Summary: Message about how Jesus affirms to His disciples during His arrest that God’s plan was going forth.
The Cross was Always the Plan
August 30, 2009
Me: How many people in here are planners?
You plan everything out, or at least as much as possible.
You plan your work day, your work week, maybe even your work month.
You plan your vacation to the smallest detail, including bathroom stops based on the distance between rest areas.
I’m a planner in some ways and not a planner in others. To look at my office you’d never guess that there are some things I like to plan rather meticulously, even if my plans don’t come to fruition.
But sometimes I’m scrambling by the seat of my pants, and by some miracle, whatever needed to come together came together.
And all I can do is thank God that He allowed it to come together and avoid a disaster.
We: Sometimes we might wonder if life isn’t just random.
We look around and even in spite of our planning, something happens that throws our plans into the garbage disposal.
And if life on earth seems random, what hope is there that anything outside of us is under any sort of divine order?
Can God really have things under control, given not only all the stuff happening on earth, but having to keep all the stars and planets going.
Some people, including famous people like Thomas Jefferson were of the view that God basically started things going, but has no control over what happens on earth.
Just like winding a clock and letting it run on its own, God “wound up” the earth, and is just letting it run, with no desire, no effort, and maybe no power to help us.
Let me ask you, “Where’s the hope in that?”
Well, there really is none, is there?
So how do we know that God’s got it under control when it comes to getting us ready for eternity?
Folks, the good news for us is that God does have it under control. His plan has been in force since before the beginning of time, and that plan is still going strong today.
And the main component of that plan, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, was in place from the very beginning of that plan.
God: In the passage we’re going to look at today, Jesus assures us that not only is a plan in place, but that He would make sure His part would be carried out to the letter.
Matthew 26:47-56 (p. 704) –
47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him." 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him.
50 Jesus replied, "Friend, do what you came for."
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
Note: according to John, this was Peter, and Luke tells us that Jesus immediately healed the servant – even in the midst of this terrible event.
52 "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?"
55 At that time Jesus said to the crowd, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
We could get really down and dirty with this passage in looking at all the details that are in this episode of Jesus’ arrest.
We could talk about the irony of Judas using a sign of love as a tool of betrayal.
We could talk about how once again, Peter jumps in without thinking and nearly blows it – at least for himself by striking out with a sword.
We could talk about how some people feel Jesus’ words about the sword are a teaching against violence and war, and is a statement for pacifism. That’s not my view, by the way…
We could talk about the legions of angels at Jesus’ disposal.
We could talk for weeks about these things. And maybe we’ll touch on some of them in the coming weeks, I don’t know.