This year on the blog, we’re featuring a five-week family Easter Bible study written especially for families. We’re posting one study a week every Friday leading up to Easter. It’s an excellent opportunity for your family to remember the story the Bible tells about Jesus’ death and resurrection—but also challenges families to consider three important questions at the end of each study: Who is God? Who is Jesus? Who are we?
Week 2: Jesus on Trial before Pilate
By Mark Ward
Read Matthew 26:47–27:14 with your family, then discuss the questions below. The provided answers aren’t always definitive, but they’ll still hopefully guide your discussion. List the things Jesus did when he was arrested in the garden (Matt 26:47–56). Then read John 10:18.
What does Jesus mean? How is this statement in John reflected in Jesus’ words and actions when he was arrested?
Jesus told Judas to do what he came to do. He told his disciple to put his sword away. He said he could have called 12 legions of angels to rescue him, but he did not. He indicated that he was fulfilling the Scriptures that predicted this event.
How many disciples stood with Jesus when he was arrested?
Peter, at least initially, stood with Jesus. But then he and all the others ran away.
In Matthew 26:62–64, what does Jesus mean when he replies, “You have said so”? Check several English translations of verse 64.
Like we saw in Week 1, Jesus’ short response is puzzling. When the high priest asks his first question, Jesus responds with silence. And when he does finally speak, he chooses to speak in a way that isn’t perfectly clear.
Read Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13–14. In light of these passages, what might Jesus have been claiming in Matthew 26:64?
Jesus was claiming that he was the Son of God who was going to rule over all his enemies. He was claiming that he was the Son of Man—the one God promised would rule the whole earth forever.
The Old Testament promised that God would send the Christ—the Messiah. (“Christ” in Greek and “Messiah” in Hebrew both mean “anointed one.”)
Did the Jewish leaders understand that Jesus was claiming to be the Christ?
Yes. In Matthew 26:63, they ask him if he is the Christ. And in verse 68, they mock him for claiming to be the Christ.
In Matthew 27:11–14, what did Pilate want to know? How is this different from what the Jewish leaders asked Jesus?
Pilate asks Jesus if he is the Jewish king. He was interested in Jesus’ claims to be a government ruler. The Jewish leaders wanted to know whether Jesus was claiming to fulfill Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
What does this lesson tell us about God, Jesus, and ourselves?
Who is God?
He’s the one who promised to send the Messiah to save his people.
Who is Jesus?
He’s the powerful King who will sit at God’s right hand—who nonetheless gives up his life for his people.
Who are we?
We are disciples who scatter—and who may even deny that we know Jesus. We are people whose sins must be laid upon his shoulders, or we will have no hope.
Check the blog next Friday for Family Easter Bible Study—Week 3: Jesus Is Crucified.
This post has been adapted from the original article by Mark Ward in the March 2020 issue of Bible Study Magazine.