Summary: Here in this drama the we call the Last Supper, the grace of God is demonstrated in a way that was missed by those there, and especialy by one! But we can't afford to miss it today!
Passage: Matthew 26:17-30
Intro: Hindsight is an amazing thing.
1. someone has said “hindsight 20/20
2. but when we can look back, with explanations, we can actually see what is going on better than those who were there!
3. saw last week, great event, with things going on in the physical and spiritual realm.
Il) just an aside. Newest prediction for end of world October, but on May 21st, was a “spiritual judgment day, which places the whole world under Christ’s judgment”
4. news flash!! That took place when Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world!
5. followers of Miller in the 1800s did the same thing when his predictions proved false.
6. God speaks plainly!!! God speaks in such a way that it is clear to more than one guy with a calculator and a vivid imagination. Works in plain sight!
7. we have the awesome privilege of seeing the events of Christ’s passion and understanding what God is doing.
8. and then we can calmly and confidently walk with God through whatever He calls us to be part of.
9. watch for the grace of God
I. The Cost of Grace
1. grace is by definition free.
2. “the undeserved favor of God”
3. means we can’t earn it, deserve it, buy it. For grace to be grace, it has to be free to the recipient.
4. but in order for grace to be free for us, someone has to pay for it
5. we find Jesus and his disciples eating the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
6. this feast was at the end of a terribly bloody day.
7. people would line up at the temple in Jerusalem, holding on to a tethered lamb.
8. that lamb would have it’s throat cut by the priests, who would then convey the blood by bucket brigade to the altar, where it would be poured out.
9. certain parts would be burned, the rest returned to the owner to be eaten during the Passover meal.
10. and through this, they would be reminded that their rescue from the avenging angel of God was accomplished through the shedding of blood.
PP John 1:29
11. “this is my body, which is for you”
12. “this is my blood of the covenant.”
13. grace means that someone has to pay a terrible price. Why?
14. v28, “for the forgiveness of sins”; introduces…
II. The Need for Grace
1. let’s back up a little and notice something earlier in this passage.
2. first words recorded, v21“one of you will betray me”
3. now there was a lot of sin reclining at the table with Jesus.
4. Peter would deny, others would flee and hide, doubt, fear,
5. but one would betray, not just desert but switch sides.
6. the horror of this betrayal stunned the disciples, “very sad” “Who could do such a thing!!??”
7. “Not me”= question that assumes negative answer.
8. Jesus increases the awfulness of the impending act in v23 “one who has dipped his hand…”
9. means “a person who I have eaten with regularly, and am eating with now in this intimate family dinner”
10. it is betrayal at the lowest of levels, turning against a dear friend, someone who has loved you deeply.
Il) it would be like turning your wife over to the police and falsely charging her with a crime that you have actually committed.
11. sin is defined in v24…”God’s plan is moving along, and Jesus is part of it
12. but there are people who resist the plan and purpose of God, who reject the Son of God.
13. are they cursed because they do? Let’s see…
III. The Offer of God’s Grace.
1. where was Judas during the explanation of the connection between Passover and Jesus’ impending crucifixion?
2. no reason to think he was not right there, in the room with the rest.
3. and so when Jesus broke the bread, and when he commanded them to drink the covenantal cup, it was offered to Judas as well.
4. and just like in his denial that he was the betrayer, I believe he took the cup with all the others, deceptively hiding his sinful heart
5. but notice that the offer of grace still stands.
6. V28 Drink of the cup, receive the covenantal cup by faith, be forgiven even for the sin of betrayal you are now involved in.
6. the most amazing thing is this:
7. God’s plan rolls on, and even those in opposition to it find themselves unwilling participants in it.
PP) like an unopposable rock rolling down a hill, picking up everything that stand in its way.
8. Judas’ betrayal was predicted, predictable because Satan will always oppose God.