From Tragedy to Triumph

From Tragedy to Triumph

Study by Bryan J. Whitfield
Commentary by Judson Edwards

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Brief Description

Throughout his Gospel, Luke depicts the divine plan of salvation unfolding in Jesus’ life. From the beginning, Luke makes clear that God was at work, fulfilling what Israel’s Scriptures had promised concerning a Savior.

Many Jews in Jesus’ day expected God to act for their salvation through the Anointed One, an individual called the Messiah in Hebrew or the Christ in Greek. They hoped a military ruler like King David or Judas Maccabeus would deliver them from their Roman overlords and establish a Jewish kingdom.

But Jesus was not to be that kind of Savior. God had another plan for restoring Israel and saving the world. When Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, Jesus warned the disciples not to tell anyone and explained that he “must suffer many things and be rejected—by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts—and be killed and be raised on the third day” (9:22). God’s plan of salvation did not lead to an earthly throne. Instead, Jesus’ obedience to God’s purpose led to suffering and death, but beyond death to new life and to our salvation.

In this unit, we will study four crucial moments in the climax of God’s plan: Jesus’ last supper with his disciples (22:14-30), the betrayal of Judas and the denial of Peter (22:47-62), the crucifixion (23:32-46), and the resurrection (24:1-12, 33b-34). We will move from the intimacy of the upper room to the tumult of the garden to the horror of the cross. There we will hear taunts and mockery and words of forgiveness and trust. Finally, we will come to stand in wonder before an empty tomb in the light of early dawn.

As you study, may you find your own place around the table sharing the bread and the cup, and may you hear the good news of glad welcome on the far side of defeat and failure. May you marvel anew at the greatness of God’s purpose and God’s love in seeking and saving all who are lost, and may you wonder and rejoice anew at these words: “Christ is risen!”

Materials Included
• 4 Sessions of Learner’s Materials
• 4 Sessions of Teaching Materials
• 4 Handouts

Sessions Included
1. The Last Supper
2. Jesus’ Arrest and Peter’s Denial
3. The Crucifixion
4. The Resurrection

Age Group

1. Luke 22:14-30
2. Luke 22:47-62
3. Luke 23:32-46
4. Luke 24:1-12; 33b-34

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