Bible Study Notes (9-8-08)

by

Matthew 26:1-35

 

So… before I begin. Let me use this illustration to show you how very well I can convey what follows. I am a spastic ape being entrusted to deliver the most delicate, rare, and precious rose from a man to his bride to be. What’s going to get to you will barely be a shadow of what it was. These next few weeks will be like that. What I am going to present to you is THE reason we even have scripture. This part is God’s precious, rare, delicate rose he wishes to give to his bride which is you, Christian. I ask God’s and your forgiveness for my treatment of this. As careful and gentle as I have tried to be, this is a dog’s breakfast compared to how rich and glorious and awesome it really is. That being said…. Forgive me Lord.

 

26:1-5

(Psalm 113)

So we have come to the end of the Olivet Discourse. Jesus teaching ministry was bookended by two discourses. The Sermon on the Mount the the Olivet Discourse. Mt 1-3 introduce Jesus Christ, Mt 4 shows us his induction into ministry. Mt 5 starts it off. Now we are at the end of his teaching ministry. We are at the front porch of the atonement. The porch swing creeks as it sways in the warm wind of coming wrath. Shall we step-up? We’ve been invited.

 

vv 1-2

* We see Jesus know full well, what?

– the betrayal he is to experience

– the type of death he is to die

 

vv 3-5

*v 3: THEN! … THEN! What else can you say about someone who knows what’s going to happen before it is even planned.

 

*v 4&5: This tells us something? They are man-pleasers. Their only concerns are the approval of man, and maintenance of power. They shall retain their power for they are in that position for the sole reason of fulfilling God’s plan and purpose. Realize it or not!

 

Question: Can you recall a time when God used someone without them knowing it? (It could be you!)

 

 

26:6-13

(Psalm 114)

This is the night before the Last Supper.

Compare Jn 12…

Xref: Psalm 51:17, Proverbs 15:8, Psalm  34:18

Her act of humility gives her such honor that Christ COMMANDED this story to be told. My friend, do you see your sin in such a way as this woman did? Do you grieve so much that the Lord Jesus Christ must DIE, must suffer the Father’s wrath for YOUR sins that you weep tears enough to wash the feet of the Saviour? Do you see the things which this world views as priceless as fitting only to offer to the Lord?

Mark tells us it was Judas who was indignant, but he no doubt infected the others with his sin. Jesus rebukes harshly, calling the act “good” or “beautiful” the Gk word “kalos” also imparts not just physical good/beauty, but in the good/beauty in the moral/spiritual realm as well. What she did was not just good/beautiful in action, but good/beautiful at heart.

Jesus also says it was done to prepare him for burial. His sacrifice is fully in His view.

 

26:14-16

(Psalm 115)

Judas, indignant at the graciousness and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ, goes and willfully seeks to betray Jesus. I cannot read this without feeling sick. Note what Judas does not do… he does not name his own price. He says, “Hey. What can I get for him?” He sells out the Lord of all creation for whatever he can get.

 

Zechariah 11:12-13

 

Piper, “Judas Iscariot, the Suicide of Satan, and the Salvation of the World”: 8:23-10:02

 

Now… I pray with every ounce of strength I have that there be not a Judas amongst us. I pray that not a one of us, myself included. EVER! EVER! EVER! EVER! Seek to betray the Son of God for whatever we can get. “What will you give me world if I betray Him?” Can you hear the world answer? “Money! Power! Fame! Sex! Possessions!” O what the world, what Satan offers if you betray God! To Judas, 30 pieces of silver was all he needed. 120 days worth of wages. So… I did some quick math… who here for 120 days or 4 months worth of wages or about $15,000 would be willing to walk away from eternal life? Or would you settle for less? Judas does not apply to those saved. But those who sit and hear the gospel day after day and year after year but reject forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and peace with God for 30 pieces of sliver. You do so because your heart is hard. You love sin more than righteousness. You love self more than God. And I was just like you. I’ll pray that God will change your heart as he changed mine.

 

26:17-19

(Prep)

(Psalm 116)

What if you knew you would be dead by this time tomorrow? What would you do? Would you spend all your money on frivolities since you could not take it with you? Would you spend the whole time partying? Would you spend the time alone in prayer? Well… we have now before us what God Himself did for his last day.

 

Did you know that we can tell the date from this text? Its 14th of Nisan. Sorry. I could not resist.

 

There’s something I’d like to point out. Not since Genesis had God walked amongst man in such a literal way. And before God dies, He wishes to one last time celebrate the first divinely instituted feast with man. The first time the feast was celebrated, God the Father had the first born of Egypt killed to set free His people and show His own glory. This time, God the Father has the ‘firstborn of all creation’ (Col 1:15) killed to set free His people from His own wrath, sin, and death, and to show His glory.

 

We have no record of whose home was open to the Lord for this Passover. And we need not have it. All we need to know is that where the Lord wills go, He shall go. He has sovereignty over all things. In this case, over knowing who is His and who is not.

 

26:20-26

(Revelation of Betrayer)

(Psalm 117)

 

The Passover meal was not like your Thanksgiving supper. This was and is a ritual meal, with as much prayer as potation. I will refrain for the sake of time as going into Paschal Supper ritual details.

 

So here we see the Lord and his apostles set around the table. Based upon Scripture and on Jewish tradition we can say that Jesus sat between two people. John, on his right. And to his left, in a place of honor… who? Please guess… JUDAS! Peter would have been sitting opposite of John.

 

Let me harmonize this section for you.

 

At this point in the meal they would be soon dipping some food, (Paschal lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs wrapped together) into charoseth (a mixture of chopped nuts and apples, wine, and spices). Jesus drops the bomb that someone would betray him. One at that very table. They began to question the Lord as to who it was. “Is it I, Lord?” they all ask. Peter jets Johns attention and asks him to ask. John leans back and whispers to Jesus, “Lord who is it?” Jesus whispers to John, “The one who dips bread into the bowl with me.” Then louder, “The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, asks then, “Is it I, Rabbi?” [Stop! What’s special about what he says. HINT: Compare to what the others said.] Then, Jesus dips the food, hands it to Judas and says, “You have said so.”

 

How long had Judas had to repent, how long did he have his conscience to gnaw at him? Sitting at the place of honor next to the Saviour, Christ washing his feet,… John 13:27 tells us, “Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him.”

 

If you have not repented and put your full and complete trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour I tell you now that as you sit under this or any teaching and heed it not, as you breath each sweet breath of God given air and thank Him not, as you enjoy friends and family and glorify Him not, that as you engage in any of that you practice unrepentance to the point where you shall be fully and completely unable to ever EVER have Christ as Saviour. I find no better illustration of this than from the number two best selling book of all time Pilgrim’s Progress (edited for modern language, you may thank me later):

 

“Now,” said Christian, “let me go on my way.” “No, stay,” said the Interpreter, “till I have shown you a little more, and after that you will go on your way.” So he took him by the hand again, and led him into a very dark room, where there sat a man in an iron cage.

 

 Now the man, looking at him, seemed very sad; he sat with his eyes looking down to the ground, his hands folded together, and he sighed as if his heart were broken. Then Christian said, “What does this mean?” So the Interpreter had him talk with the man.

 

 

 Then said Christian to the man, “What are you?” The man answered, “I am what I was not before.”

 

 CHRISTIAN:  What were you before?

 

 THE MAN:  The man said, I was once a good and flourishing “believer”, Luke 8:13, both in my own eyes, and also in the eyes of others: I once was, as I thought, good for the celestial city, and had then even joy at the thoughts that I should get there.

 

 CHRISTIAN:  Well, but what are you now?

 

 THE MAN:  I am now a man of despair, and am trapped in it, as in this iron cage. I cannot get out; Oh now I cannot!

 

 CHRISTIAN:  But how did you get into this condition?

 

 THE MAN:  I left stopped watching and being sober: I followed my lusts; I sinned against the light of the word, and the goodness of God; I have grieved the Spirit, and he is gone; I tempted the devil, and he came to me; I have provoked God to anger, and he has left me: I have so hardened my heart, that I cannot repent.

 

 Then said Christian to the Interpreter, “But is there no hope for a man like this?” “Ask him,” said the Interpreter.

 

 CHRISTIAN:  Then said Christian, Is there no hope, but you must be kept in the iron cage of despair?

 

 THE MAN:  No, none at all.

 

 CHRISTIAN:  Why, the Son of the Blessed is very full of pity.

 

 THE MAN:  I have crucified him again, Heb. 6:6 ; I have despised him, Luke 19:14 ; I have despised his righteousness; I have counted his blood an unholy thing; I have insulted the spirit of grace, Heb. 10:29 : therefore I have shut myself out of all the promises and now there remains to me nothing but threats, dreadful threats, faithful threats of certain judgment and fiery wrath, which will devour me as an enemy.

 

 CHRISTIAN:  How did you bring yourself into this condition?

 

 THE MAN:  For the lusts, pleasures, and profits of this world; promising myself much delight in them: but now every one of those things also bite me, and gnaw me like a burning worm.

 

 CHRISTIAN:  But can’t you now repent and turn?

 

 THE MAN:  God has denied me repentance. His word gives me no encouragement to believe; yes, He himself has shut me up in this iron cage: nor can all the men in the world let me out. Oh eternity! eternity! how shall I understand the misery that I must meet with in eternity?

 

 INTERPRETER:  Then said the Interpreter to Christian, “Make sure you remember this man’s misery, and have it be an everlasting warning to you.”

 

Judas (after harmonizing the other Gospels) left shortly after this, but before what follows.

 

26:26-30

(Institution of Lord’s Supper)

(Psalm 118)

Judas is gone. Satan has left the building. Now, the Lord is left with his own. As he is with them, he sets forth something so important, so deep, it is still practiced today. It is called Eucharist, Communion, Lord’s Supper…

At the beginning Paschal Feast, bread was taken, broken, and set aside as the rest was eaten. Now, that broken half comes back into play. Along with the third cup. This is called the “Cup of Blessing.” It is filled near the end of the meal. At this point the symbolism of these items becomes clear.

 

We were baptized when we came to believe. It is an “official” expression of our life in Christ. Then comes this. It is our continuance. It is, as bread is food for the body, and wine drink for the body, now spiritual food and spiritual drink. Keep what I’m saying clear. This is not mere symbolism. There is something VERY real that happens. The bread does not magically turn into human flesh. The wine does not turn into human blood. BUT! BUT! It is so much more.

 

As they left, they sang a hymn. Perhaps you are wondering why we keep reading those Psalms. Well… I’ll take some conjecture.  The reason is, those Psalms are called the Hallel Psalms. Hallel is Hebrew for “praise.” These are songs of praise to God. The last one is Psalm 118. There is good reason to believe this is what was sung as they left to the garden of Gethsemane.

 

Let’s read it now…

 

26:31-35

(Peter’s Denial Predicted)

Matthew/Mark put this after the Paschal Feast. Luke/John put it during but near the end. They each have reasons for this because of the styles of their historical narrative and their respective organizations, nevertheless near to Gethsemane Jesus warns Peter. While the words earlier were meant to those with hard hearts who follow Christ, wear the name of Christ, but are truly, inwardly of Satan. These words, come to those who follow Christ, wear the name of Christ, and are of Christ.

 

First, before he was left without any comfort, he comforts the apostles. They will run. Its been prophesied and there is nothing they can do to stop it.

 

Second, Peter’s reaction. V 33…

*pride

*denial of God’s Word

*(more)

 

V 34 (xref Lk 22:31-32)

Wow… to go off on a brief tangent notice this

1) Satan needs permission before he can do ANYTHING! (Job 1:12 and 2:6)

 

2) Christ’s intercession on behalf of Peter. *I* have prayed for you!

-Judas had no such intercession.

 

V35 Peter’s rebuttal. His pride, his ego, even his already acting as he did before…

 

See Mt 16:21-24…

 

 

We’ve arrived at the gates of Gethsemane. Here we stop.

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