Small Group Studies

Deliberate: Week 4



We are currently in a series called Deliberate, where we are looking at the week of Jesus' life and seeing how He lived deliberately with everything He did and every word He said. Today, we are going to look at the last few moments of His life, where He proved just how deliberately He was living by sacrificing His life on the cross for the sins of humanity.



If you could do anything during the last few hours of your life, what would you do?





Bible Study

1. What do you know about Jesus’ last few hours before His arrest? What did He do?

2. Read Matthew 26:36-46. Describe Jesus’ feelings and attitude in this passage of Scripture.

36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 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.”

40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

42 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.” 43 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.

44 So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”

3. Eventually, Jesus was put on trial before the Roman governor, Pilate. Read Matthew 27:11-26. What stands out to you about the circumstances of His trial?

11 Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor asked him.

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

12 But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. 13 “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. 14 But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.

15 Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner to the crowd—anyone they wanted. 16 This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas. 17 As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 (He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.)

19 Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”

20 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. 21 So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?”

The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!”

22 Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

24 Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”

25 And all the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children!”

26 So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

4. Read Matthew 27:45-55. What happened when Jesus died, and what did it reveal about Jesus?

45 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

47 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 48 One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. 49 But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”

50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

54 The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

55 And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance.



1. How did Jesus live deliberately during the final hours of His life?

2. Why did Jesus face the agony He did as He was arrested and crucified on the cross?

3. How are we called to live in light of everything Jesus did for us?



This weekend, we are celebrating Easter as a church. This is an excellent opportunity to invite someone who does not usually attend church to join you for one of our Easter services. Who did you invite to join you at one of our Easter services? If you have not invited anyone yet, who can you invite to join you?



Jesus held nothing back when it came to rescuing humanity. He gave everything to rescue humanity. Now, our question today is how do we respond to His sacrifice on the cross? Let's take a look at what Scripture says about how we are to live in light of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross.


Live in Freedom:

Jesus overcame sin and death through His death and resurrection. That means that we do not have to live as slaves to sin anymore. It also means that we do not have to fear death because we have the hope of eternity with Him forever. Because of these things, we can walk in freedom.

1. Read Romans 6:20-22.

20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. 21 And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.

2. How did Jesus’ death and resurrection free us from the power of sin?

3. How are we called to live, according to this passage of Scripture?

4. What does it look like to live “free from the power of sin” today?


Share Your Faith

Of course, the news that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the grave to rescue us from the bondage of sin and death is life-changing, incredible news. As Christ followers, we get to share this incredible news with those around us. That is why Jesus told the first people who discovered that He was alive to go and tell others what He has done.

1. Read Acts 1:6-7.

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

2. What was Jesus’ instruction to His disciples before He returned to Heaven?

3. What promise did Jesus give in this passage of Scripture?

4. What is at stake if we do not obey this command from Jesus?


Build Up the Body of Christ

As Christ followers, one of the best things we can do in light of His resurrection is to live in unity and help build the Body of Christ. After all, when He prayed shortly before His death, He prayed that His followers would live in unity. When we come together and help serve in the body of Christ, we are honoring that prayer He prayed moments before He was arrested and ultimately crucified on a cross.

1. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-29.

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,[a] some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.[b]

14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:

first are apostles,
second are prophets,
third are teachers,
then those who do miracles,
those who have the gift of healing,
those who can help others,
those who have the gift of leadership,
those who speak in unknown languages.

29 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles?

2. Why is unity in the Body of Christ essential?

3. What specific gifts has God given you to build up the Body of Christ?

4. How are you currently building up the Body of Christ?


We often talk about how one of the greatest ways we can live in light of the resurrection is to share our faith. How is it going when it comes to sharing your faith? Share with your group what is going well and what needs improvement. Pray for each other to have the boldness to share the hope of Christ with everyone around you.


MONTHLY MEMORY VERSE (Available for download on Sagebrush App)

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:10