The words and actions of Jesus were counter-cultural. What He said and did the week before His death is the foundation for freedom available to us unlike any other. That freedom came with a price.
Come with us to experience the final days of Christ as He endured betrayal, denial, arrest, and crucifixion. And then celebrate with us His resurrection, His victory over death, and the freedom He gave us!
The night Jesus was betrayed was unexpected and raised questions by the disciples: When? Why? What? The questions they asked are familiar questions we ask ourselves. The answers are often harsh, critical, and unforgiving. But Jesus answers those questions in love, grace, and hope. Join us as we begin to journey through the story of Easter towards the freedom that He gave us.
This week in CF Online, Steve Madsen starts our Easter series: The Betrayal. Whether you find yourself with a group, a friend, a family member, or are by yourself, take some time to read the following passages. Then, put yourself in the shoes of one or more of the characters, and answer the questions below.
Week 1 - The Betrayal
Luke 22:1-23 (Message)
The Feast of Unleavened Bread, also called Passover, drew near. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way to do away with Jesus but, fearful of the people, they were also looking for a way to cover their tracks.
That’s when Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot. He was one of the Twelve. Leaving the others, he conferred with the high priests and the Temple guards about how he might betray Jesus to them. They couldn’t believe their good luck and agreed to pay him well. He gave them his word and started looking for a way to betray Jesus, but out of sight of the crowd.
The Day of Unleavened Bread came, the day the Passover lamb was butchered. Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, “Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together.”
They said, “Where do you want us to do this?”
He said, “Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him home. Then speak with the owner of the house: The Teacher wants to know, ‘Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare the meal there.”
They left, found everything just as he told them, and prepared the Passover meal.
When it was time, he sat down, all the apostles with him, and said, “You’ve no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It’s the last one I’ll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God.”
Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this and pass it among you. As for me, I’ll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives.”
Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory.”
He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you. “Do you realize that the hand of the one who is betraying me is at this moment on this table? It’s true that the Son of Man is going down a path already marked out—no surprises there. But for the one who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man, this is doomsday.”
They immediately became suspicious of each other and began quizzing one another, wondering who might be about to do this.
Which verses, words, or phrases stood out to you? Why?
Describe what you believe each of the following characters experienced during this Passover meal:
Who do you relate to? Why?
What has been your experience with betrayal? Have you been betrayed or been the betrayer? What did that experience feel like?
What do you learn and can apply from these passages?