Session 1

Clarity In The Dark

From Overcoming Darkness: Seeing Easter in a New Light

The Big Idea: Knowing who Jesus is starts by letting go of who we think He should be.

The Jews always believed the coming Messiah would overthrow the Romans and build an empire of their own. So when Jesus proclaimed to be this Messiah, the disciples expected Him to rise to the top and become a powerful leader.

As the disciples sat with Jesus at the Passover meal, they listened to Him talk about the kingdom of God and began to argue. Which one would be the greatest in Jesus’ kingdom? Who would have the most power and influence?

But if there’s anything we can learn from Jesus, it’s that He works in ways we would never expect. Rather than establishing an earthly kingdom, Jesus spoke of a heavenly kingdom founded on love and sacrifice. And while His disciples hoped He would come with a sword, Jesus instead chose to care for the poor, forgive His enemies, and ultimately sacrifice His life for others.

In the darkest time in Jesus’ life, the disciples get the clearest picture of Jesus’ character.

In the darkest time in Jesus’ life, the disciples get the clearest picture of Jesus’ character.

Knowing death was near, Jesus didn’t give the disciples a list of instructions for His burial. Instead, He gives them a look inside His heart.

Want to be first in my kingdom? Put others before yourself.

Want to experience greatness? Embrace your weakness.

Want to be like me? Serve each other.

Humble, gentle, loving—that’s who Jesus is. Jesus’ final thoughts for the disciples are personal, not tactical. Because when we know who Jesus is, we can see Him no matter our circumstances.

Darkness was coming for the disciples, just like it will come for us. We can miss Jesus’ presence if we’re expecting Him to meet our expectations. But if we see Him for who He really is, we’ll experience His presence in ways we never imagined.


  • What is one unexpected way Jesus has worked, or is working, in the dark times in your life? How did you respond?

Above right: the southern steps to the temple in Jerusalem, where Jesus spent the last week of His life

Below: the location of the upper room where the disciples shared their last meal with Jesus 

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