Summary: Many people believe nothing is worse than death. But in the experience of Jesus being betrayed, tried and denied, we see that there truly are some things worse than death.
"Some things Worse than Death"
In the minds of most people, death is the worst experience that can happen. Not only physical death is capable of producing the end of what we value or count as precious. We are sometimes willing to say or do anything to avoid the death of what is dear to us.
Jesus was facing death because He loved us, and because people were seeking to avoid the death of what they valued most. People’s actions reveal what they value most. But in their actions to protect what they value, you can see that there are things worse than the death of what you think is most valuable:
I. BLIND HATE IN THE NAME OF GOD (26:57-68).
A. Jesus was put on trial by the Sanhedrin, the highest religious body of Israel. The one desire of this body was to kill Jesus.
B. The Sanhedrin valued most their position, power and control of Jewish religious society. Jesus threatened that with His message of grace, mercy and love. They hid behind their religious words and deeds to enrich themselves.
C. When Jesus told the truth about who He was, their hate boiled over (26:63-68).
D. The frightening thing is that they convinced themselves that they were doing God’s will. Be careful when you believe your hateful, hurtful, destructive attitudes and actions are God’s will. You are on the same course as the Sanhedrin.
E. What is worse? To turn control and credit over to God or to become a hateful, bitter person in your struggle to not yield to God’s will for your life?
II. AVOIDING TRIALS AT ALL COSTS (26:69-75).
A. No one wants to suffer. We all seek to avoid the death of tranquility and ease.
B. Peter had declared he would die with Jesus. But in the face of trials he began to wilt (26:58).
C. Peter valued his personal safety and peace more than his allegiance to Christ.
D. Following Jesus is costly. Many say it is not worth it. It creates a world of trials. It will cost you: (1) Time and energy (2) Criticism in service (3) Financially from a worldly point of view - tithing may mean doing without some desires but will reap God’s blessings in ways you cannot imagine.
E. What are you left with when you avoid difficulty at all costs like Peter - bitter despair (26:75).
III. CHOOSING AN IMITATION OF LIFE OVER REAL LIFE (27:3-10).
A. Judas sought to avoid the death of personal safety and desired monetary gain. He had sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
B. Judas chose an imitation of what life is--safety, money, favor with people of power--over real life. He wanted abundant life but not if it would be costly.
C. Our choices have lasting consequences--Judas could not take back what he did. We cannot undo the wasted years and opportunities.
D. Judas died a broken man because he chose a cheap imitation for life over the One who can give life worth living, life eternal!
Today, choose a costly faith that results in Real Life!!!! Let Jesus control your life! You will never regret it!