Mark 7–16

New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2002), 63–71


timeline

Introduction

Mark 7–16covers approximately the last year of the Savior’s life, including His final ministries to Galilee, Perea, and Judea. Most of this block, however, deals with the momentous events of the Savior’s last week, including His Atonement, death, and Resurrection.

Prayerfully study Mark 7–16and consider the following principles before preparing your lessons.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • The Life and Teachin gs of Jesus and His Apostles, 96, 141–42, 148, 160, 192–94.

  • “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 Mark 7–16.

Mark 7:1–23(see also Matthew 15:1–20). We become impure by our evil thoughts and actions.

(30–40 minutes)

Before class, make some mud in a bowl, bring a cup that is dirty from use, and write the word defile on the board. Ask students what the word defile means (to make unclean or impure). Invite a boy who holds the priesthood to come to the front of the class and put his hands in the mud. After he does, ask: Would dirty hands make him unworthy to hold the priesthood? Why or why not? Hand the dirty cup to one of the girls and ask: Would drinking from that cup make her unworthy to teach a Primary or Sunday School class?

Have students read Mark 7:1–15, and ask:

  • What did the Pharisees accuse Jesus’ disciples of?

  • How did Jesus answer them?

Be sure students understand that Jesus was not saying that washing hands before eating was not important. He was saying that eating with unwashed hands does not make a person wicked or impure. Have students read footnote 15a and note the Joseph Smith Translation changes. See also the commentary for Matthew 15:2in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles (p. 96).

Have students read Mark 7:17–23and find what truly defiles a person. Then discuss the following questions:

  • What kinds of thoughts and actions make people spiritually unclean? (List answers on the board.)

  • Is it more important to be spiritually clean or physically clean? Why?

  • Which kind of cleanliness do you think is easier to maintain? Why?

Read the following statement by Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“It is not the soil of earth or the grease on a person’s hands that defile him; nor is it the … accumulated perspiration from honest toil, or the body odor resulting from heavy work. One may bathe hourly, perfume oneself often, have hair shampooed frequently, have fingernails manicured daily, and be a master at soft-spoken utterances, and still be as filthy as hell’s cesspools. What defiles is sin, and especially sexual sin” (The Miracle of Forgiveness [1969], 62).

Share also the following statement by Dallin H. Oaks, then president of Brigham Young University:

“The body has defenses to rid itself of unwholesome food. With a few fatal exceptions bad food will only make you sick but do no permanent harm. In contrast, a person who feasts upon filthy stories or pornographic or erotic pictures and literature records them in this marvelous retrieval system we call a brain. The brain won’t vomit back filth. Once recorded, it will always remain subject to recall, flashing its perverted images across your mind and drawing you away from the wholesome things in life” (“Things They’re Saying,” New Era, Feb. 1974, 18).

Read 1 Nephi 15:34. Share your own feelings with your students about becoming and remaining spiritually clean.

Mark 8:1–30(see also Matthew 15:32–16:20). Jesus can heal both physical and spiritual blindness.

(30–40 minutes)

Before class, write in small letters on a piece of paper the proverb There is none so blind as he who will not see. Post the paper on the board and have a student in the back of the classroom attempt to read it. If you have a student who is nearsighted, have her or him try to read it without glasses. Ask students: What is the difference between someone who cannot see and someone who will not see?

Review with your students the story of the feeding of the four thousand (Mark 8:1–9), and then ask:

  • What did the Pharisees do soon after Jesus miraculously fed the four thousand? (see vv. 11–12).

  • What sort of blindness did the Pharisees have?

  • What sort of blindness did the disciples show in the ship? (see vv. 13–21).

  • Even though both showed spiritual blindness, who was more blind—the disciples or the Pharisees?

Have your students review verses 22–26 (see also the teaching suggestion for Mark 8:22–26 below). Ask: How might people suffer from different degrees of spiritual blindness? Read verses 27–30.

  • What did Peter testify of?

  • How is he a good example of one who could see spiritually?

Read verses 31–33 and discuss how even Peter didn’t see everything clearly (see also the teaching suggestion for Matthew 16:15–19, pp. 42–43).

  • What did Peter wish to prevent?

  • What did he not understand or “see”?

Read verses 34–38 to your students. Share your testimony that the Savior can heal spiritual blindness just as He can heal physical blindness, but only if we have the desire to see.

Mark 8:22–26. The manner in which Jesus Christ performed His miracles can teach us valuable lessons.

(10–15 minutes)

Have students review the miracles the Savior performed as recorded in Mark 6:54–56and 7:31–37. Then have them read Mark 8:22–26, and ask:

  • How was this healing different from the others?

  • What lesson can we learn from the fact that this man was not completely healed at first?

Invite students to listen to the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie looking for how they can apply it in their lives:

“This miracle is unique; it is the only recorded instance in which Jesus healed a person by stages. It may be that our Lord followed this course to strengthen the weak but growing faith of the blind man. It would appear that the successive instances of physical contact with Jesus had the effect of adding hope, assurance, and faith to the sightless one. …

“Certainly the manner in which this healing took place teaches that men should seek the Lord’s healing grace with all their strength and faith, though such is sufficient for a partial cure only, following the receipt of which, however, they may then gain the added assurance and faith to be made whole and well every whit. Men also are often healed of their spiritual maladies by degrees, step by step as they get their lives in harmony with the plans and purposes of Deity” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:379–80).

Mark 9:14–29(see also Matthew 17:14–21; Luke 9:37–43). Fasting as a companion to prayer can increase our spirituality and faith.

(20–25 minutes)

Invite your students to turn to “faith” in the (Bible Dictionary (p. 669). Read the definition with them. Invite them to select four or five key ideas from the definition, and write them on the board.

Read Mark 9:14–29 and discuss some of the following questions:

  • What elements vital to the development of faith are demonstrated in this story?

  • What did the disciples lack at the time that made it so they could not cast out the “dumb spirit”? (see vv. 18, 28–29).

  • What effect does fasting and prayer have on faith?

  • What do you think the father meant by his statement in verse 24?

Elder Bruce R. McConkie said:

“By faith all things are possible; nothing is too hard for the Lord. No sickness is too severe, no disease too disabling, no plague too destructive to be cured by the power that is faith. Whether in life or in death nothing is withheld from those who abide the law of faith which entitles them to receive it. But in practice, even among the most righteous mortals, faith or power is enjoyed in varying degrees, and some maladies require the exercise of greater healing power than others” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:409).

Elder James E. Talmage said:

“Fasting, when practiced in prudence, and genuine prayer are conducive to the development of faith with its accompanying power for good. Individual application of this principle may be made with profit. Have you some besetting weakness, some sinful indulgence that you have vainly tried to overcome? Like the malignant demon that Christ rebuked in the boy, your sin may be of a kind that goeth out only through prayer and fasting” (Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. [1916], 395).

Bear your testimony of how fasting and prayer increase faith. If time permits consider reading Alma 32:26–37with your students and discussing what is taught there about increasing our faith.

Mark 9:33–37(see also Matthew 18:1–5; Luke 9:46–48). Those who are humble, obedient, and willing to serve others are the greatest in the eyes of God.

(25–35 minutes)

Put the following words on the board: General Authority, stake president, bishop, teacher, librarian. Ask students which of these positions most people consider the greatest. Why? Have them read Mark 9:33–35.

  • How did Jesus answer the question of who is the greatest?

  • What does it mean that the greatest should be the “servant of all”?

  • Which of the positions listed on the board could involve being the servant of all? (Any of them could and all of them should.)

  • How did Jesus demonstrate this principle in His life?

Christ and the children

Show a picture of Jesus with the little children like the one shown here. Have students read Mark 9:36–37, and discuss some of the following questions.

  • What do you think Jesus was teaching His disciples by taking the child in His arms?

  • What does it mean to “receive” a child in Christ’s name? (see the Joseph Smith Translation changes in Mark 9:37 footnote a).

  • Why do you think some people today refuse to serve those they think are not as important or as good as themselves?

  • How did Jesus feel about serving others, especially children? (see Mark 10:13–14).

Read Matthew’s account of the same event in Matthew 18:1–6.

  • What does the Matthew account say we must do besides be willing to receive little children?

  • How might being converted and humbling ourselves as a little child make us better able to serve others? (see Mosiah 3:19).

  • How could becoming as a little child help us become great in the kingdom of heaven?

Share the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“True greatness in the Lord’s earthly kingdom is measured, not by positions held, not by pre-eminence attained, not by honors bestowed by mortals, but by intrinsic merit and goodness. Those who become as little children and acquire the attributes of godliness for themselves, regardless of the capacity in which they may be called to serve, are the ‘greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:415).

Mark 9:43–50(see also Matthew 18:8–9). Are we really supposed to cut off a hand or a foot because of sin?

(20–25 minutes)

Ask students to look at the hand they write with and think of all the things they depend on that hand to do.

  • How difficult would it be to get along without it?

  • Is there anything worth losing your hand for?

Read Mark 9:43–48with your students and discuss the following questions:

  • If you had to lose a hand in this life in order to gain eternal life, would it be worth it?

  • Would it be worth it if you had to lose a foot? an eye?

  • Would it be worth it if it cost you your earthly life?

  • Even though the kingdom of God is worth any sacrifice, do you think God really wants us to cut off our hand if we commit some sin with that hand?

Have students read the Joseph Smith Translation of Mark 9:40–48 in the Bible appendix.

  • What additional meaning does the Joseph Smith Translation give to these verses in Mark?

  • Who does our offending hand represent?

  • Who does our offending foot represent?

  • In verse 42, who might “he that is thy standard” refer to? (People you look up to, those who set an example for you.)

  • Who does our offending eye represent?

  • Who is appointed to “watch over thee to show thee light”?

  • What happens to some people when family members they admire or Church leaders they look to for guidance fall into sin?

Read the Joseph Smith Translation of Mark 9:44–45and ask:

  • What do you think it means to “stand or fall” by yourself?

  • In whom should we put our trust?

Share the following statement by President Heber C. Kimball, a member of the First Presidency, to help answer these questions:

“To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess this personal knowledge or witness will fall. If you have not got the testimony, live right and call upon the Lord and cease not till you obtain it. If you do not you will not stand. …

”The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. …

“If you don’t have it you will not stand; therefore seek for the testimony of Jesus and cleave to it, that when the trying time comes you may not stumble and fall” (Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 3rd ed. [1967], 450).

Mark 10(see also Matthew 19:16–30; 20:20–34; Luke 18:15–43). What we desire reveals what is in our heart and affects what we receive.

(25–30 minutes)

Ask your students to imagine that they were granted a personal interview with the Savior and that they could ask for one blessing. Give them a minute to think about what they would ask for, but caution them not to tell anyone.

On the board write, What is most important to________? Tell students that in a way some people have had that opportunity. Review the following scripture stories in Mark 10with your students and write on the board what seemed most important to the people listed below:

  • Verses 17–22: the rich young man

  • Verses 25–30: Peter

  • Verses 35–41: James and John

  • Verses 46–52: Bartimaeus

  • Verses 32–34: Jesus

Ask:

  • What happened to each of these five people?

  • Which desires are more eternally rewarding than others?

  • What do these stories teach us about the effect our desires have on our lives? (see Alma 41:3–7).

Write the word you in the blank on the board and have students answer that question to themselves. Ask them to think about what might happen to them if their desires are good or if they are bad. Ask them to consider what might happen if their desires do not change. Ask: What can we do to make our desires more eternal and Christlike? (see 2 Nephi 31:20; Enos 1:1–6; Moroni 10:32–33).

Mark 11:12(see also Matthew 21:18). Jesus experienced hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain, and temptation, and so knows how to comfort and help us.

(15–20 minutes)

Bring to class some photographs from magazines or newspapers of human suffering (such as famine, loss of loved ones, flood, fire, or war). Ask students if any of them have ever experienced anything like what is depicted in these photographs (for example have they ever been very hungry or suffered a flood or fire). If it isn’t too personal or too difficult, invite them to tell what happened to them. Ask:

  • How does it make you feel to see others suffer as much or more than you have?

  • Would you feel the same if you had never suffered at all?

  • Why do we tend to feel compassion for others if we have experienced some suffering ourselves?

Tell students that in chapter 11 Mark begins his record of the last week of the Savior’s life. Have them read Mark 11:12; John 19:28; Mosiah 3:7; Alma 7:11–13; and D&C 19:15–19and list the kinds of things Jesus suffered. Ask:

  • What do these verses teach us about Jesus?

  • Why did Jesus have to suffer more than we suffer?

  • How would those sufferings make Him a better judge of our lives?

Have your students write on a piece of paper how it makes them feel to know that the Savior willingly suffered all these things for us. If you feel it is appropriate, invite some students to share what they wrote with the class.

Mark 11:12–14, 19–26(see also Matthew 21:18–22). When we pray in faith, Heavenly Father will grant us that which is right and best for us.

(35–45 minutes)

Ask students to name all the miracles of Jesus they can think of, and quickly make a list of them on the board. Then have them read Mark 11:12–14, 19–20looking for how the miracle Jesus performed there is different from all the others. Use the information in the commentary for Mark 11:12–14in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles (p. 142) to help your students understand this destructive miracle. Have students read Mark 11:21–24, and ask: What lesson did Jesus draw from the miracle of the cursing of the fig tree?

Tell the students: Suppose you had a friend who wanted you to help him develop the kind of faith Jesus described in these verses. What advice could you give him? To help your students answer this question, discuss the following as a class:

Elder James E. Talmage said:

“Though within the reach of all who diligently strive to gain it, faith is nevertheless a divine gift. As is fitting for so priceless a pearl, it is given to those only who show by their sincerity that they are worthy of it, and who give promise of abiding by its dictates. … No compulsion is used in bringing men to a knowledge of God; yet, as fast as we open our hearts to the influences of righteousness, the faith that leads to life eternal will be given us of our Father” (The Articles of Faith, 107).

Ask: What must we do after faith has been given? (Continue to nourish our faith by study, prayer, and obedience; see Mark 9:23–24; Romans 10:17; 2 Nephi 31:20; Alma 32:28–37; Helaman 10:4–5.)

The Prophet Joseph Smith said:

“Faith comes by hearing the word of God, through the testimony of the servants of God; that testimony is always attended by the Spirit of prophecy and revelation” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 148).

Have students write their feelings about faith on a piece of paper. Invite some students to share what they wrote.

Mark 11:15–18(see also Matthew 21:12–16; Luke 19:45–48). The house of the Lord is a sacred place and should be treated with reverence.

(30–45 minutes)

Show students a picture of a temple, preferably the one closest to your area, and ask:

  • Who of you has visited any of the Church’s temples?

  • What was it like to walk around the temple grounds?

  • How would you feel if there were booths on the temple grounds selling clothing, food, and souvenirs?

  • What would merchandising do to the spirit and reverence of the temple?

Read Mark 11:15–17. Point out that this is the second time that Jesus cleansed the temple. Have them read about the first time in John 2:13–17and compare it to the account in Mark. You may want to share with students this statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“Near the beginning of his public ministry, at the time of the Passover, Jesus gained general attention by driving from the temple those who made merchandise in his Father’s house. Now, during the last week of his mortal ministry, quoting what he himself as the Lord Jehovah had said through Isaiah (Isa. 56:7), ‘Mine house shall be called an house of prayer,’ he again exercised his divine prerogative to cleanse that which was both his and his Father’s” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:584–85; see also “Points to Ponder” in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, p. 143).

Ask: Why are respect and reverence important in all our sacred buildings? Share the following statement by Elder Boyd K. Packer:

“When we meet to learn the doctrines of the gospel, it should be in a spirit of reverence. It is about reverence and how it relates to revelation that I wish to speak.

“Inspiration comes more easily in peaceful settings. Such words as quiet, still, peaceable, Comforter abound in the scriptures: ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10; italics added). And the promise, ‘You shall receive my Spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which shall teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom’ (D&C 36:2; italics added). …

“Irreverent conduct in our chapels is worthy of a reminder, if not reproof. Leaders should teach that reverence invites revelation” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 27–28; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 21–22).

Have students read Matthew 21:12–16and find what happened after Jesus cleansed the temple. Use the following statement from Elder James E. Talmage for help:

“His wrath of indignation was followed by the calmness of gentle ministry; there in the cleared courts of His house, blind and lame folk came limping and groping about Him, and He healed them. The anger of the chief priests and scribes was raging against Him; but it was impotent. They had decreed His death, and had made repeated efforts to take Him, and there He sat within the very area over which they claimed supreme jurisdiction, and they were afraid to touch Him because of the common people, … ‘for all the people were very attentive to hear him.’” (Jesus the Christ, 528–29).

Show students the accompanying picture (a full-sized version is included in the appendix, p. 305). Ask:

  • What do these pictures have in common?

  • How is cleansing the temple like healing the body of physical sicknesses?

  • How is it like healing our spiritual sicknesses? (see 1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 6:19).

Read Moroni 10:32–33with your students and encourage them to “come unto Christ” and ask Him to cleanse them just as He cleansed the temple in Jerusalem.

Mark 12:41–44(see also Luke 21:1–4). To become like Christ, we must learn to sacrifice.

(20–25 minutes)

Ask your students to imagine that it is their birthday and that two of their friends each give them a present. One gives them $20 and the other gives them a present worth less than $2.

  • Which gift would impress you most?

  • Would it make a difference if the person who gave you $20 was so wealthy that $20 was no sacrifice at all?

  • Would it make a difference if the person who gave you the $2 present was so poor that this person had to skip lunches and save for weeks to be able to afford it?

  • Which friend really gave the most?

Read Mark 12:41–44. Point out that the coin called here a “mite” was the smallest piece of money in use at the time. Ask:

  • How are these verses like the story of the two friends?

  • Who did Jesus say gave the most, the “many that were rich” or the poor widow?

Share the following statement by Elder James E. Talmage:

“In the accounts kept by the recording angels, figured out according to the arithmetic of heaven, entries are made in terms of quality rather than of quantity, and values are determined on the basis of capability and intent. The rich gave much yet kept back more; the widow’s gift was her all. It was not the smallness of her offering that made it especially acceptable, but the spirit of sacrifice and devout intent with which she gave. On the books of the heavenly accountants that widow’s contribution was entered as a munificent gift, surpassing in worth the largess of kings. ‘For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not’ [2 Corinthians 8:12]” (Jesus the Christ, 561–62).

Discuss with students how the message of the story of the widow’s mite could be applied to the gifts we give to the Lord today. To help your students understand the importance of sacrifice, discuss the following questions:

  • The Lord could certainly accomplish His purposes without the money we give in offerings. Why does He require us to sacrifice to help build the kingdom?

  • How does your sacrifice help the kingdom?

  • What does your sacrifice do for you?

  • What does sacrifice have to do with faith in the Lord?

Conclude with the following statement from Lectures on Faith, compiled under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith:

“A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life” (Lectures on Faith, 69).

Mark 13 (see also Matthew 24; Luke 12:37–48; 17:20–37; 21:5–36). Jesus taught His disciples about the last days and His Second Coming.

(5–10 minutes)

This part of Mark’s account is recorded in greater detail in Matthew 24 and especially in the Joseph Smith Translation version in the Pearl of Great Price (see Joseph Smith—Matthew). If you taught this material in Matthew, consider briefly reminding students of what they learned and going on to Mark 14.

Mark 14(see also Matthew 26; Luke 22; John 18:1–27). Mark adds details to our understanding of Gethsemane, the arrest, and the trials.

(25–35 minutes)

Mark provides a few details about Christ’s suffering prior to His Crucifixion that are not mentioned in the other Gospel accounts. Begin by briefly reviewing the story line of Mark 14:10–31. Have students read the Joseph Smith Translation of Mark 14:36–38, and ask:

  • What were the disciples thinking and feeling as they went to Gethsemane?

  • What did the Savior do about their complaints and questions?

  • Why do you think He took Peter, James, and John apart from the others and rebuked only them?

  • What other experience did only Peter, James, and John have with the Savior that should have prepared them for this night? (see Matthew 17:1–13; Mark 9:2–13).

Mark 14:46–52contains another unique detail and an opportunity for a little detective work. Read those verses with your students and tell them that only Mark mentions the young man who followed after Jesus was arrested. Mark does not tell us who the young man is, but the Joseph Smith Translation tells us that the young man was a disciple (see JST, Mark 14:51). Ask: Since the other disciples “all forsook him, and fled” (v. 50), but Mark knows of this event, who might that young man have been? (It is likely that it was Mark himself.)

Mark 14also contains a clarification of what happened when Jesus was tried before Caiaphas. Have students compare Mark 14:55–64with Matthew 26:59–66, and discuss the following questions:

  • With all the false witnesses brought to testify against Jesus, why were the chief priests unable to find any “that could accuse him”? (see Matthew 26:60–61; Mark 14:57–59).

  • How does that help us understand why the high priest demanded that Jesus testify against Himself?

Compare the Savior’s answer to the high priest in each account (see Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62). How does Mark’s version help you better understand what Jesus testified about Himself? Because of Jesus’ testimony, the Jews accused Him of blasphemy, which is claiming for oneself godlike powers or attributes.

  • Why do you think they did not even consider that Jesus was telling the truth?

  • Why was Jesus the only person in the room who could not be guilty of blasphemy?

Mark 15(see also Matthew 27:1–61; Luke 23; John 18:28–19:42). Mark’s account gives additional insight into Christ’s suffering at the hands of Pilate and on the cross.

(50–65 minutes)

Have students read Mark 15:1–5, and ask:

  • Where did the chief priests take Jesus next?

  • Why did they take Jesus to Pilate if they had already found Him “to be guilty of death”? (Mark 14:64; see John 18:31).

Have students read also Isaiah 53:3–7and find a prophecy of Isaiah that was fulfilled in Mark 15:1–5. Have them compare Matthew 27:15–16with Mark 15:6–7and answer the following questions:

  • What more do we learn in Mark about the kind of man Barabbas was?

  • How do you suppose Jesus felt when the Jews desired that He be crucified and a murderer released in His place?

  • Tell students that the name Barabbas means “son of a father.” What is ironic about the Jews’ choice of a prisoner by that name? (Jesus Christ was the Son of the Father.)

  • Who was the most eager to have the Son of God killed, the Roman who did not believe in God or the Jewish priests who claimed to believe?

  • Why do you think that was so?

Read Mark 15:15–33 with students, helping them find answers to the following questions as you read:

  • What did the Roman soldiers do to Jesus? (see vv. 15–20).

  • What might that tell us about them? (They were supportive of Pilate, they could be cruel, they didn’t know Jesus was the Son of God.)

  • What did the chief priests and the other Jews do to Jesus while He hung on the cross? (see vv. 29–32).

  • What might that tell us about them? (They looked beyond the mark, they let their understanding of the law get in the way of recognizing the Giver of the law.)

  • Do you think the actions of the Romans or the Jews were the most disappointing to Jesus?

  • Read Isaiah 53:9. Can you find a fulfillment of part of this prophecy of Isaiah in anything that happened in Mark 15? (see vv. 27–28).

Draw on the board a chart like “The Last Day of Christ’s Life” found in the appendix (p. 292) but without the labels. Have students search Mark 15:25–37for the following details. Write the times and events on the chart as they find them.

  • About what time was Jesus placed on the cross? (see v. 25).

  • About what time did He allow His body to die? (see vv. 34–37).

  • Tell students that the twelve hours of the day were counted from sunrise to sunset, or from about 6 a.m. on our clock to about 6 p.m. About how long did Jesus suffer on the cross?

  • If you include Jesus’ sufferings in the Garden of Gethsemane, which began the evening before, and His trials, which took the rest of the night and early morning, how long had Jesus been suffering before He died?

Have students turn to the photograph of the Garden Tomb, number 14 in the photographs section of their Bibles. Read Matthew 27:57–61and Isaiah 53:8–9with your students and discuss how Jesus’ death and burial fulfilled prophecy. Have students compare Matthew 27:57–61with Mark 15:42–47. Ask: What more do we learn from Mark about Joseph, Pilate, and the burial of Jesus?

Mark 16(see also Matthew 28; Luke 24; John 20–21). Jesus Christ rose from the dead and thus completed the atoning sacrifice for all mankind.

(15–20 minutes)
cross

Show or draw a cross and ask:

  • Why do most churches consider this the symbol of Christianity?

  • Why don’t we?

Share with them the following statement by Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“I do not wish to give offense to any of my Christian brethren who use the cross on the steeples of their cathedrals and at the altars of their chapels. … But for us, the cross is the symbol of the dying Christ, while our message is a declaration of the living Christ” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 136; or Ensign, May 1975, 92).

Read Mark 16:1–11 and ask:

  • Why do you think the disciples found it so hard to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead?

  • How does the fact that Jesus was the first person ever to be resurrected make their doubts more understandable?

  • What difference would it make if Jesus had not been resurrected?

  • Would you live any differently if you believed that this life was the only existence you would have? Why or why not?

To help answer these questions, read 2 Nephi 9:5–10with your students. Share your testimony of the comfort that comes from knowing that death is not the end.