Summary: Jesus exposed the darkness in the hearts of men, but rather than stepping into the light, they decided to snuff out the Light. Summary of the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life w/ focus on 7 sayings on the cross. Link inc. to audio/video, PowerPoint.


Matthew 26

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

The Jewish leaders had become very hostile toward Jesus and His supposed authority, so they took counsel to kill Him.

Matthew 26:1-4

1 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 subtilty, and kill him.

Never forget that it was the religious crowd that had Jesus crucified. It wasn’t the ACLU, terrorists, or some wicked group of Satanists. It was the religious leaders of that day. You could say it was the “Ministerial Alliance.”

There’s a huge difference between being religious and being saved. Organized religion sends people to hell. People get confirmed, sprinkled, baptized, take communion, sing songs, teach classes, pray prayers, have group sessions, discuss, have socials, do community work, play bingo, conduct fundraisers, listen to readings, chant repetitions, dress up, dress down, volunteer, and do all sorts of good things...and then go to hell because they never trusted in Jesus to save them...they trusted in religion and ultimately, in their own religious goodness.

The religious Jews were hypocrites. Their religion had degenerated into power and money. It’s a perversion of what it’s all supposed to be about. Some televangelists still do this today.

“Pharisee” isn’t a bad word. We think of them in a poor light because of what they did to Jesus. But the word literally means ‘separate.’ They were a group who wanted to keep themselves separate from unclean Jews who didn’t want to live for God and keep the law. But they degenerated into a group of self righteous hypocrites. But there were exceptions like Nicodemus [John 3] and Joseph of Arimathea [John 19]. These were Pharisees who were searching for true spiritual religions. Another can be found in Mark 12 [unnamed]. But for the most part they looked good on the outside and were dead on the inside. Lost in religion.

The last person a hypocrite wants to be around is someone who sees right thru Jesus. Look what He said on Thursday just before they decided to arrest and try Him...

Matt. 23:13-33

[8 Woes / serpents and vipers!]

So no wonder they wanted to kill Him...He’s onto them. They can’t feel self righteous anymore! They needed to learn a lesson, but they chose to ignore it—that you cannot reduce Christianity to a list of rules.

Ill.—Jerry Vines tells of preaching in a back woods church in GA. These people had to travel toward town in order to hunt. They actually had a list of rules on a board at the front of the church w/ things on it like, No TV, no makeup, no V necks, no moonshine. Ironically, he said when he arrived all the people, men and women, were out on the porch dippin’ snuff!

Spirituality is inward, not outward.

Jesus exposed their darkness, but rather than stepping into the light, they decided to snuff out the light.

Judas betrays Jesus to them, giving them inside info. about where they can find Him in the garden, and when.

v. 36-38

Gethsemane means oil press—fitting since Jesus is about to be crushed and pressed so the oil of salvation can freely flow to each one of us.

There are mysteries about that night that defy human understanding. But it was there that the victory of the cross was actually won...when Jesus surrendered to the will of God.

v. 38 ‘exceeding sorrowful’ is 1 word in the Greek—meaning to be immersed, surrounded, engulfed by sorrow.

Because of the emotional suffering He was enduring. Rejected by His own, the unbelief of most people, hatred and malice, desertion by some disciples, and so much more. And emotionally He knew what He was facing: injustice, ridicule, public embarrassment and shame. Any of us would be devastated by any one of the above, but He had it all at once. His human side recoiled at these emotional sufferings. Add to this stress the temptations of Satan to not go thru with it.

Add to that His physical suffering. Crucifixion is the worst of tortures. It is to die a thousand His case, He would die innumerable deaths for each one of us.

But His spiritual suffering was the worst.

[show video- ]

v. 39 In that cup was every sin that would ever be committed thru the ages...and He has to become that sin. He was perfect and holy, but chose to take all that upon Himself.

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Jim Graham

commented on Apr 6, 2009

Excellent sermon

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