Sermon #4 in my series on Passion Week
Day #5(Thursday before the crucifiction)
A Day of betrayal and desertion
Title: "Christ’s Finest Hour: Our Finest Hour"
Text: John 12:23-32
Our Lord & Saviour, Jesus Christ, had spent
most of Tuesday afternoon, all of Wednesday, and
most of Thursday, in Bethany. We do not know
much about what happened on Wednesday, because
the Bible is mostly silent about it. It may be
that the annointing of Jesus for His burial took
place on Tuesday evening(Wednesday, Jewish time),
but it is difficult to be dogmatic about this.
Some of the Gospel writers were not interested
in giving a chronological account of the activi-
ties of Jesus. They were more interested in just
telling the story of His life, and using themes,
such as prayer, or the second coming, to organize
their materials, indifferent to their proper se-
quence. At the home of Simon the leper Jesus
was annointed by Mary of Bethany. Judas was
critical of this suppposed "waste" of expensive
oil, but he wasn’t concerned about the poor. He
only wanted the money for himself. After Jesus
rebuked him, he left and went into Jerusalem to
bargain with the religious leaders to betray Jesus.
The next time we hear of Jesus, it is Thursday
afternoon, our time (at sunset Jewish Friday
began). To their discredit, the disciples were
found arguing about who was going to be greatest.
They all seemed to want first place in Christ’s
coming kingdom. Jesus taught them a lesson on
humility and service to others by using the
object lesson of washing their feet. He identified
Judas as the betrayer, and then Judas departed
again. Jesus warned them that they all would
forsake him. Peter boasted that although all the
others might, he never would. He would go to
death with Jesus. Poor Peter. The rooster didn’t
crow twice until he had denied Jesus three times.
Jesus. Jesus had sent Peter and John into the
city to prepare for Passover. When the time came
to celebrate Passover He took the opportunity to
institute The Lord’s Supper, which would be sym-
bolic of His bruised and broken body, and His
shed blood. He told them that He was going away,
and they became very sad. In John 17, we read
of Christ’s great intercessory prayer, probably
prayed somewhere near Gethsemene. He told His
disciples to love one another as He had loved
them. He headed for Gethsemene, greatly burdened
and in intense agony. There He would sweat, as
it were, great clots of blood. His hour had come.
Jesus often spoke of His hour. He had reference
to His passion, His time of great suffering.
Here are some of the references supporting this
John 2:4-"Woman, what have I to do with thee?
Mine hour is not yet come."
John 7:30-"Then they sought to take Him: but
no man laid hands on Him, because His hour was
not yet come."
John 8:20-"These words spake Jesus in the treasury,
as He taught in the temple: and no man laid hands
on Him, for His hour was not yet come."
John 12:27-"Now is my soul troubled; and what shall
I say? Save me from this hour; but for this hour
I came unto this hour."
Matthew 26:45-"Sleep on now, and take your rest:
behold the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is
betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us
John 12:23-"the hour is come, that the Son of man
should be glorified."
Christ’s greatest hour, His greatest glory, was
the cross. It is there that He paid the price
for the sins of mankind, willingly, and obediently.
John 13:1-"Now before the feast of the Passover,
when Jesus knew that His hour was come that He
should depart out of the world unto the Father,
having loved His own which were in the world,
He loved them unto the end."
Jesus told the hypocritical religious leaders who
came with those who were arresting Him in Geth-
semene-"but this is your hour, and the power of
It was the time when evil would have its way, and
the precious lamb of God would be slain, mocked,
spit upon. But, what Satan thought was Christ’s
greatest defeat, became His greatest victory.
Jesus crushed the serpent’s head on Calvary’s
cross. He was the final Victor.
* I am indebted to the the late Dr. William
Stephens, of Mississippi College, Clinton, for
this sermon idea. I visited in his church one
Sunday, and heard him speak on Your Finest Hour.
He said that our finest hour was when we accept
Jesus and what He did on the cross for our re-
demption from sin. Thank God. He(Jesus) paid
a debt we could not pay. And, by His grace and
mercy we are redeemed. Glory to Him for all