Our Magnificent Savior

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Matthew 26:1-5 (KJV)  And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,  [2]   Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.   [3]  Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,  [4]  And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.   [5]  But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.

If you knew the day of your death, what would you do?

Several years ago there was a movie called The Bucket List. Two men – one rich and one not – discovered that they were dying of cancer. They knew their days were numbered. Though they didn’t know exactly when they were going to die, they knew they were limited in time, so they made a “Bucket List” of things to do before they “kicked the bucket”. Interestingly enough of all the things on “The Bucket List” no one put “Get right with my Maker”. The Bible tells us:

Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

We all have an appointment with death. We all will die. What if you knew the time of your appointment? What would you do differently? If you knew that your death was going to be horrible, that you were going to be betrayed by a trusted friend, that you would suffer an unimaginable agony before death’s sweet kiss, what would you do?

If you knew you were going to die in flames in a terrible car accident on such and such a day, what would you do? If it were me, I’d avoid driving and highways that day. Wouldn’t you?

If you knew you were going to drown while swimming on such and such a day, would you go to the beach that day, or head toward a desert?

If you knew an assassin would surprise you at a prayer meeting, would you go pray that day?

The truth is, if we knew the day and the manner of our deaths we would probably seek to avoid that day and that manner with everything we had at our disposal.

Jesus Knew The Day And Manner Of His Death

Jesus spent the third day before His death talking to the Pharisees and His disciples. Jesus told His listeners that He was coming again, and spent that third day explaining answering questions like ….

Matthew 24:3 (KJV) …. what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Jesus explained that a Judgment Day was coming, and that He would be the Judge. He spoke of the separation of the believer (the sheep) and the unbeliever (the goats), the believer to the right hand and the unbeliever to the left. Those who are Christ’s are to “go into eternal life” but the rejectors of the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls will “go away into everlasting punishment”.

Matthew 26:1-2 (KJV)  And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,  [2]   Ye know that AFTER TWO DAYS IS THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER,

As Jesus finished His great teachings He said “You know that in two days is the Feast of the Passover”. The disciples knew this. This is why they gathered in Jerusalem. The Passover was a time of celebration, a commemoration of the time that God fought for Israel. Israel was in bondage to Egypt, enslaved, and cried out to God for deliverance. God told Israel to take “a lamb without spot or blemish” (Exodus 12:3-6). The lamb was to be taken on the tenth day of the month, and killed on the fourteenth day of the month. The blood of the lamb was to be placed on the doorposts and the lintel of the house”. God said:

Exodus 12:12-13 (NKJV) For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

When I see the Blood, I will PASS OVER you.

The Judgment of God “PASSED OVER” the home where the Blood was.

After God judged Egypt, and Israel was released, they were to continue this PASS OVER yearly.

Jesus said to His disciples “In two days is the Feast of the Passover”.

You know this.

Yes Lord, we know this.”

And then Jesus blew their minds. He said:

Matthew 26:2 (KJV) … and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

If you or I knew we would die in two days, and knew the nature of our deaths, we would probably try and avoid it at all costs. But Jesus did not. Let us admire Him! Let us adore Him!

Jesus was calm, though He knew He would be BETRAYED Nothing hurts worst than to be BETRAYED. The word translated “betrayed” is the Greek παραδίδωμι paradidōmi which is a compound PARA + DIDOMAI. The word PARAKALEO means “to call alongside”. Paradidōmi means that someone who is alongside of you – a friend – hands you over. Betrayal makes suffering greater. To walk with someone and love someone, then have that person stab you in the back, that intensifies the suffering.

Jesus knew that He would be betrayed.

John 6:70 (ESV) “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”

Judas Iscariot would betray Jesus. Jesus knew this was coming. In fact, the Messiah HAD to be betrayed by a close friend.

Psalm 41:9 (ESV) Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

Jesus knew that He would be betrayed by Judas. But Jesus was not just betrayed by Judas Iscariot, but by ALL His disciples. He just finished telling His disciples that He was going to be crucified. In two days is the Feast of the Passover, and the Son of man will be betrayed to be crucified. Right after this the Bible tells us that:

Matthew 26:6-9 (KJV)  Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,  [7]  There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.   [8]  But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?  [9]  For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

Jesus was invited to eat with Simon the leper, a Pharisee. This was two days before Jesus was to be crucified. A woman came in and took an alabaster box filled with precious ointment. We are told in Mark 14:3 “it was pure and very costly spikenard”, an amber colored oil harvested from a rare flower that grows only in the Himalayas of Nepal, China, and India. Mark tells us that …

Mark 14:3 (NKJV) she BROKE the flask and poured it on His head …

She made a commitment to use all this oil on Jesus. She BROKE the flask. This was her way of honoring Christ, the Lamb of God without spot or blemish. Did the disciples love Jesus enough to appreciate what she did? No. We are told “they had INDIGNATION, saying TO WHAT PURPOSE is this WASTE”. Oh Beloved, anything expended on the Savior is not a waste. No effort, no cost, nothing is too much to give the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. The disciples betrayed Christ even before the Cross, and cloaked their betrayal as many a hypocrite has, saying:

We could have sold that ointment and given the money to the poor!

Oh generous hypocrite, doesn’t Jesus deserve this blessing? Jesus said:

Matthew 26:10-13 (KJV) …. Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon Me.   [11]   For ye have the poor always with you; but Me ye have not always.   [12]   For in that she hath poured this ointment on My body, she did it for My burial.   [13]   Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

Jesus would die horribly in just two days, and this woman was an angel sent from God to minister to Him, to prepare Him for burial. How did the disciples respond? The Bible tells us that after this incident:

Matthew 26:14-15 (KJV)  THEN one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,  [15]  And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I WILL DELIVER HIM unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

An act of genuine love for the Savior became the catalyst by which Judas Iscariot would betray the Lord. Yet Jesus set His gaze forward. He did not fear, nor was He bitter. Jesus knew what was coming, and went anyway.

Jesus was focused and determined, though He knew He would be CRUCIFIED He said:

Matthew 26:2 (KJV) Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be CRUCIFIED.

The worst death imaginable is crucifixion. It is horrible because it is not designed to just kill, but it is designed to mutilate and torture. No Roman Citizen was ever executed by crucifixion.

Roman Citizens could be executed, but their deaths were by the sword, by beheading. Their deaths were swift and as much as is possible, painless. Crucifixion was not painless. It was a death reserved for criminals, for slaves, for the lowest of people.

  • If crucifixion were like the electric chair (which few use today) it would be like the electric chair on it’s lowest setting.
  • If crucifixion were like lethal injection it would be a slow dripping of acid, stripping the veins.

Crucifixion was not designed to be fast. It was designed to be a horrible warning. The crucified was first stripped naked and beaten with whips embedded with sharp bone and broken pottery. The crucified was whipped until ribs showed. Vital organs were avoided, for the executioner wanted death to be slow, painful, bloody. After inflicting as much torture as possible, the one to be crucified carried his own Cross to Golgotha. At the end of the long agonizing journey, beaten like a mule, the convicted was made to lay down upon the Cross as nails were pounded through the hands and feet.

At any point Jesus could have avoided this judgment, for crucifixion is a judgment. Yet Jesus continued to move forward. He did not hide. He did not run from Jerusalem, but continued forward. The night before His crucifixion He knelt in Gethsemane and prayed, falling on His face:

Matthew 26:39 (KJV) …. O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Jesus prayed this prayer three times. “Oh My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me except I drink it, Thy will be done”. Rising up, Jesus had His answer. He told His disciples:

Matthew 26:46 (KJV)   Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

Jesus would be crucified. He knew that He would be crucified. Yet He did not accuse God. He was not bitter. Look at Jesus. Look at Jesus. The Scripture declares

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus did not weep at His coming crucifixion, but went to that Cross with joy in His heart. For Jesus knew that His sacrifice would be the means by which we who believe in Him would be saved.

Jesus Is The Passover

Matthew 26:2 (KJV) Ye know that after two days is the feast of THE Passover, and THE Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

C.H. Spurgeon wrote:

I cannot help reading it like this – “You know that after two days is THE PASSOVER. All other Passovers have been Passovers only in name, Passovers in type, Passovers in emblem, Passovers foreshadowing THE Passover. But after two days is the real Passover, and THE Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

Jesus Christ is THE Passover Who was sacrificed for us. The Scripture says:

1 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV) …. Christ our PASSOVER is sacrificed for us:

The judgment of God “Passed Over” Israel when God saw the Blood, but the Blood of the animal could not permanently cover sin. The Bible says that the Law of God was “a shadow of good things to come”. Christ stood in the light of God. The sacrifices and blood of animals were but a shadow of Christ. If the blood of animals or the works of our hands could save us then once would have been enough. But the Bible says:

Hebrews 10:3-4 (NKJV) But in those sacrifices there is a REMINDER OF SINS every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

We all stand before a Holy God – a THRICE Holy God. We all stand as sinners in need of the Savior. Israel – year after year – came to Jerusalem and carried a lamb without spot or blemish into the Temple. There the priests laid the lambs on the altar, slashed it’s throat, then sprinkled the blood of that lamb on the people.

But no animal can make payment for our sins.

We read earlier:

Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)  And as it is appointed unto men ONCE TO DIE, but AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT: ….

But we didn’t read the next verse. What does verse 28 say?

  [28]  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

All other passovers were but a SHADOW of the Passover of Christ.

In the shadow offerings the lamb was without spot or blemish. Jesus Christ is without spot or blemish.

By man sin entered the world, and death by sin, for all have sinned (Romans 5:12).

Sin did not enter the world because a lamb sinned. Sin did not enter the world because an animal ate the forbidden fruit. Sin entered the world because MAN sinned, and DEATH came by MAN. So what does Jesus say?

Matthew 26:2 (KJV) Ye know that after two days is the feast of THE Passover, and THE SON OF MAN is betrayed to be crucified.

God came and was born once so we can be born again.

God became man, perfect Man, to pay the penalty for our sin.

Jesus is perfect Son of Man.

The Scripture declares:

Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV) For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, YET WITHOUT SIN.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) For {The Father} made HIM WHO KNEW NO SIN to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus challenged the Pharisees to find sin in Him, and they could not.

John 8:46-48 (NASB) WHICH ONE OF YOU CONVICTS ME OF SIN? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.

Jesus Christ went to that Cross, the perfect Lamb of God dying for us. He gave His life on Calvary for you and I. He did so because He loves us so. We should adore Jesus. He is the Only Way unto God as Father. He did not run away from His impending, horrible, painful, shameful death. He ran toward it.

Because He wanted to bring us to God.

The Devil And The Unbeliever Could Not Stop Him

Once more I want to read our text:

Matthew 26:2 (KJV) Ye know that after two days IS THE FEAST of THE Passover, and THE SON OF MAN is betrayed TO BE CRUCIFIED.

The Devil had incited the Pharisees to kill Jesus before. I’m told that they plotted to or tried to kill Jesus 27 times prior to His crucifixion. I’m not sure of that count, but it sounds about right. Time after time they plotted to kill Jesus. In our text today we read:

Matthew 26:3-5 (KJV) … Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,  [4]  And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.   [5]  But they said, NOT ON THE FEAST DAY, lest there be an uproar among the people.

The Conspirators gathered together in the Palace and, led by Satan, planned on killing Jesus by stealth. “Let’s do it quietly. Let’s kill Him, but NOT ON THE FEAST DAY, lest there be an uproar among the people”. This was the Devil’s plan. Keep it quiet. Don’t do it on the Passover. Make it like a random murder, something that the CSI team can’t figure out. Let’s sneak about and kill Jesus, and sweep Him into the dustbin of history.

But God was in control.

God is always in control.

Not on the Feast Day” said the Pharisees.

On the Feast Day” said the Father.

Keep it quiet” said the Pharisees.

Parade Him Before the Governor” said God.

Hide Him between two thieves” said the Pharisees.

Put KING OF THE JEWS above His head” said God.

Everything the devil did, God undid.

Everything the Pharisees plotted in secret, God shouted from the rooftops.

Perhaps the devil whispers to you now. “You are as good as any. You don’t need Jesus”. The devil is half right. You are “as good as any” but that’s no good before God. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. Jesus Christ took your penalty so that you do not have to face judgment alone.

1 Peter 3:18 (NKJV) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

Adrian Rogers tells the following illustration:

I remember reading a story about a wealthy Roman who had a lavish estate, and he had a servant named Marcellus. When the wealthy Roman died, he wrote his will and left everything to his slave. The wealthy Roman also had a son, and for some reason he had had a disagreement with him, so in his will he said, “I have left my entire estate to my slave Marcellus. To my son, I leave him only one thing. He can choose any one thing from my estate he wants, but that’s all.” The son said, “Very well, I choose Marcellus.”

I choose Jesus. If you choose Jesus, you gain Heaven. If you choose the world, you lose it all, even Heaven. Choose Jesus.

Jesus died for you. He died for me. He died that we might – receiving Him as Lord and Savior – we might have life. Have you received Him? If not, may today be the day you choose to follow Him. May God touch your hearts by His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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