This Study Guide is from The Rev. Adam Hamilton’s Course in the Last 24 Hours of Jesus’ life on earth. If you have a text book, read along with the corresponding chapters, and if you have a daily devotional you might start on Ash Wednesday. There are no hard and fast rules. You can do this at your own speed. Classes are on Sundays after church with Jim Poplin or on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 with Rev. Card. If neither of these times is convenient, you can follow along online at https://www.facebook.com/pumcnh/, or our website peterboroughumc.org. This information is shared for your enrichment.
Session 5 of 24 Hours That Changed the World
Study Guide #5
The Torture and Humiliation of the King
Mark 15:15b-23. After flogging Jesus, [Pilate] handed him over to be crucified. 16 Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. 18 And they began saluting him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. 20 After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him, Then they led him out to crucify him. 21 They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus 22 Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.
In this week’s readings you will find the accounts of Jesus’ torture and humiliation differ in the gospels, in some cases significantly. This may be because the various gospel writers had different information, or chose to emphasize different aspects of the suffering. It is possible they interpreted the events slightly differently. The fact that we have four different accounts adds to the richness of our understanding of Jesus’ passion. Invite God to help you see and understand the passion of Christ as you read these accounts each day.
Monday: Begin your study time with prayer, inviting God to help you see and understand the events that took place in Jesus’ torture and humiliation, at the hands of the Roman soldiers. Next take a sheet of paper and turn it sideways, making four columns, one for each gospel. Each day make notes of your impressions from reading that particular gospel account, and note the similarities and differences in them. Go online to http://bible.oremus.org/where you can type in each of this week’s daily readings (Monday — Thursday’s readings) and see them all displayed at the same time. Print them and you can highlight the similarities and differences in the various stories. Read Matthew 27:26-34. Can you close your eyes and imagine this scene?
Can you imagine yourself as Jesus, naked, surrounded by 480 soldiers hurling insults, spitting and denigrating you. How does Jesus feel? What were they trying to do to Jesus? Did they succeed? Can you see his dignity, even as he stood before these soldiers? This is God’s story — God intends for us to hear and see certain things from this story. What does it teach us about humankind? What does it teach us about God? How does this story call
Tuesday: Once again begin your study with prayer, inviting God to help you see and hear what he intends for you to understand from the story of the suffering of Jesus.
Read Mark 15:15-23. What details are different between Mark and Matthew’s account? What is the same? Why would the Roman soldiers act in this way? What was the tone of voice of the soldiers as they spoke to Jesus? Looking over your notes from Sunday’s sermon, what theory of the atonement was mentioned this weekend (two week’s ago we spoke of the “substitutionary theory” and this coming weekend we’ll consider the “sacrificial” theory)? Mark tells us the name of Simon’s sons — the other gospels do not. This likely indicates that the church to which Mark was writing his gospel would know who Alexander and Rufus are. Read Romans 16:13. Assuming this is the same person, what does this tell you about the impact of carrying the cross upon Simon of Cyrene? Why did Jesus refuse the wine mixed with myrrh?
Wednesday: Today we’ll see that Luke tells the story of Jesus’ torture and humiliation a bit differently than Matthew and Luke. Read Luke 23:11-12, 26-31. How does the account of the torture differ from Matthew and Mark? Herod and Pilate became friends — united by their common guilt in condemning an innocent man. Here Jesus is mocked by Herod Agrippa, puppet king of Galilee who happens to be visiting Jerusalem. Notice that Luke tells us about the women following Jesus, and the grief and wailing of those watching him being led to Calvary. Notice, too, it is the women who have the courage to grieve publicly for Jesus — the disciples are nowhere to be seen in this account. Jesus foretells, in verse 28-31 the coming destruction of Jerusalem. Because the people chose Barabbas and the path of violent conflict with Rome as opposed to Jesus’ call to sacrificial love and loving the enemy, the city would be destroyed within four decades. Prior to the destruction there was a terrible famine in the city as it was surrounded by Roman forces when many children starved to death.
Thursday: John’s account of the flogging and humiliation of Jesus, takes place prior to Jesus being sent to be crucified — it seems to be Pilate’s intention to win the sympathy of the crowd for Jesus by presenting him as completely humiliated. Read John 19:1-6, 16b-17. Notice that here Jesus carries the cross by himself. Is it possible Jesus began carrying the cross, but when he could not continue Simon was forced to help?
Friday: Today we’ll conclude our study by looking at verses from Isaiah that were fulfilled in Jesus’ torture and humiliation. Read Isaiah 50:4-7. Jesus was likely thinking of these words as he stood before the soldiers. What comfort would they have brought him? Read Isaiah 53:1-5. How did his suffering bring us peace with God? Thank God for his love for you.
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