Palm Sunday, Easter, and Resurrection Sunday are quickly approaching! It’s an amazing time of year when believers can come together and celebrate Jesus’ love for us, but it’s also much deeper than that. It’s important to reflect not only Jesus’ sacrifice, but also his resurrection and the powerful meaning behind the Last Supper, Palm Sunday, and the Transfiguration.
We cover all of that in our NEWEST DVD RELEASE and we want to celebrate it by sending you a FREE teaching session (link below!) from The Last Days of Jesus DVD Bible Study (Deeper Connections Series). Your teacher Dr. Matt Williams covers the passage in Matthew 16 and answers these common and puzzling questions to help us dig deeper into Jesus’ last days:
- What does “binding and loosing” mean?
- Did you know the “Gates of Hell” was a real place?
- Why did Jesus instruct others not to tell about him?
- What did Jesus mean when he said “Get behind me, satan”?
It’s perfect to share with your Bible study, small group, congregation, and friends! Imagine having expert and easy-to-understand Bible teaching from the top minds in New Testament study across the country.
How Experts Study the Bible
We sat down with the teacher of the session, Dr. Matt Williams, associate professor of New Testament at Talbot Theological Seminary (Biola University), to get insight on how this teaching series was inspired as well as some expert Bible study advice…
Q: When you started creating the Last Days of Jesus series who did you have in mind? Who is this series for?
Up until about ten years ago, Bible scholars mostly wrote for other Bible scholars, rather than for the church. In creating these Bible studies, I wanted to take the knowledge that we Bible scholars know and deliver it directly to the church in a creative and understandable way. So, my audience is those in the church who are looking for a better understanding of the Bible, and how to apply to our own lives today. The series is taught by six of the better New Testament Bible scholars who also can teach the material in an interesting way. We also taught these Bible studies in visually creative ways, in order to help us understand the text better. So, the resurrection is taught from a cemetery, the triumphal entry is taught from a ranch, with a large victorious horse in the background, etc. I have used these studies with success from Junior High age all the way up to adults in their 80s.
Q: Why is it so important to study the Bible in the 3 contexts the series teaches (historical, biblical, and modern)?
It is important to study the Bible in its historical context of the first century because we are 2000 years removed from the biblical text and do not understand its culture. Thus, a good portion of our teaching talks about Jewish backgrounds and how they would have understood Jesus’s teachings and actions in the first century historical and biblical context. We are sometimes naïve to think that we can understand the deeper meaning of the Bible when we do not understand the culture in which it was written. It makes sense to us that we easily misunderstand someone who moves to the USA from Eastern Europe because of the cultural differences, but we forget that the Bible was also written in a different context, and it is important to study that context in order to faithfully interpret the Bible. Part of the reason that each of the studies begins with a four minute introduction from Israel is to allow us to see the biblical, historical context in which Jesus walked and taught.
Once we have done our work to understand the historical and biblical contexts, we can then correctly apply the text to our modern context. So often in the church we apply the Bible incorrectly; so one of the goals of this study was to take a full one-third of the teaching to concentrate on application to our context today. These studies will challenge the way that we live today, just as they challenge Jesus’s listeners in the first century, to follow our King Jesus faithfully.
Q: What do you hope viewers will walk away knowing and feeling from the Last Days of Jesus series?
My hope is that those who use the Last Days of Jesus Bible studies will know the meaning of some of the important texts about Jesus’s life. Since Easter is coming, I think it is important to understand these texts that talk about Jesus’s death and resurrection correctly. Correct knowledge of the Bible leads us closer to our Lord.
In terms of feelings, it is my prayer that we will feel closer to Jesus and more in love with him as a result of these studies. I hope that we feel how utterly good Jesus is—in his coming to earth to teach, live, die and then resurrect from the dead—all for our benefit. He came to give us eternal life: a life that lasts forever, and a life that is filled of purpose, joy, peace, forgiveness and hope in these uncertain days.
We start an incredible guest blog series from Dr. Williams next week on the 3 most common Bible misconceptions, so don’t forget to subscribe!
The Last Days of Jesus Session 1: From Warrior to Servant: Jesus the Messiah
And that moment you’ve been waiting for: for the release of our newest DVD, we’re giving away the first teaching session. You might want to break out your Bible, a notepad, and a pen; this teaching is RICH with insights and background information!
Dr. Matt Williams, Biola University — the associate professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, La Mirada, California. A former missionary to Spain, Matt preaches and teaches at churches throughout the United States and Spain. He is general editor of Colección Teológica Contemporánea, a series of theological books in Spanish, and is the author of two books on the Gospels.
The Last Days Of Jesus DVD-based Bible Study – Deeper Connections Series
While most studies on Jesus’ final week spend most of their efforts laying out the events of Jesus’ final days, this DVD study goes one step further to teach you and your small group or church the deeper connections that are rooted in the New Testament’s first century context and branch out into the twenty-first century applications.
Get an enriched understanding of the power of the gospel with this 6-session DVD study on the last days of Jesus with lessons from the top experts on the New Testament: the Transfiguration, the Last Supper, Palm Sunday, Jesus’ Crucifixion & Resurrection, and more! You don’t have to be an expert to lead this ready-to-use 6-session study. It automatically comes with a free downloadable leader guide and includes everything you need:
- Disc with all 6 sessions
- FREE downloadable leader guide
- Participant guide*
*Additional participant guides may be purchased
Unlike any other Bible study available, this visually stunning DVD series is written and taught by biblical experts — six professors with specialized areas of knowledge, more pictures, and more opportunities to see what Bible places look like today! Each session of this DVD study:
- 25-35 minute session with optional audio reading and a flexible structure design to facilitate group discussion
- Begins with a short guided walkthrough of the places Jesus walked to help you experience the historical context like never before. Journey to relevant locations in Israel as you dive deeper into well-known Bible passages.
- Enjoy getting easy-to-understand commentary from top professors and experts from Biola, Wheaton, Talbot, and more!
- Discover incredible historical insights that will deepen your understanding of these familiar stories.