Bible Study Guides – Calvary

September 17 – 23, 2017

 Key Text

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 741–757; Testimonies, vol. 2, 200–215.


“For transgression of the law of God, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden. Christ, our substitute, was to suffer without the boundaries of Jerusalem. He died outside the gate, where felons and murderers were executed.” The Desire of Ages, 741.



  •  After Pilate had delivered Jesus to the Roman soldiers, what did they do? Matthew 27:27–30.
  • Where did the soldiers take Jesus after humiliating Him? John 19:17; Matthew 27:31.
  • Who else followed them? Luke 23:27.

Note: “Christ, the precious Son of God, was led forth, and the cross was laid upon His shoulders. At every step was left blood which flowed from His wounds. Thronged by an immense crowd of bitter enemies and unfeeling spectators, He is led away to the crucifixion. ‘He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth’ (Isaiah 53:7).” Testimonies, vol. 2, 208.

“A vast multitude followed Jesus from the judgment hall to Calvary. The news of His condemnation had spread throughout Jerusalem, and people of all classes and all ranks flocked toward the place of crucifixion.” The Desire of Ages, 741.



  •  What was Christ’s physical condition after He was flogged the second time? Isaiah 53:4.

Note: “Since the Passover supper with His disciples, He [the Saviour] had taken neither food nor drink. He had agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane in conflict with satanic agencies. He had endured the anguish of the betrayal, and had seen His disciples forsake Him and flee. He had been taken to Annas, then to Caiaphas, and then to Pilate. From Pilate He had been sent to Herod, then sent again to Pilate. From insult to renewed insult, from mockery to mockery, twice tortured by the scourge—all that night there had been scene after scene of a character to try the soul of man to the uttermost. Christ had not failed. He had spoken no word but that tended to glorify God. All through the disgraceful farce of a trial He had borne Himself with firmness and dignity. But when after the second scourging the cross was laid upon Him, human nature could bear no more. He fell fainting beneath the burden.” The Desire of Ages, 742.

  • What accommodation did the soldiers make in order to proceed with their aims and what was the outcome? Matthew 27:32.

Note: “At this time a stranger, Simon a Cyrenian, coming in from the country, meets the throng. He hears the taunts and ribaldry of the crowd; he hears the words contemptuously repeated, Make way for the King of the Jews! He stops in astonishment at the scene; and as he expresses his compassion, they seize him and place the cross upon his shoulders.

“Simon had heard of Jesus. His sons were believers in the Saviour, but he himself was not a disciple. The bearing of the cross to Calvary was a blessing to Simon, and he was ever after grateful for this providence. It led him to take upon himself the cross of Christ from choice, and ever cheerfully stand beneath its burden.” The Desire of Ages, 742.

  • Upon receiving manifestations of human sympathy, what did Jesus prophesy? Luke 23:28–31.



  •  Describe the scene of Calvary and its particularly heart-rending effects upon Jesus’ mother. John 19:25; Mark 15:27, 28.

Note: “Arriving at the place of execution, the prisoners were bound to the instruments of torture. The two thieves wrestled in the hands of those who placed them on the cross; but Jesus made no resistance. The mother of Jesus, supported by John the beloved disciple, had followed the steps of her Son to Calvary. She had seen Him fainting under the burden of the cross, and had longed to place a supporting hand beneath His wounded head, and to bathe that brow which had once been pillowed upon her bosom. But she was not permitted this mournful privilege. With the disciples she still cherished the hope that Jesus would manifest His power, and deliver Himself from His enemies. Again her heart would sink as she recalled the words in which He had foretold the very scenes that were then taking place. As the thieves were bound to the cross, she looked on with agonizing suspense. Would He who had given life to the dead suffer Himself to be crucified? Would the Son of God suffer Himself to be thus cruelly slain? Must she give up her faith that Jesus was the Messiah? Must she witness His shame and sorrow, without even the privilege of ministering to Him in His distress? She saw His hands stretched upon the cross; the hammer and the nails were brought, and as the spikes were driven through the tender flesh, the heart-stricken disciples bore away from the cruel scene the fainting form of the mother of Jesus.” The Desire of Ages, 744.

  • How was the prophecy found in Psalm 22:16–18 fulfilled? John 19:23, 24.

Note: “In the sufferings of Christ upon the cross prophecy was fulfilled. Centuries before the crucifixion, the Saviour had foretold the treatment He was to receive. He said, [Psalm 22:16–18 quoted]. The prophecy concerning His garments was carried out without counsel or interference from the friends or the enemies of the Crucified One. To the soldiers who had placed Him upon the cross, His clothing was given. Christ heard the men’s contention as they parted the garments among them. His tunic was woven throughout without seam, and they said, ‘Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be’ (John 19:24).” The Desire of Ages, 746.



  •  What three-language inscription was placed on the cross by order of Pilate? John 19:19, 20.
  • How did the Jews react to this action of Pilate? John 19: 21, 22.

Note: “This inscription irritated the Jews. In Pilate’s court they had cried, ‘Crucify Him.’ ‘We have no king but Caesar’ (John 19:15). They had declared that whoever should acknowledge any other king was a traitor. Pilate wrote out the sentiment they had expressed. No offense was mentioned, except that Jesus was the King of the Jews. The inscription was a virtual acknowledgment of the allegiance of the Jews to the Roman power. It declared that whoever might claim to be the King of Israel would be judged by them worthy of death. The priests had overreached themselves. When they were plotting the death of Christ, Caiaphas had declared it expedient that one man should die to save the nation. Now their hypocrisy was revealed. In order to destroy Christ, they had been ready to sacrifice even their national existence.

“The priests saw what they had done, and asked Pilate to change the inscription. They said, ‘Write not, The King of the Jews; but that He said, I am King of the Jews.’ But Pilate was angry with himself because of his former weakness, and he thoroughly despised the jealous and artful priests and rulers. He replied coldly, ‘What I have written I have written’ (verses 21, 22).

“A higher power than Pilate or the Jews had directed the placing of that inscription above the head of Jesus. In the providence of God it was to awaken thought, and investigation of the Scriptures. … It was a living truth, transcribed by a hand that God had guided.” The Desire of Ages, 745, 746.

  • For what did Jesus pray while upon the cross? Luke 23:34.

Note: “That prayer of Christ for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner that had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Upon all rests the guilt of crucifying the Son of God. To all, forgiveness is freely offered. ‘Whosoever will’ may have peace with God, and inherit eternal life.” The Desire of Ages, 745.



  •  Name one aspect of the noble example Jesus left for His followers. John 19:26, 27.

Note: “O pitiful, loving Saviour; amid all His physical pain and mental anguish, He had a thoughtful care for His mother! He had no money with which to provide for her comfort; but He was enshrined in the heart of John, and He gave His mother to him as a precious legacy. Thus He provided for her that which she most needed—the tender sympathy of one who loved her because she loved Jesus. And in receiving her as a sacred trust, John was receiving a great blessing. She was a constant reminder of his beloved Master.” The Desire of Ages, 752.

  • What cry did Jesus utter and what was its significance? John 19:30.

Note: “When the loud cry, ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30), came from the lips of Christ, the priests were officiating in the temple. It was the hour of the evening sacrifice. The lamb representing Christ had been brought to be slain. Clothed in his significant and beautiful dress, the priest stood with lifted knife, as did Abraham when he was about to slay his son. With intense interest the people were looking on. But the earth trembles and quakes; for the Lord Himself draws near. With a rending noise the inner veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom by an unseen hand, throwing open to the gaze of the multitude a place once filled with the presence of God. …

“All is terror and confusion. The priest is about to slay the victim; but the knife drops from his nerveless hand, and the lamb escapes. Type has met antitype in the death of God’s Son. The great sacrifice has been made. The way into the holiest is laid open. A new and living way is prepared for all.” The Desire of Ages, 756, 757.



1 How do I respond when I see others in pain and anguish?
2 How can I cultivate forgiveness toward my enemies?
3 What has been my relationship with my parents?
4 How can I carry the cross of Christ?
5 What does the experience of the cross mean to me?

Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.