Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes -

Part XII: The Postponement Of Messiah's Kingdom
C. The Passion Of The Messiah
1. The Divine Control Of The TIMING Of The Messiah's Passion
(Matthew 26:1-30 et al.)
  1. Introduction
    1. Jesus claimed no man took His life from him, that even His darkest hour was under divine rule, Jn. 10:17f.
    2. There are times when the believer may wonder if events in his life are really under God's control because those events seem to be so difficult and upsetting, much like Christ's sufferings at the cross.
    3. As an encouragement, we examine God's timing control of events leading up to Christ's death as follows:
  2. The Divine Control Of The TIMING Of The Messiah's Passion, Matthew 26:1-30 et al.
    1. Just before Christ's passion, there appeared to be a conflict between the time God wanted Jesus to die on the cross and the time the enemies of Jesus wanted to kill Him, Mtt. 26:1-5:
      1. On Wednesday of Passion Week, the day before they ate the Pascal supper, Jesus predicted that he would be betrayed and crucified after two days, or on Friday, Mtt. 26:2.
      2. From Hoehner's work (Chron. Asps. of Life of Chr., p. 92), we know this meant God wanted Jesus to be crucified as our Passover when the people of Israel sacrificed their Passover lambs, 1 Cor. 5:7.
      3. However, the religious leaders had planned to kill Him after Passover to avoid a reactionary uproar from the people as most of them would have left Jerusalem by then, Bible Know. Com., N.T., p. 81.
    2. Accordingly, the amazing sovereignty of God is seen from the text in moving among the complexities of events surrounding Jesus' closing earthly ministry for God's will to be done (as follows):
      1. As early as Lazarus' death, Judea's rulers wanted to kill Jesus. When Christ had told the 12 He would go there to raise Lazarus, Thomas remarked, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him," John 11:8,11.
      2. However, as far back as that time, God was setting things in order to control the timing of Jesus' death:
        1. By permitting Lazarus to die so He could raise him, Jesus taught Mary and Martha that He was their victory over death, John 11:23-26, 43-44. This deeply affected these women.
        2. As a result, Mary and Martha helped Simon, a former leper, later held a feast in honor of Jesus at which meal Lazarus, the recently raised brother of Mary and Martha, also attended, John 12:1-2.
        3. At this feast, Mary, in deep appreciation of Jesus, anointed His feet with costly perfume, Jn. 12:3.
        4. Judas Iscariot, the pilfering treasurer among the disciples, naturally complained about Mary's not having sold the perfume and donated its proceeds so he could have allegedly fed the poor, Jn. 12:4-6.
        5. Jesus corrected Judas, saying Mary had done well, and Judas, infuriated with Jesus, immediately went out and made a pact with the religious leaders to betray Jesus for hire, Mtt. 26:14-15.
        6. Thus, beginning with allowing Lazarus to die, Jesus arranged events to get Judas Iscariot to move the post-Passover betrayal date of the religious leaders up to an earlier time!
      3. On the other hand, Judas' eagerness to betray Jesus needed to be held in check lest he deliver Jesus up BEFORE Passover, and spoil Jesus' institution of the Lord's Table for the Church. Accordingly, Jesus moved to counter this move and set the betrayal time so he would die on Passover Day, Friday:
        1. After the meal in Bethany, Judas looked for the first opportunity to betray Christ, Mtt. 26:16.
        2. However, Jesus needed to institute the Lord's Table Thursday night, so He had to keep Judas under wraps regarding betraying Him until after that meal to keep the plan of God in order. (1 Cor. 11)
        3. Accordingly, keeping the unsuspecting Judas with Himself along with 8 other disciples, Jesus sent Peter and John ahead to prepare the Passover Supper in a cryptic manner. He told them to follow God's leading as to where to prepare the meal in a way that Judas couldn't discern where it would be so he couldn't tip off the religious rulers before attending the meal, Mtt. 26:17-19 with Lk. 22:7-13.
        4. Then, at the meal, just before instituting the Lord's Table, Jesus exposed Judas' heart; he left so the Lord's Table could be instituted without Judas, but before the betrayal, Jn. 13:21-30; Mtt. 26:25-30.
Lesson: God controlled the terminus ad quo and the terminus ad quem, the time of origin and the final time allowable for Judas to betray Him so as to fulfill prophecy as God's Passover Lamb!

Application: If God controlled events in this darkest hour for Jesus, He controls our darkest hours, too!