Happy Friday, brothers and sisters! Today's passage presents a strong contrast of how extreme stress can be handled: with cowardice or with strength. Let God’s word embolden and encourage you to obey God wherever He leads.

The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate.  It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.

CONNECT

CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ John 19:1-15 ]

1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”

_ What did Pilate do to Jesus in v1?
_ Why did Pilate say he was bringing Jesus out to the crowd in v4? Does this make sense based on his and the soldiers' treatment of Jesus in v2-5?

6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

_ Was Pilate's show enough to satiate the crowd? Why? (v6-7)
_ Jesus knew what was coming, and had already been tortured, yet what was his response to Pilate's questions? (v9-11)


12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

_ What was Pilate's initial action to Jesus' statement? How did his fear of the Jews change this? (v12-13)
_ What tactic did the Jews use throughout this passage? (v6, v8, v12, v15)

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ Jesus remained obedient to God the Father throughout this ordeal, even when He had the opportunity to plead His case to leave. Have there been times you have not been obedient to God while under pressure? Is there any obedience you're struggling with now? Take heart! God strengthened Jesus through torture and can certainly give you strength to endure whatever lies ahead.

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)
_ While Jesus was silent through much of this ordeal, He still took the opportunity to speak truth to Pilate. Who needs to hear God's truth in your life? Be courageous like Jesus!