Summary: The last in a series looking at the life of Christ. This sermon looks at four questions that define Holy Week.
Matthew 26:22-25, 33
Intro.: Who are you?
1. I am told that men and women anser this question in significantly different ways.
2. Women speak in terms of their relationships, their likes, and their dislikes.
3. Men speak in terms of their jobs
4. Questions allow are a primary way to find out information.
5. As we come to the final message in our series on “Who Is This Man Jesus?” we will spent our time looking at four questions that were asked about Jesus during Holy Week. We will move from the Triumphal Entry to the Empty Tomb.
1. The events of Holy Week define Chrsitianity. If they did not happen, then Christianity has no foundation.
2. But if the events of this week did occur, then we had better be listening to what Jesus and the men who wrote the NT had to say.
3. Let me encourage you to spend this week examining the question posed during this Lenten season – Who is this man Jesus Christ?
T.S. We have spent the last six weeks asking “Who is this man Jesus?” During Holy Week a number of others asked questions that will help us answer that question.
I. Question #1 -- Matthew 21:10-11
A. It would be a busy week.
B. And it started out that way. Jesus had sent his disciples out on mission
C. And now he was riding into town on that colt. As he road into Jerusalem there was a question that whispered its way through the crowd, “Who is this?”
(Appl.) It is a question that we must answer for ourselves. We cannot ignore the question. Who is this Jesus? Is he God? Is he just a man? The answers we provide to those questions will have eternal consequences. When you are alone, when no one is looking, when it is just you and God, how do you answer this question: Who is this Jesus?
D. The crowds asked the question, but they also knew the answer. The next verse reminds us that it was the same crowds who answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth.”
(Ill.) A good teacher asks good questions. A good teacher even asks questions that he or she knows the answers to. But this time it was the students asking the questions. And the students knew the answers. The catch was that they did not like the answer. Because if they found the answer they expected to find, it meant that there lives would need to change.
E. They did know the answer – they only needed to respond to it.
II. Question #2 -- Matthew 26:22-25, 33
A. It had been a busy week. Jesus had cleared out the temple. He had a busy teaching schedule with both the disciples and the multitudes being present.
B. Now it was Thursday evening. Jesus had gathered his disciples around him to celebrate the Passover. He had not yet served the bread and wine that began the Communion service that is still a part of the church’s worship – but he had made the most remarkable statement. A statement that probably freightened many of his closest followers: "Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
C. And there is the question – “Is it I?” Is it I?
(Appl.) It wasn’t just Judas that asked the question. It was all of them. Somewhere, deep inside, each knew that they were capable of such an act. Each of the men whom Jesus had called was a broken person capable of betraying their Lord. And they knew it – and so are we.
D. Jesus clarifies the issue, and Judas finally asks, “Is it I?”
E. The rest of the disciples thought they were off the hook. But a short while later he would tell them “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night.” We all remember Peter – but it was not just Peter. They would all turn their backs on Jesus.
III. Question #3 -- Matthew 27:45
A. It is now Friday morning. Jesus has been arrested and put on Trial. Found guilty he was scheduled for execution. And so it was – he is nailed to the cross.
B. And then they all hear it: “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me.”
C. God was so far away. It was the darkest part of Jesus life. God was distant, he was alone.
(Appl.) Jesus was experiencing the loneliness that is common to our lives. Separation – not only from people – but from God as well. It was troubling time for mankind as God hung on the cross. But for Jesus as well, as He, for the first time experienced God’s absence. Interesting, for Jesus it was really true. But for us it is only our feelings. God is always there. God had to abandon His Son - so that He could keep His promise to us.