Welcome to the final week of our series Road to the Cross. This series focuses on the events leading up to Jesus’ death on the cross and takes us to Easter. Road to the Cross is a series to help us get acquainted or reacquainted with Jesus so our affection for Jesus grows. This week, our conversation is about what shame Jesus experiences in his interactions with Pilate, the soldiers and the spectators.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
What are some of your favorite childhood memories of Easter? If you didn’t celebrate Easter, what did you do instead?
Are you doing any travel this spring? How can your group be praying for you?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have someone read Mark 15:1-15 aloud. What is happening here?
Pilate was under intense peer pressure as he faced the decision of what to do with Jesus. What are some of the pressures Pilate was dealing with?
Like Pilate, we often struggle to make the right choice when pressured. What kinds of peer pressure do people face in our culture? At work? At school? From family and friends? Where do you feel it the most?
Talk about a time when you gave in to peer pressure even though you knew it was the wrong decision. How did it make you feel afterward?
Jesus was able to do the right thing because he knew God was with him. What are some things we can do to rely on God to help us in difficult times and to make good decisions even when it’s hard?
Have someone read Mark 15:16-20 aloud. What is Jesus going through?
Mark tends to focus the narrative on the verbal abuse received by Jesus. He doesn’t downplay the physical pain and torture, but we get a detailed picture of the verbal abuse Jesus went through. Jesus was mocked and ridiculed for doing the right thing and obeying God. What are some of the emotions Jesus might have felt when the soldiers were shaming him? Why is it important to remember Jesus felt these emotions?
In what ways have Christians—throughout history and even around the world today—been shamed, mocked and persecuted? What does this look like in our culture?
What are some ways you have felt shamed or mocked for being a Christ follower or making godly decisions?
Have you ever experienced a time when a tough decision to do the right thing cost you something? What happened? How did you feel?
Have someone read Mark 15:25-39 aloud. Who are the different groups of spectators? How do you think Jesus felt as he hung on the cross?
Later, writers like Paul and Peter point the early Christians to Jesus as an example of how to make it through difficult times (Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 2:23). How might Jesus’ humble example here have encouraged them during hard times?
We live in a culture where everyone wants their rights. How do people usually respond to being falsely accused? How is Jesus’ response to mockery, verbal abuse and false accusation countercultural?
Unlike Jesus, we don’t always respond in the right way when we are feeling verbally attacked. How do you tend to respond when you are mocked or falsely accused?
There are times we need to respond. When we do, it needs to be with a humble attitude. Why is a humble attitude so important? How can the right attitude help us when we are wrongly treated?
Jesus endured because of his trust in God. He knew God would make everything right in the end. What are one or two things to do to grow in our trust of God? How can you as a group encourage and support one another as you ask God to grow you in your trust in him this week?
This week’s conversation revolved around responding the right way under pressure, recognizing Jesus experienced shame for us and trusting God in the midst of wrong treatment. Which of these areas resonates with you? What’s one step you can take this week to return to that idea?
The “Road to the Cross” is about getting acquainted or reacquainted with Jesus. How has the series helped you do that?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Easter is just around the corner and a great opportunity to invite someone to church. Who can you invite and how can your group be praying for you as you invite them?
Download a printable PDF here.