Summary: We need to look at what we are involved in, what we think and do and say, and ask the question: Did Jesus suffer all of that for this?
Did Jesus Suffer All Of That For This?
Our time together will not be long. We will all probably be most thankful for that before we are through. I don’t know what you thought you came to church for this morning, but God has an agenda for all of us. Let’s read our text for this morning and then we will pray and begin.
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central point of all biblical revelation. I say “point” in the singular because they go together like inhale and exhale. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most foundational and critical truth in Christianity—it is what defines Christianity and differentiates it from every other faith system.
In our passage today, Matthew records a third declaration from Jesus that He is going to suffer many things, be put to death, and then He will rise again. Matthew recorded Jesus predicting His death before in Matthew 16:21, and in Matthew 17:22-23.
The significance of this particular announcement in Matthew 20:17-19, is that Jesus gets much more specific about the nature of those sufferings. He says that “the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him.”
When we combine Matthew’s account here with those found in Mark 10:32-34 and Luke 18:31-34, we get a great amount of detail about what He is specifically going to suffer long before it ever happens. Mark says that, “They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him,” and Luke records it as, “For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon.” That word “mistreated” means to exercise violence and to abuse.
Jesus gives so much detail here, I believe, because He wants His disciples to be somewhat prepared—as much as they can be—for what is to come. Even when He was very young, Jesus knew what His life was about. The King James Version of Luke 2:49 records Jesus as saying, “I must be about my Father’s business.”
Now, we are all familiar with the phony trials, the ridicule, the beard tearing, the spitting, the hitting, the scourging, the beating, the mocking, and the mental and physical abuse that Jesus suffered at the hands of the Sanhedrin and the Roman soldiers. We have read the Gospel records, we have heard the sermons, we have seen the movies. What I want to know is, have we really considered it in its ramifications and applications for us?
What I mean is, when we consider what Jesus knows is going to happen and what He is wiling to endure, do we look at our own lives and juxtapose that with what we do, what we involve ourselves in in our lives. And, do we contrast it with what we cosign in the lives of others?
We can talk a great deal about the strength and focus of Christ’s will and His determination to fulfill the Father’s will for His life no matter what. We have discussed those things. We can talk about the confusion of the disciples and relate that to the confusion we sometimes experience when we sense God saying something to us trough the Scriptures, through circumstances, or through other people. We have discussed those things, too.
What I want us to do today is look at our lives and the people and things that we allow into our lives and answer this question: Did Jesus suffer all of that for this?
There are so many ways we could go with this that I want to reiterate something you have all heard me say before: There is nothing in your life that Jesus Christ has not laid His finger on and said, “This is Mine!”
Did Jesus suffer what He did, not just the night and day in question, but the entire time leading up to those sufferings, did He suffer what He did so that we could be sinful, be disobedient, be willful, refuse to submit, refuse to surrender, allow others to sin against us, and think all of it was somehow okay?
Let me be a little more specific. When I am doing what I know I should not do, when I, say, sit down to watch a movie that uses fornication and blasphemy and violent brutality as entertainment, did Jesus suffer all He did so that I could be entertained like that?
When I am angry and losing my temper and “venting my spleen” at someone, did Jesus suffer what He did so that I could do that?
Every one of us needs to look at the things we choose and that we cosign and ask the question: Did Jesus suffer all of that for this?
We seem quite willing to accept His forgiveness—in advance, sometimes—for the evil that we do. And, make no mistake, when we do something that requires forgiveness, it is evil—all sin is. But, do we really look at Christ’s involvement, His interest in what we choose and allow?