Small Group Studies

Stages of the Cross: Week 2 Study


Do you remember your first day of school? For some of us, it was terrifying! Venturing into the unknown, learning a new schedule, and making new friends was not going to be easy. Think about Jesus, who came down into the earth to pay the very high price for our sins. Despite the difficulty, He did it willingly out of His love for us. We are going to discuss His last moments in our study today.


If you could pick the price, how much would you be willing to pay for the iPhone 11?


1. If you knew you only had one day left to live, what would you do?


2. Read Matthew 26:36-44. What did Jesus do the moments before His arrest? Why do you think He labored over this decision?

Matthew 26:36-44

Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.

So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again.

3. Clearly, Jesus valued prayer, talking to God the Father. Do you prioritize prayer in the same way that Jesus did? If not, what changes can you make or habits can you pick up to re-prioritize prayer and spending time with God?



4. None of the political leaders found Jesus guilty during His various trials. What is the significance of this truth?


5. Read Luke 23:13-21. Why did Pilate send Jesus to be crucified if He found Him innocent?

Luke 23:13-21

Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

6. Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. Based on these verses, why did Jesus willingly die?

2 Corinthians 5:21

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

7. What do the words "It is finished" mean to you personally? How do these words change how you view the cross?


Never underestimate the impact your group can have in bringing the hope of Jesus to others. As a group, make a plan to go somewhere together, such as a restaurant or a coffee shop where you may have opportunities for intentional conversations with those around you about God. Be kind to your server and give them a generous tip, letting them know that God sees them and loves them. You all have the hope that they just might be looking for.


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Romans 5:8

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.