on the front, middle of the brown paper.
- Cut on "T." These are the doors.
- Fold back both doors.
- Unfold the brown paper.
- Glue the inside top of the brown paper with the doors open. (DO NOT glue the large, plain bottom of the brown paper or the doors will be glued shut!)
- Re-fold brown paper again and press papers together, so the papers are glued together.
- Hand out yellow strip.
- Write "Pilate's Judgment Hall" on the yellow strip.
- Glue yellow strip above doors.
- Close doors.
- Hand out white and tan scraps of paper.
- On a small scrap, draw, color, and cut out soldier.
- Glue soldier to outside of the door, as if he is guarding the door.
- Open doors. Inside is the Judgment Hall.
- On tan paper, draw, color, and cut out Pilate on his throne and Jesus standing with hands tied.
- On white scraps, draw and cutout a pillar and speech bubbles that say, "Are you King of the Jews?" and "It is as you say."
- With doors open, glue pillar, Pilate, Jesus and speech bubbles to the inside of the Judgment Hall.
- On a small white scrap of paper, write "Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 18."
- Glue small paper to outside of the Judgment Hall.