Summary: Jesus will be the Passover Lamb! The ANNOUNCING of the cross, the ARRANGING of the cross, the ANOINTING for the cross. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, and PowerPoint Template.

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Getting Ready for the Cross

Matthew 26:1-13

I. The Announcing of the Cross – by Christ

v. 1-2 Jesus tells His disciples that He will be crucified in 2 days at the Passover Feast. It was a lamb that was killed at the first Passover when God delivered His people from slavery in Egypt. A perfect lamb was killed and its blood was applied to the sides and the top of the wood of the door frame, forming a cross. And when the death angel approached he would ‘pass over’ those homes where he saw the blood applied.

Every year thereafter the Jews would celebrate Passover and sacrifice another spotless lamb...but this year it would be the sinless, spotless, perfect Lamb of God, Who came to take away the sins of the world.

He would die a volunteer. He would give His life. No one would take His life from Him, and even death would not be able to hold His life down for long! But evil men had their own plan to kill Jesus. And in the end they thought they had done just that...but you can’t keep the God Man down!

II. The Arranging of the Cross – by men

v. 3-5 Perhaps 2-3 million had gathered in Jerusalem for the feast, and many were fans of Jesus. Many were from Galilee where He was very popular. Many of these had lined the streets just a few days before singing His praises as He rode into town. So these religious leaders said, let’s not cause an uproar, let’s wait ‘til after the Passover when all these people go home. But you can’t foil the plans of God. He’s still in full control even when circumstances seem they couldn’t be any worse. And God is orchestrating everything according to His plan, and indeed, Jesus is right, He’s going to be crucified at Passover in 2 days.

III. The Anointing for the Cross – by Mary

A. A lovely act.

v. 6-7 This happened at Bethany, a retreat spot where Jesus sometimes went to rest or get away from it all. It seems that Christ spent His days that final week in Jerusalem and His nights in Bethany. Simon was likely a leper that Jesus had healed, and he’s putting on a dinner. This Mary is a deeply spiritual woman that we always find at the feet of Jesus when we hear about her.

It was a custom in those days to anoint a special guest with just a few drops of ointment or perfume on their head and feet. It was an act of courteous kindness. Hers was a precious ointment that the gospel of John indicates was worth a full year’s wages. She uses not a few drops, but pours the entire contents out lavishly.

Great Christians have appeared in all ages, and they have one thing in common – they live their lives w/ a reckless abandon when it comes to expressing their love for Jesus. They sacrifice to such a degree that they are sometimes criticized for it.

Ill.—you see some face painter going overboard at a football game and you say, “that’s great, they’re a fan!” But you see someone get excited about Jesus and say, “good night, they’re a fanatic.”

Ill.—it’s like our deer hunters...they approach their hobby w/ a reckless abandon. They spare no expense. You have to have the right gun, clothes, truck, camper, the deer tags, and you can’t go out there w/out a scent so genuine that you probably collected the sample from Bambi herself! They’ll spend big money, but no matter, you gotta get that deer! Some of the guys wanted to take me one year, and I know about 4 o’clock, I see it every afternoon...but they introduced me to another one I never knew about! But no matter, you gotta get that deer. You’ll hike for miles, refrain from speaking, eat grubs and worms, but it’s all for such a great cause!! Rain, snow, freezing temperatures...these all pale in comparison to the prize that may be won by day’s end!

I’m not criticizing you if you choose this odd way to unwind! I’m saying, would to God we could get so excited about serving Him, not in drudgery, out of duty, but w/ the same reckless abandon.

B. A lowly attack.

v. 8-9 This sounds more like something the Pharisees would usually say, but it was His own disciples, the ones who were supposed to love Him supremely. How did they get such a warped perspective?

John 12 reveals Judas was behind this selfish attitude. There’s a few in every crowd, and you cannot listen to them. They are faultfinders, who look for what’s wrong in everything, not what’s right. They are the chief critics, and feel it is their calling to throw cold water on the fires of others. At the heart of their problem is the fact that they don’t want to get serious about serving Jesus, and they don’t want you to either. They never intend to give their very best to Jesus, and they don’t want you to do it either, because it makes them feel badly about themselves, and it puts them under conviction.

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