Summary: Who Is In Control? Series: Encountering Jesus (through the Gospel of Luke) March 15, 2020 – Brad Bailey
Who Is In Control?
Series: Encountering Jesus (through the Gospel of Luke)
March 15, 2020 – Brad Bailey
Series #62 / Text: Luke 22:47 – 53
Note: The following message was given on the Sunday in which our community began to conclude public services due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The text follows our flow through the Gospel of Luke but includes some reference to the unprecedented change in daily lives and concerns at hand.
Welcome… whether sitting in these chairs or at home.
All are present together…in this same moment.
And that is a quality that we are so thankful for as we enter into the next few weeks in which we gather through our own online portals.
This week…we have begun to face more change to our daily lives and plans than any point in most our lifetimes.
Just a week ago that Italy brought the shocking news that that there would be restrictions on it’s northern provinces… by Tuesday morning expanded to the whole country…and then the recognition of containment spread and spread fast… reaching our own lives…and is still spreading.
My wife and I didn’t expect to start home schooling now…but now have two college student home or on their way home…plus a high school student. I didn’t expect to face greed in relationship to toilet paper…or to embrace the need for “social-distancing”… to be communicating about a shift to live streaming.
Many are facing uncertainty in …travel… various plans… work… financial stability… supplies… and ultimately health.
At such a time we do well to ask: Who is in Control?
It’s timely that in our journey through the Gospel of Luke… we come to a juncture that speaks to that issue.
We have come to the point at which Jesus has entered Jerusalem… and been heralded as the Messiah… Savior. But what Jerusalem represented for him was quite different than what it represented to the people. They presumed he offered to save them from the oppression of the Roman Empire which ruled over them. But there was something so much bigger at hand. What is emerging is the reality that Jesus was the embodiment of The Torah (the revelation of God)…and the temple…the place at which a perfect God and imperfect people can meet)… and the final sacrifice. As he gathered to share the Passover meal with his followers… he said…this meal that remembers God’s provision when judgment had come to Egypt… and would pass over those for whom the blood of a lamb had been placed over their doorway. What was at hand…is that he was now the embodiment of God’s Word….God’s Temple…and God’s provision of a sacrifice.
And this is what is now at hand. The hour had come. One had betrayed him…and they will be coming to take him. So he leaves that Passover meal to enter the garden of Gethsemane joined y his followers.
And to reach back…we read…
Luke 22:41-42 (NIV)
He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.
In that moment we see the essence of the restoration that is at hand.
Humanity had declared it’s independence.
But the truth is that our existence is rooted in the will of God.
In declaring our independence…we were like the state in which people assumed that the sun revolved around the earth. We declared that we were the center… but in truth…the sun is the center…life exists only in it’s alignment to the sun.
In that moment… the culmination of all that Christ represented came to it’s profound conclusion… he accepted the ultimate alignment… he fulfilled that a life was now aligned …and will make that alignment possible again for all who receive and follow him.
Luke 22:45-46 (NIV)
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."
What is he warning about? He is saying that what was coming…they would not be prepared for. They would not be prepared for the conflict… for the forces that were coming to try and take control.
It is this that leads to the central scene we engage today…
While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" 49 When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour--when darkness reigns."