Note: Seek the help of the Spirit as you teach about the last week of the Savior’s life from Matthew 21–28. Remember the Lord’s promise: “The Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith” (D&C 42:14). You may also find the following suggestions helpful:
Students should know and understand the doctrinal principles associated with the Atonement. (Doctrinal help is provided with this lesson.)
Students should have a good understanding of the events that occurred as part of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice. (Refer to the teacher resource manual and student study guide.)
Students should come to feel a deep sense of awe, gratitude, love, and commitment for the Savior and the Father. (See lesson 9 in the video guide, “To This End Was I Born.”)
The following are suggestions on how to use these resources in either a daily or a weekly setting:
Day 1, teach the doctrine using the scriptures, this video guide lesson, and video presentation 7, “Justice and Mercy.” Days 2–4, teach the events using the scriptures, the teacher resource manual, and video presentation 8, “The Sacrament.” Day 5, teach for feelings, using the scriptures, video guide lesson 9, and video presentation 9, “To This End Was I Born.”
Week 1, teach the doctrine using the scriptures, this video guide lesson, and video presentation 7, “Justice and Mercy”; also introduce the events. Between weeks the students should focus on the events. Week 2, teach for feelings, using the scriptures, video guide lesson 9, and video presentation 9, “To This End Was I Born.” Use video presentation 8, “The Sacrament,” when you decide to teach about the sacrament.
To help students better understand the principles of the Atonement and its part in the plan of salvation.
Before the Video
Ask, “How important were the events of the week of the atoning sacrifice (triumphal entry through Resurrection) to the writers of the Gospels?” Write The Last Week on the board. Have your students count the number of pages the Gospels devote to the last week of the Savior’s life.
Matthew 21–28 (18 pages)
Mark 11–16 (11 pages)
Luke 19–24 (13 pages)
John 12–21 (17 pages)
Total: 59 pages
Ask, “What percent of the Gospels and of the New Testament does this represent?” Write these percentages on the board:
Gospels: 33 percent
New Testament: 15 percent
Explain that Jesus lived thirty-three years (a little more than 1700 weeks). Ask students why they think the writers of the Gospels would devote one third of their writings to just one week. Tell them that during the next week they will be studying the events of the Savior’s last week—including how the Atonement fits into the overall plan of salvation.
Doctrinal Outline and Discussion
Using the scriptures cited, make the following points with your students:
God’s work and glory is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Eternal life is God’s life (see D&C 19:10–12; see also John 17:3). It means to live with God and to be like Him.
In order to become like God, we had to leave His presence and prove ourselves worthy of returning to Him (see Abraham 3:24–25).
Because of the Atonement we can return to live with God and be like Him (Matthew 5:48; Romans 8:17).
Using the Video
Show Segment 1
Segment 1 (3:45) contains a brief explanation of the justice of God.
After viewing segment 1, ask students what they learned about the justice of God. List on the board the following characteristics of the Savior:
Unique Nature of Jesus
Son of Mary (Mortal)
Son of Elohim (Divine)
Ask students how the divine characteristics of the Savior make Him different from the rest of mankind.
show segment 2
As students view segment 2 (2:43), suggest they look for ways those unique characteristics helped the Savior satisfy both the justice and mercy of God.
After the Video
Read Alma 42:15 with your students and ask them how the plan of mercy is brought about. (The Savior, through the Atonement, satisfied the demands of justice.) Read Alma 42:25 and discuss why mercy cannot rob justice. What does the Savior expect us to do to qualify for His mercy? (Have faith in Him and His Atonement, and repent of our sins.)