“June 17–23. Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19: ‘It Is Finished’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“June 17–23. Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
It might help to write on the board some words or phrases to remind class members of events that were described in the chapters this week. Ask class members to write on the board some words that describe how they felt when they read about these events. Why did they feel this way?
To help your class understand how the accounts of the Savior’s death demonstrate His love, try an activity like this: Give each class member a paper heart, and invite them to write on their hearts a phrase from 1 Corinthians 13:4–7 that describes charity. Then ask them to search Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; or John 19 and write on the other side of their hearts a few verses that show how the Savior demonstrated the love described in the phrase they chose. Let them share what they find. What experiences have helped class members understand the Savior’s love?
What can you do to encourage class members to share their testimonies of what they learned this week? Consider inviting class members to find a hymn that describes the events they read about or their feelings about the Savior’s suffering and Crucifixion. Consider singing one or more of these as a class. How can studying about the Savior’s final hours inspire us to trust and follow Him?
Art can help class members visualize some of the events they read about this week (see “Additional Resources” for suggested pictures). Perhaps you could divide the class into groups and give a picture to each group. The groups could read together the verses that describe what is depicted in their picture. They could discuss the meaning of the verses and share how the picture helps them better understand the verses. Each group could share their thoughts with the class. You might also consider showing the videos “Jesus Is Condemned before Pilate” and “Jesus Is Scourged and Crucified” (LDS.org).
You won’t be able to discuss all of the details about the Savior’s final hours as a class, but here’s an activity that can help you discuss the details that are most meaningful to the people you teach. Invite each class member to select a chapter from this week’s reading and spend a few minutes scanning it, looking for a word, a phrase, or a detail that teaches them something meaningful about the Savior and His mission. Give them opportunities to share what they found and explain why it is meaningful to them.
It might strengthen the faith of those you teach to know that ancient prophets foretold many of the events in the Savior’s final hours. One way to help class members review these prophecies and see how they were fulfilled would be to give each person one or more of the scriptures in “Additional Resources” and ask them to find the verses in Matthew 27 that show how the scriptures were fulfilled. You might make a chart that matches the prophecies with their fulfillments. You could suggest that class members write the verses containing the prophecies in the margins of their scriptures in Matthew 27. What do we learn from these prophecies? How do these prophecies strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ?
Some of your class members may have faced opposition—such as being judged or mocked—when they have expressed their beliefs or tried to live their faith. Consider beginning your discussion by asking a few class members to share experiences when this has happened. How did they respond? Invite class members to read some of these verses from Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; and John 19 describing the persecution the Savior faced. What kinds of opposition does God’s work face today? What can we learn from the Savior’s responses that can help us face opposition in our day? Other scriptures that can help us when we face opposition include Matthew 5:10; Romans 12:14; 2 Timothy 3:10–12; Alma 1:19–28; and 3 Nephi 12:10–12. What do we learn from these verses?
Would it help your class members to read the account of the Savior asking the Father to forgive the soldiers and offering hope to the thief on the cross? Consider dividing the class into two groups and assigning one group to read Luke 23:34–38 (including verse 34, footnote c, which provides insight from the Joseph Smith Translation) and the other group to read Luke 23:39–43. Members of each group could discuss what they learn about the Savior from these verses and then share their thoughts with the entire class. How can we follow the Savior’s example?
To help any in your class who may be having trouble forgiving others as Jesus did, consider sharing the statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in “Additional Resources.”
To encourage class members to read Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; and John 20–21 during the next week, ask them to think about what they would say to someone who said, “I need to see to believe.” Tell them that next week’s reading will help them address this concern.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught:
“Closely related to our own obligation to repent is the generosity of letting others do the same—we are to forgive even as we are forgiven. In this we participate in the very essence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Surely the most majestic moment of that fateful Friday, when nature convulsed and the veil of the temple was rent, was that unspeakably merciful moment when Christ said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ As our advocate with the Father, He is still making that same plea today—in your behalf and in mine.
“Here, as in all things, Jesus set the standard for us to follow. Life is too short to be spent nursing animosities. … We don’t want God to remember our sins, so there is something fundamentally wrong in our relentlessly trying to remember those of others” (“The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 83).