Face Turned Toward the Cross
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: Lanterns, torches, and weapons. Brandished by a band of soldiers. Not the sort of tools one would think necessary for the “capture” of a compassionate teacher and leader. Why in the middle of the night? Why the need for such artillery? The whole spectrum of power is marshaled against Jesus: Jew and Gentile, secular and religious. And yet, it would be Jesus’ power that would baffle and bewilder this battalion of men; and it would be the display of his mercy that would provide hope for all those who would follow him.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. Given the events of the Passion Week, what do you suspect was the mood of this Thursday evening in the garden?
2. Why do the soldiers fall to the ground when Jesus identifies himself to them (verse 6)?
3. Why is Jesus’ control over his arrest and the disciples’ well-being so important in the account of Jesus’ death?
4. Read John 6:35-40. The Father has promised that not one person given to Jesus will ever be lost. How does this deepen your trust in God during personal trials?
5. How does Jesus express his concern for the disciples until the end? How does this strengthen your faith in him?
6. In what ways have you seen God’s power on display in your own life recently? What about God’s mercy?
1. Sunday: Triumphal Entry | Night in Prayer; Monday: Jesus Curses the Fig | Cleanses the Temple; Tuesday: Fig Tree Withered | Olivet Discourse| Judas Strikes A Deal; Wednesday: Silent Day; Thursday: Last Supper | Judas Betrays Jesus | Peter Denies Christ; Friday: Jesus’ Appears Before Pilate| Condemned & Crucified| Buried; Saturday: Pilate Places Guards Around Tomb; & Sunday: Resurrection
2. Read John 18:1-3.
3. Read verse 4.
4. 01. Jesus willingly surrendered his life so that those who were once his enemies could receive full and eternal life.
5. Read verses 5-6.
6. “The founder of every other religion says, ‘I have come to show you the way to God’… but Jesus says, ‘I am God, come in the flesh to find you, because you’ll never find me unless I come after you.” – Timothy Keller
7. 02. Rather than being a prophet who comes to point us to God, Jesus is actually God who has come to rescue us.
8. Read verse 6 again.
9. Read verses 7-9.
10. “Let this thought abide in our hearts, and refresh our souls. We have a Savior who was far more willing to save us than we are willing to be saved.” – J.C. Ryle
11. Read verses 10-11.
12. 03. Nothing in life, not even our own ignorance, doubt or failure will diminish Jesus’ love for us.