by Paul Kibler

Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Palm Sunday’s Gospel.

Text: Mark 15:1-27 for Palm Sunday, Lectionary Series B


Participants will:

  1. Sense the mystery and significance of Jesus’ suffering and death for their lives.
  2. Be prepared for the glory of Easter Sunday


Small pieces of paper
A cross
Copy of reading for closing devotion
Nails (two for each participant)


Have each person in the group take a small piece of paper. Explain that today’s Bible reading is part of the most important and significant event in all their lives. Allow a moment for reflection. Ask them to think of a one-word confession. It might be something they are struggling with, such as a misunderstanding, anger, impatience or someone they are unable to forgive. Have them write that one word on their paper. Go around the circle and, as each person says his/her word, have him/her tape the paper to the cross.


Read each section and discuss the following questions in small groups.

  1. Mark 15:1-5 With what crimes is Jesus charged?
    Why do you think Jesus remained silent?
  2. Mark 15:6-20 What kind of peer pressure led to Jesus’ death?
    Why did Jesus go through this torture when He could have escaped?
  3. Mark 15:21-32 What do you think would be the best/worst way to die?
    How do you feel about what Jesus has done?
  4. Mark 15:33-41 What do you think was the worst part of Jesus’ dying?
    Why do you think only women are mentioned in verses 40-41?

Discuss these questions with your entire group:

  1. How did Jesus show He was God’s Son even in His death?
  2. Which character do you most identify with in this chapter? Why?
  3. How difficult is it for you to believe that Jesus really died for your sins?
  4. Can you explain to others why Jesus died for them? Is this easy or hard? Why?


(Give each person two nails to hold)

Leader:            God’s plan of eternal life for us involved Jesus’ death. Look at the nails you hold. For Christ they became instruments, instruments of death. Jesus was nailed to the cross for us.

Reader:            Isaiah 53:4-9

Leader:            We can now see beyond the pain of His death because we know the victory Christ brings.

Everyone:        I am the cross. My sins held the dying Christ. The nails I hold remind me of His fearless death. But from His death there is victory, peace and love. I look forward to the joy of Easter. I will celebrate each day the gift of His forgiveness. May I never forget that my salvation centers on Jesus’ death and resurrection.

(Remove the pieces of paper from the cross used earlier in the opening and either burn them or throw them away.)

Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies 19, 1996.

Updated for youthESource in March 2015