Luke 22–24

New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2002), 100–6


timeline

Introduction

Commenting on the Atonement and Resurrection, President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

“There is nothing more universal than death, and nothing brighter with hope and faith than the assurance of immortality. The abject sorrow that comes with death, the bereavement that follows the passing of a loved one are mitigated only by the certainty of the resurrection of the Son of God that first Easter morning. …

“Contemplating the wonder of the Atonement wrought in behalf of all mankind, the Prophet Joseph Smith declared in words descriptive and beautiful:

“‘Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!’ (D&C 128:23)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 91–92; or Ensign, May 1996, 67).

Luke 22–24recounts the final days of Christ’s life as He willingly fulfilled the Atonement, and gives testimonies of some who witnessed the resurrected Lord. They provide a glimpse of the joy that comes to those who understand the glorious message of the Resurrection.

Prayerfully study Luke 22–24and consider the following principles before preparing your lessons.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • We partake of the sacrament to remember Jesus Christ’s body and blood, which He sacrificed for us, and to witness to Him that we will keep His commandments (see Luke 22:17–20; see also 3 Nephi 18:1–12; D&C 20:77, 79).

  • As we become converted to Christ, we must strengthen others (see Luke 22:32; see also Mosiah 27:32–37; D&C 81:5).

  • Although Peter denied knowing the Savior, he never denied His divinity. Peter set an example for us by repenting, becoming a man of great spiritual strength, and blessing the lives of many people (see Luke 22:34, 54–62; see also Acts 4:1–33).

  • Jesus submitted to Heavenly Father’s will. He willingly suffered pain, afflictions, and death to fulfill His role in the plan of salvation (see Luke 22:39–44, 63–71; 23:13–24, 33–46).

  • The Lord communicates with His children in many different ways, including personal appearances (see Luke 24:13–16, 33–52), visitations of angels (see v. 23), a burning in our hearts (see v. 32), enlightenment and joy (see vv. 32, 41), the scriptures (see vv. 32, 44–45), and feelings of peace (see v. 36; see also D&C 6:23).

  • Jesus Christ was the first person to be resurrected (see Luke 24).

Additional Resources

  • The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, 159, 172–75, 183–84, 193–96, 199–200.

  • “The Last Week of the Savior’s Life,” 288 in this manual.

Suggestions for Teaching

Choose from the following ideas, or use some of your own, as you prepare lessons for Luke 22–24.

New Testament Video presentation 8, “The Sacrament” (12:13), can be used in teaching Luke 22:1–20(see New Testament Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

Luke 22:1–30, 39–53(see also Matthew 26:1–5, 14–54; Mark 14:1–2, 10–49; John 13:2, 18–30; 18:2–11). Judas sought an opportunity to betray Jesus.

(15–20 minutes)

Write the word betray on the board and ask:

  • What do you think this word means?

  • What are some of its synonyms? (Deceive, beguile, ensnare, trap, sell out, desert, be a traitor, break faith.)

  • Have you ever been betrayed? If so, how did you feel?

  • How did it affect you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually?

  • Why do some people betray others?

Place thirty coins in a cloth bag. Give the bag to a student and ask him or her to read Luke 22:1–3. Then have the student pass the bag to another, and have the second student read verses 4–6. Continue doing this until the class has finished reading Luke 22:1–30, 39–53. Discuss the story as they read, using questions such as these:

  • Who betrayed Jesus?

  • What does a bag of thirty coins have to do with the story? (see Matthew 26:15).

  • What did the Savior do during this time of betrayal that impresses you most?

  • How did His actions show His love toward His enemies and Judas?

  • How could His example help at times when others hurt or betray you?

In your discussion, use any of the following explanations that you find useful:

  • Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:

    “Judas took the initiative. He sought out the chief priests; he chose to betray his Lord; he asked for the money. It was a wilful, deliberate, premeditated act” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:702).

  • As prophesied by Zechariah, Judas betrayed the Savior for thirty pieces of silver (see Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15). This amount was recognized as the price of a slave in the law of Moses (see Exodus 21:32) and shows the low regard that Judas and the chief priests had for Jesus.

  • Luke’s account reads, “Then entered Satan into Judas” (Luke 22:3). Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:

    “Satan can have no power over human souls unless it is given to him by them. People are subject to him only when they hearken to his enticements. In other words, Judas was an evil traitor because of personal wickedness, because he preferred to live after the manner of the world, because he ‘loved Satan more than God.’ He truly had become ‘carnal, sensual, and devilish’ by choice [see Moses 5:12–13]” (Mortal Messiah, 4:15).

Point out that when we disobey the Savior or disregard His teachings, we betray Him in some measure. Ask students to review Luke 22:2–3, 5, and then ask:

  • What do you think motivated these people to betray the Savior? (Pride, fear of losing power, Satan, money.)

  • How do these same temptations cause some people to disregard the Savior and His teachings today?

Encourage students to resist temptation and follow the teachings of the Savior.

Luke 22:7–20(see also Matthew 26:17–20, 26–29; Mark 14:12–17, 22–25). We partake of the sacrament to remember Jesus Christ’s body and blood, which He sacrificed for us.

(25–30 minutes)

Bring a keepsake that is precious to you to class. Show it to students and explain how it serves as a reminder of something important in your life. Ask:

  • Do you have any keepsakes you treasure?

  • Where do you keep them?

  • How long have you had them?

  • How often do you look at them?

  • Which is more important to you, the keepsake or the event it represents? Why?

Explain that in the Church there are emblems or symbols that can help us remember our covenants and strengthen our resolve to keep them. Invite students to read Luke 22:7–16, and ask:

  • What significant event is taking place in these verses?

  • How would this Passover be different from all the others before it?

Invite students to ponder how important the Atonement is in their lives. Read the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“Nearly a millennium and a half after Jehovah gave the Passover to Israel, he himself, tabernacled among men, was preparing to celebrate the feast, to fulfil the law given to Moses, to become the Paschal Lamb, a lamb without spot and blemish whose shed blood would offer to all men spiritual freedom and deliverance from the bondage of sin.

“Arrangements for this final Passover of our Lord’s ministry, a Passover to be known ever after to the Church as the Last Supper, were made by Peter and John as directed by the seeric vision of Jesus. The Supper itself must have been in the home of a disciple, for the two apostles had but to mention the Master’s desires and the upper room was made available.

“This was the final approved Passover. Following the sacrifice of Christ as a Paschal Lamb this old ordinance was to cease and other symbols (those shown forth in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper) were to find approved usage among the Lord’s people. Now the only proper celebration of the Passover is in the spiritual sense of which Paul speaks: ‘For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.’ (1 Cor. 5:7–8.)” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:704–5).

Read Luke 22:17–20.

  • What emblems did the Savior introduce to the Apostles?

  • What did Jesus say was His purpose in giving these emblems?

Display a piece of bread and a cup of grape juice or water. Ask: Why are these appropriate emblems to help us remember the Atonement? Ask students to read the sacrament prayers from Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79.

  • What promises do we make when we partake of the sacrament? (Write those named in the sacrament prayers on the board.)

  • Which is more important: the bread and water or what they represent? Why?

Invite students to share how they focus their thoughts on the Savior during the sacrament. Ask: What things could we do during that time to help us better remember our covenants? (Possible answers include reading the sacramental prayers from the scriptures, recommitting to keep our covenants, thinking about the words of the sacrament hymn, and praying for forgiveness.) Testify that the power of the Atonement in our lives is increased as we worthily partake of the sacrament.

Luke 22:31–38, 55–62(see also Matthew 26:31–35, 69–75; Mark 14:27–31, 66–72; John 13:36–38; 18:15–18, 25–27). As we become converted in our hearts, we should help strengthen others.

(20–25 minutes)

Draw the following three lines on the board:

lines

Ask students:

  • Which of these three lines is a better representation of your spiritual growth or your commitment to the gospel over your lifetime? (You may consider asking students to draw a line they feel best represents their personal spiritual development.)

  • What seems to affect your commitment to the gospel at different times during your life?

  • Why do you think your spiritual growth doesn’t always match your physical growth?

Read Luke 22:33.

  • How strong or committed does Peter seem in this verse?

  • Do you think he still had potential to grow spiritually? Why or why not?

  • Read verses 31–32. What did the Savior know about Peter’s commitment to the gospel that Peter didn’t know?

  • In what ways do you think the Savior’s warning and admonition in verses 31–32 apply to us?

Ask the students to read the following references and look for insights into the depth of Peter’s conversion at different stages of his life.

Ask:

  • What evidence do you see in these references that Peter became spiritually strong during his lifetime?

  • What do you think helped him become stronger?

Read the following from Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

Conversion is more—far more—than merely changing one’s belief from that which is false to that which is true; it is more than the acceptance of the verity of gospel truths, than the acquirement of a testimony. To convert is to change from one status to another, and gospel conversion consists in the transformation of man from his fallen and carnal state to a state of saintliness.

“A convert is one who has put off the natural man, yielded to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and become ‘a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord.’ Such a person has become ‘as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.’ (Mosiah 3:19.) He has become a new creature of the Holy Ghost: the old creature has been converted or changed into a new one. He has been born again: where once he was spiritually dead, he has been regenerated to a state of spiritual life. (Mosiah 27:24–29.) In real conversion, which is essential to salvation (Matt. 18:3), the convert not only changes his beliefs, casting off the false traditions of the past and accepting the beauties of revealed religion, but he changes his whole way of life, and the nature and structure of his very being is quickened and changed by the power of the Holy Ghost.

“Peter is the classic example of how the power of conversion works on receptive souls. During our Lord’s mortal ministry, Peter had a testimony, born of the Spirit, of the divinity of Christ and of the great plan of salvation which was in Christ. ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ he said, as the Holy Ghost gave him utterance. (Matt. 16:13–19.) When others fell away, Peter stood forth with the apostolic assurance, ‘We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.’ (John 6:69.) Peter knew, and his knowledge came by revelation.

“But Peter was not converted, because he had not become a new creature of the Holy Ghost. Rather, long after Peter had gained a testimony, and on the very night Jesus was arrested, he said to Peter: ‘When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.’ (Luke 22:32.) Immediately thereafter, and regardless of his testimony, Peter denied that he knew Christ. (Luke 22:54–62.) After the crucifixion, Peter went fishing, only to be called back to the ministry by the risen Lord. (John 21:1–17.) Finally on the day of Pentecost the promised spiritual endowment was received; Peter and all the faithful disciples became new creatures of the Holy Ghost; they were truly converted; and their subsequent achievements manifest the fixity of their conversions. (Acts 3; 4.)” (Mormon Doctrine, 162–63).

Ask:

  • What do we learn from this passage about Peter?

  • What does this passage teach us about conversion?

  • Reread Luke 22:32. How well did Peter live up to Jesus’ charge?

(You may also wish to read parts of, or refer students to, “Peter, My Brother” by Elder Spencer W. Kimball; see The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, pp. 488–93).

Testify to your students of their potential to grow spiritually throughout their lives. Remind them that we, like Peter, should strengthen those around us as we grow closer to the Lord.

Luke 22:39–46(see also Matthew 26:36–46; Mark 14:32–41). Jesus Christ submitted to Heavenly Father’s will. He willingly suffered pain, afflictions, and death to fulfill His role in the plan of salvation.

(30–35 minutes)

Ask students to think of a time when they were so tired, sore, or weak that they did not feel like saying their prayers, going to church, fasting, or serving others.

  • How did you overcome those physical desires in order to keep God’s commandments?

  • How difficult was it for you?

  • What emotional obstacles can you think of that keep us from doing what is right? (Possible answers include fear of sharing the gospel, anger, and unwillingness to forgive others.)

Read Abraham 3:24–25and look for what these verses say about the purpose of earth life. Ask:

  • What does the word prove mean? (To test.)

  • What is the test?

  • Why do you think it is important that we be tested?

  • How does this test help fill the purpose of the plan of salvation?

Even when life is difficult or painful, we can receive strength to do God’s will by following the Savior’s example. Ask students to read Luke 22:39–46, and ask:

  • What was God’s will for Jesus Christ (what did He want the Savior to do)?

  • What do these verses teach about the physical difficulty of the Savior’s choice to follow Heavenly Father’s will? (see v. 44).

  • What spiritual burdens did the Savior carry at this time? (see also Alma 7:11–13).

  • What assistance did Heavenly Father send Jesus at this most difficult time? (see Luke 22:43).

  • In what ways can Heavenly Father send you assistance at difficult times to help you keep His commandments?

  • How does 1 Nephi 3:7 support this idea?

To help students appreciate the Atonement, read and discuss the following passages: John 10:17–18; 2 Nephi 9:7; Mosiah 3:7; Alma 34:10–14; Doctrine and Covenants 19:15–20; 122:7–8.

Tell students that the Savior sacrificed in this way because of His love for the Father and for each of us. As our love for Heavenly Father deepens, we, like the Savior, will be better able to endure physical and emotional pain and do the Father’s will. Share all or whatever part of the following quotes you feel will help your students gain a greater appreciation for the Savior’s sacrifice.

President Joseph Fielding Smith, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, testified:

“Here we have the Son of God carrying the burden of my transgressions and your transgressions and the transgressions of every soul that receives the gospel of Jesus Christ. … He carried the burden—our burden. I added something to it; so did you. So did everybody else. He took it upon himself to pay the price that I might escape—that you might escape—the punishment on the conditions that we will receive his gospel and be true and faithful in it” (“Fall—Atonement—Resurrection—Sacrament” [address to religious educators, 14 Jan. 1961], in Charge to Religious Educators, 2nd ed. [1982], 127).

Elder James E. Talmage testified:

“Christ’s agony in the garden is unfathomable by the finite mind, both as to intensity and cause. The thought that He suffered through fear of death is untenable. Death to Him was preliminary to resurrection and triumphal return to the Father from whom He had come, and to a state of glory even beyond what He had before possessed; and, moreover, it was within His power to lay down His life voluntarily. He struggled and groaned under a burden such as no other being who has lived on earth might even conceive as possible. It was not physical pain, nor mental anguish alone, that caused Him to suffer such torture as to produce an extrusion of blood from every pore; but a spiritual agony of soul such as only God was capable of experiencing. No other man, however great his powers of physical or mental endurance, could have suffered so; for his human organism would have succumbed, and syncope would have produced unconsciousness and welcome oblivion. In that hour of anguish Christ met and overcame all the horrors that Satan, ‘the prince of this world’ could inflict. The frightful struggle incident to the temptations immediately following the Lord’s baptism was surpassed and overshadowed by this supreme contest with the powers of evil” (Jesus the Christ, 613).

President John Taylor explained:

“Jesus had to take away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. … And as He in His own person bore the sins of all, and atoned for them by the sacrifice of Himself, so there came upon Him the weight and agony of ages and generations, the indescribable agony consequent upon this great sacrificial atonement wherein He bore the sins of the world, and suffered in His own person the consequences of an eternal law of God broken by man. Hence His profound grief, His indescribable anguish, His overpowering torture, all experienced in the submission to the eternal fiat of Jehovah and the requirements of an inexorable law.

“The suffering of the Son of God was not simply the suffering of personal death; for in assuming the position that He did in making an atonement for the sins of the world He bore the weight, the responsibility, and the burden of the sins of all men, which, to us, is incomprehensible. …

“Groaning beneath this concentrated load, this intense, incomprehensible pressure, this terrible exaction of Divine justice, from which feeble humanity shrank, and through the agony thus experienced sweating great drops of blood, He was led to exclaim, ‘Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.’ He had wrestled with the superincumbent load in the wilderness, He had struggled against the powers of darkness that had been let loose upon him there; placed below all things, His mind surcharged with agony and pain, lonely and apparently helpless and forsaken, in his agony the blood oozed from His pores” (Mediation and Atonement [1882], 149–50).

Luke 22:41–23:25(see also Matthew 26:36–27:26; Mark 14:32–15:15; John 18:1–19:16). Even though He was rejected, betrayed, mocked, and scorned, Jesus Christ willingly suffered and atoned for the sins of all mankind.

(40–45 minutes)

Display a picture of Jesus Christ. Invite students to read Isaiah 53:3–10looking for words and phrases that describe how the Savior was treated by many, and list these on the board. Point out to students that Christ’s life was one of total service, love, forgiveness, blessing, and healing. Ask: Given all He did for us, why do you think so many people turned against Him and abused Him so badly? To help answer this question, read 2 Nephi 2:11, 27and Mosiah 3:19, and ask students to come up with their own ideas. Also share the following statement by President Brigham Young:

“Wicked men, Satan, and all the powers of hell and hate are at war with every holy principle that God wishes to place in the possession of his children” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1941], 348–49).

Ask students to read Luke 22:39–42and Luke 23:20–25and look for the word will in those verses. Ask students to compare the will of Jesus Christ to the will or desires of the people. Help your students appreciate that Jesus loved all people and chose to atone for everyone’s sins, even though many hated Him and many would never accept the full blessings of the Atonement. Ask:

  • What are some of your righteous desires?

  • What kinds of people seem to oppose your righteous desires?

  • How do you overcome that opposition?

Testify that we can learn how to overcome opposition by following the example of Jesus Christ. Invite students to silently read Luke 22:41–23:25. Ask half the class to look for examples of how Jesus suffered, and ask the other half to look for how Jesus showed love and compassion toward the people. Have them share their discoveries with the class, and discuss how we can better follow the Savior’s example.

Read Alma 42:14–15. Point out how we, like the people who rejected Jesus Christ, also at times hurt Him by choosing sin. Point out that, because of His love for each of us, He atoned for our sins so that we could be reclaimed. Ask: How does that affect how you feel toward our Savior?

Luke 23:13–56 (see also Matthew 27:15–61; Mark 15:6–47; John 18:39–19:42). The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ was part of the Father’s plan of happiness.

(20–25 minutes)

This is an excellent time to allow students to study, ponder, and feel the significance of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Consider playing sacred music and decorating the room in a special way. As the students arrive, assign each of them one of the following people: Barabbas, Simon the Cyrenian, a daughter of Jerusalem, the malefactor on Jesus’ right hand, the malefactor on Jesus’ left hand, a person watching, a ruler, a Roman soldier, the centurion, an acquaintance of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, a woman who prepared the body of Jesus for burial.

Invite students to silently read Luke 23:13–56 and visualize the events from the perspective of the person they were assigned. Tell them to read carefully, concentrate on the message, and ponder its significance. When they finish, discuss their experience, using questions such as these:

  • What perspective were you assigned to consider?

  • What did you learn from reading the story from this person’s perspective?

  • What feelings did you have about the Savior?

  • Which person would you most like to have been that day? Why?

Conclude by singing “I Stand All Amazed” (Hymns, no. 193) and allowing any students who wish to share their testimony to do so.

Luke 24:13–35(see also Mark 16:12–13). The Lord communicates with His children in many different ways.

(40–45 minutes)

Blindfold several students. Display an unfamiliar picture of the Savior, and invite the other students to describe the picture to those with blindfolds. Ask the blindfolded students:

  • How well can you see the picture in your mind?

  • What frustrations do you feel from not being able to use your eyes?

  • What do you think “their eyes were holden” means? (v. 16; they were kept from recognizing Him.)

  • How does the experience of these two men compare to that of the students with blindfolds?

    Invite the students with blindfolds to take them off and read Luke 24:31. Ask:

  • What eventually happened to the eyes of these two men?

  • Do you think this refers to their physical or spiritual eyes? Why?

  • Why is it important for all people to have their “eyes opened” so they can “see” Jesus Christ?

eyes

Draw the accompanying diagram on the board and ask:

  • How can people’s spiritual eyes be opened?

  • In what ways does Heavenly Father communicate truth and understanding to His children?

Tell students that Luke 24lists some of the ways the Lord communicates with His children. Have students read verses 13–35 looking for some of the different ways, and list their findings on the board. These might include personal appearances (see vv. 13–16, 33–52), visitations of angels (see v. 23), a burning in our hearts (see v. 32), enlightenment and joy (see vv. 32, 41), the scriptures (see vv. 32, 44–45), and feelings of peace (see v. 36; see also D&C 6:23). Ask:

  • Which of these ways has Heavenly Father used to communicate with you?

  • How have those experiences helped open your spiritual eyes?

Luke 24:36–48 (Scripture Mastery, Luke 24:36–39; see also Mark 16:14; John 20:19–23). Jesus Christ was the first person to be resurrected.

(20–25 minutes)

Ask students: What do you think is the most glorious message ever given? After discussing some of their answers, teach them that “the resurrection of Jesus is the most glorious of all messages to mankind” (Bible Dictionary, (“resurrection,” 761). Invite them to read the material listed under “resurrection” in the Bible Dictionary to help determine why it is such a glorious doctrine. Ask:

  • When are some times that you think about the Resurrection?

  • What about the Resurrection is most appealing to you?

  • What questions do you have about the Resurrection?

Ask students to read Luke 24:36–48 and look for what these verses teach about resurrected beings, including what resurrected beings are like and what they can do. Testify that Jesus Christ lives and that because of Him each of us will be resurrected. Read 2 Nephi 2:8 and 3 Nephi 11:12–15, and consider singing “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (Hymns, no. 136).