Small Group Studies

Trouble Maker Week 9 Study

Winter solstice, December 21st, is the darkest day of the year. However, after the 21st, the days become gradually lighter. Yes, it is a dark day, but the light always comes following that day. Similarly, each day in Jesus’ last week appeared to be getting darker and darker until the darkest day in history: the day He died on a cross. Yet, as He took His last breath that day, Jesus knew something we did not know: light was coming in just a few days. He was going to rise from the dead. In our Bible study today, we will talk about the last few days in the last week of Jesus’ life and discover that even on the darkest day, there is hope because of Jesus.


What do you dread the most: a cold day below zero degrees or a hot day above 115 degrees? Why?


Bible Study Questions

1.  When is a time you saw God bring light during a dark time in your life?


2. Read Matthew 27:32-38. What was significant about the sign calling Jesus “King of the Jews?”

Matthew 27:32-38

"As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the jews.

38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left."

3. Read Matthew 27:45-56. Describe the darkness taking place this day.

Matthew 27:45-56

"From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons."

4. Read Matthew 28:1-10. How did Jesus bring light out of the darkest day?

Matthew 28:1-10

"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”


1. What areas of your life feel dark right now?

2. What practical steps can you take to move from a time of darkness into a time of hope?

3. How does learning about Jesus fill us with hope?


We have to share the news that Jesus is alive. After all, the world is craving hope right now. We have to go out to places where people who are in need of hope are. Where can you consistently place yourself? Maybe this is a gym you already go to or can join. Perhaps you are thinking about your interaction with parents at your child’s soccer practice. Maybe you want to go to your local coffee shop and intentionally engage with your barista each time you go. Whatever you decide, share this with your group. Pray that God would use each one of you to make Him known.

Going Deeper

Do you ever wonder what was on Jesus’ mind as He went through His last moments on the cross? While we do not know exactly what He was thinking as He was being crucified on the cross, Scripture tells us a few things that Jesus said that night, giving us a window into His mind that evening. Today we will dive into Luke’s account of what He said while on the cross. As we look into what He said, we will be inspired to follow His example of offering forgiveness, sharing His hope with the people around Him, and placing His life in the hands of God the Father.

Read Luke 23:32-34

  1. · Who was Jesus talking about in these verses when He said, “Father, forgive them”?
  2. · What is surprising about Jesus’ prayer in these verses?
  3. · What does Jesus’ prayer teach us about forgiveness?

Read Luke 23:39-43.

  1. · What did the second criminal mentioned in these verses understand about Jesus?
  2. · What did Jesus promise this criminal in these verses?
  3. · What does Jesus’ response to this criminal show you about what was important to Him as He was dying on the cross?

Read Luke 23:44-46.

  1. · Summarize Jesus’ final prayer to God the Father in these verses.
  2. · What did Jesus give over to God the Father?
  3. · How would you describe Jesus’ mindset as He prayed this prayer to God the Father?


As Jesus was dying on the cross, He was focused on forgiving His murderers, offering hope of life in Him to one of the criminals being crucified next to Him, and giving His life over to God the Father. Pick one of these three areas (forgiveness, sharing your faith, and committing every area of your life to Him) that you would like to grow in and share it with your group. Then, share one step you can take to grow in that area. After everyone has shared, pray for the wisdom and courage to take these steps.

MONTHLY MEMORY VERSE (Available for download on Sagebrush App)

John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.