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“Story of God” Reading Plan

Act 6: Passion/Easter

(Weeks 29 – 31)

Week 29

Triumphal Entry

(March 18 – 24)

Day 1:  John 11:1 – 12:11

How would you have felt if you were Lazarus’ sister and Jesus didn’t come immediately to heal him? How about when he finally showed up and said, “Your brother will rise again.” (verse 23)?

Why do you think Jesus brought Lazarus back to life? Is there any part of your life right now that feels in need of new life?

Why do you think Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume? Does Jesus really not care for the poor (verse 8)? What’s his point here?

If you had been one of the disciples with Jesus that night, what would you have been thinking? Do you think you would have had any idea what you were about to face?

Day 2:  John 12:12 – 13:38

What would you have thought if you had seen Jesus riding into Jerusalem like a king on a donkey? Why do people have such a hard time understanding that Jesus is going to willingly give up his life?

What was Jesus trying to teach his disciples by washing their feet? What would it look like for you to follow that model in your own life this week?

Why does Jesus say that “love for one another” is what will “prove to the world that you are my disciples?” (verse 13:35). What other things could he have said?

Day 3:  John 14:1-31

What does it mean that “no one can come to the Father except through [Jesus]”? Why is Jesus so concerned here that the disciples understand that he and the Father are one?

When Jesus says, “anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done,” do you think he’s serious or just exaggerating? How might that be possible?

Why do you think peace is the “gift” Jesus wants to leave to his followers? Where have you experienced Jesus’ peace in the past few weeks?

Day 4:  John 15:1 – 16:4

How does the vine analogy reflect the kind of relationship Jesus wants us to have with him? How does he suggest we have that relationship?

What is the result of “remaining in Jesus”? Have you seen any of these results because of your connection with Jesus?

Why do you think Jesus gives them such a serious warning in verses 15:18-25? Have you ever experienced this kind of opposition?

Day 5:  John 16:5 – 17:26 

Why does Jesus say it is “best for you that I go away” (verse 16:7)? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives according to Jesus?

Why do you think the disciples finally say they believe Jesus came from God (verse 16:30)? Why is this so significant?

If you consider that Jesus’ prayer is meant for you (as well as the disciples he was with), what part is the most encouraging, inspiring, challenging?

Week 30

The Passion

(March 25 – 31)

Day 1:  Luke 22:1-38

(Passover is the annual Jewish celebration of God sparing his people from death in Egypt during the final plague.)

Why do you think Jesus uses this Passover meal (and the physical symbols of bread and wine) as the final moment with his disciples? How might this help them in the future?

Why does Jesus refer to this Passover meal as a “new covenant” (in light of the other covenants God has made with his people to Abraham and to Moses on Mount Sinai)? How is it similar/different?

If you had been one of the disciples with Jesus that night, what would you have been thinking? Do you think you would have had any idea what you were about to face?

Day 2:  Matthew 26:36-56

Why do you think Jesus goes to the garden to pray, knowing what’s about to come? What do you think you would have done knowing you were about to get arrested?

What does Jesus’ prayer here in the garden teach us about how we might pray to God? Have you ever prayed like Jesus,  “your will be done, not mine”?

Why do all of the disciples desert Jesus in the end?

Day 3:  John 18:15-27

When you read verse 14, what do you think the Jewish religious leaders thought they were doing? How might they have justified what they were doing to Jesus?

Why do you think Peter denies Jesus three times here (especially after all his claims about being willing to face anything with Jesus)?

If you had been one of the disciples, what would you have been thinking about what was happening to Jesus? What would you have been doing?

Day 4:  John 18:28 – 19:16

Why do you think Jesus answers Pilot the way he does?

Why does Pilot has the soldiers to torture and mock Jesus even when he finds no fault in him? Why does Pilot finally go along with the crucifixion even though he thinks Jesus is innocent?

What do the priests shouts for Jesus to be crucified and their statement about Caesar (especially verse 15) show about their motives?

Day 5:  John 19:16-42

Why do you think the leading priests didn’t want the sign Pilot made hanging above Jesus head?

When you think of Jesus willingly enduring the torture and the cross in order to fulfill what God had called him to do for us (verse 28), what does that make you think/feel?

Why is it so significant for John that even in death, Jesus was fulfilling what was written about him in their scriptures (verse 36)?

Week 31


(April 1 – 7)

Day 1:  Matthew 27:62 – 28:20

If you had been one of the Mary’s showing up at the tomb expecting to mourn but finding an angel sitting on the rolled away stone, what would your first thoughts have been?

Why do you think the “priests and elders”, even after hearing the guards report, are still trying to discredit Jesus? Are there any times in your life it seems easier not to deal with the reality of Jesus?

Why do you think Matthew includes that even after seeing Jesus “they worshipped, but some doubted” (verse 28:17)?

What part of Jesus’ final words to them jumps out most to you today?

Day 2:  Luke 24:1-53

Why had Jesus’ followers on the road to Emmaus resorted to just thinking of him as a good prophet and teacher instead of Messiah (verse  21)? Is there anything in your life where it seems like what you had hoped for God to do is just not going to happen?

Why do you think Jesus walks so far with them without letting them know who he is?

Why is he so concerned that they believe he’s really there and understand the scripture that predicted what has just happened?

Day 3:  John 20:1-18

Why is Mary’s first assumption on seeing the empty tomb that someone has taken Jesus’ body?

Why do you think it takes seeing the folded grave clothes for Peter and John to finally believe what has just happened? What would it have taken for you to believe he had come back to life?

What might be the significance be of Jesus looking like a gardener here when he first rises from the dead? (especially when we think back to the very beginning of the Bible!)

Day 4:  John 20:19-31

If you had been the disciples, after all that had just happened with Jesus being crucified, where would you have been? How would you have been feeling?

What is the significance of Jesus showing up in the middle of their gathering even behind locked doors?

Why does Thomas take so much convincing to believe it really was Jesus? What kind of proof would you have asked for?

Day 5:  John 21:1-25

Why do you think Jesus helps them catch fish in order to show them know it’s him? What might this have meant to the disciples?

How would you have felt if you had been Peter and Jesus had taken you aside to ask you if you really loved him? Why does he ask 3 times?

What do Jesus’ words in verses 18, 19 reveal about what it will cost for Peter to actually continue to follow and be a leader of Jesus’ mission? How would you have felt hearing this?