“Unit 12, Day 3: Luke 23–24,” New Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2016)
“Unit 12, Day 3,” New Testament Study Guide
The Savior was tried before both Pontius Pilate and Herod Antipus. Neither of these men found the Savior guilty of the crimes the Jews accused him of, but Pilate, nevertheless, gave Him up to be crucified. Jesus forgave the Roman soldiers who crucified Him and spoke reassurance about life after death to a thief who was also being crucified. After Jesus died, His body was placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. On the third day after Jesus Christ’s death, angels at the tomb announced His Resurrection to a group of women. Jesus later appeared to His Apostles and others, showed them His resurrected body, and commissioned them to preach repentance and be witnesses of Him.
Think about a time when someone mistreated you. How did you respond in that situation?
As you study Luke 23, look for a truth that will help you understand how we should respond when we feel mistreated by others.
Remember that after Jesus had suffered in Gethsemane, the chief priests arrested Him and condemned Him to die. They then took Him to Pontius Pilate, a Roman ruler in the territory of Judea, and demanded that he put Jesus to death. Pilate could not find any fault with Jesus. He sent Jesus to be judged by Herod Antipas, who had put John the Baptist to death and who ruled the territories of Galilee and Perea under Roman authority. Herod could not find fault with Jesus either, so Pilate told the people that he would punish Jesus and release Him. The people cried for Pilate to release Barabbas, a murderer, instead and demanded that Jesus be crucified. Pilate released Barrabas and gave Jesus up to be crucified (see Luke 23:1–25).
Read Luke 23:32–34 and Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 23:35 (in Luke 23:34, footnote c), looking for what the Savior prayed for as He was being crucified. You may want to mark His prayer in your scriptures.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
Why is the Savior’s prayer at that time so remarkable?
What principle can we learn from the Savior’s example about how we should respond when others mistreat us? (Answer this question by completing the following principle statement: We can follow Jesus Christ’s example by choosing to .)
Forgiving others does not mean that we excuse someone from being accountable for what he or she has done. Nor does it mean that we should put ourselves in situations in which people can continue to mistreat us. Rather, forgiveness means to treat with love those who have mistreated us and to harbor no anger or resentment toward them (see Guide to the Scriptures, “Forgive,” scriptures.lds.org).
Consider if there is anyone whom you need to forgive. At times it can be difficult to forgive others. Read the following statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley, looking for what you can do if you are struggling to forgive someone:
“I plead with you to ask the Lord for strength to forgive. … It may not be easy, and it may not come quickly. But if you will seek it with sincerity and cultivate it, it will come. … There will come into your heart a peace otherwise unattainable. That peace will be the peace of Him who said:
“‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Complete the following assignments in your scripture study journal:
Answer the following question: How do you think praying for strength can help you to forgive someone who has mistreated you?
Write about a time when you (or someone you know) forgave another person. Remember not to share anything too personal.
Seek to follow the example of Jesus Christ and forgive those who have mistreated you. Pray for the strength and ability to do so. (Remember that the Lord condemns abusive behavior in any form—physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional. Abuse or mistreatment of any kind, including bullying, is against the teachings of Jesus Christ. Victims of abuse should be assured that they are not to blame for the harmful behavior of others. They do not need to feel guilt. Victims of abuse should seek help immediately, normally from their bishop or branch president.)
In Luke 23:35–38 we learn that Jewish rulers and Roman soldiers mocked the Savior as He hung on the cross. Read Luke 23:39–43, looking for how the two thieves who hung on either side of the Savior treated Him. You may want to mark the words or phrases that stand out to you.
Read the following statement, looking for what it meant when the Savior told one of the thieves that he would be with Him in paradise:
“In the scriptures, the word paradise is used in different ways. First, it designates a place of peace and happiness in the postmortal spirit world, reserved for those who have been baptized and who have remained faithful (see Alma 40:12; Moroni 10:34). …
“A second use of the word paradise is found in Luke’s account of the Savior’s Crucifixion. … The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that … the Lord actually said that the thief would be with Him in the world of spirits” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference , 111; see also History of the Church, 5:424–25).
From the Savior’s words to the thief recorded in Luke 23:43, we learn that the spirits of all people enter the spirit world at the time of their death.
In Doctrine and Covenants 138 we learn that when the Savior died, His spirit entered the spirit world. However, He did not visit the wicked, who were in a part of the spirit world called spirit prison. Read Doctrine and Covenants 138:29–32, looking for what Jesus Christ did in the spirit world and what likely happened to the thief after he died and went to the spirit world. You may want to write the cross-reference D&C 138:29–32 next to Luke 23:43 in your scriptures.
Even though the gospel would be preached to this thief, he would not automatically receive exaltation in God’s kingdom. The thief (and others who die without a knowledge of the gospel) would need to repent and accept the temple ordinances performed on his behalf (see Doctrine and Covenants 138:58–59).
Luke 23:44–56 relates that the Savior died on the cross. His body was then wrapped in linen and laid in a tomb. Material concerning the Savior’s death on the cross was covered in the lesson for Matthew 27.
Imagine that you are a missionary, and you meet someone who says, “A lot of people I know do not believe in life after death. Some of them say they believe in Jesus Christ but do not believe He was resurrected with a physical body. They say He continued to live only as a spirit. What do you believe about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ?”
How would you answer this question?
Read Luke 24:1–4, looking for what the women found upon arriving at the tomb where Jesus’s body had been placed.
Read Luke 24:5–8, looking for what the angels told the women. You may want to mark what you find.
In Luke 24:9–10 we learn that the women left the tomb and told the disciples what they had seen and heard.
Read Luke 24:11, looking for the Apostles’ reaction to the women’s words.
Summarize how the Apostles reacted to the women’s words:
After hearing the women’s report, Peter ran to the sepulchre and found linen clothing, but Jesus’s body was gone (see Luke 24:12).
In Luke 24:13–32 we learn that the resurrected Savior appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The two disciples did not recognize Jesus as He walked with them and taught them using the scriptures because “their eyes were holden” (Luke 24:16). The Savior did not want them to recognize Him immediately.
Read Luke 24:32, looking for how the Savior’s teachings from the scriptures affected the two disciples. Consider marking what you find.
The two disciples immediately returned to Jerusalem and related their experience to the Apostles and other disciples (see Luke 24:33–35). While they were talking, the Savior appeared.
Read Luke 24:36–39, looking for evidence that Jesus was literally resurrected and has a body of flesh and bones. (Luke 24:36–39 is a scripture mastery passage. You may want to mark it in a distinctive way so you will be able to locate it easily.)
How do you think you would feel if you had been present when the resurrected Christ appeared to His disciples?
Read Luke 24:40–43, looking for what else Jesus did to show that He had a tangible (or physical) resurrected body.
From these verses we learn that Jesus Christ is a resurrected being with a body of flesh and bones. All resurrected bodies have glorified flesh and bones.
As you read the following statement, underline why this doctrine is important to understand and believe:
“Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected—saved from physical death (see 1 Corinthians 15:22). Resurrection is the reuniting of the spirit with the body in a perfect, immortal state, no longer subject to disease or death (see Alma 11:42–45). …
“An understanding and testimony of the resurrection can give you hope and perspective as you experience the challenges, trials, and triumphs of life. You can find comfort in the assurance that the Savior lives and that through His Atonement, ‘he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory’ (Alma 22:14)” (True to the Faith, 139–40).
The plan of salvation teaches us that the Fall of Adam and Eve brought physical and spiritual death. We would have been unable to return and dwell with Heavenly Father unless there was a Redeemer provided to overcome sin and death. The Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ made it possible for us to overcome the effects of the Fall.
In your scripture study journal, explain why the doctrine of Jesus’s Resurrection is important to understand and believe and why it is important to you.
Reread the scenario in which you are a missionary and you meet someone who asks you about the Resurrection of Christ. Using what we learn in Luke 24:36–39, write an answer to this person’s question in your scripture study journal.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Luke 23–24 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: