Tonight we’re studying to what extent God does love us. He “so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that God loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Luke tells us,
Now the feast of unleavened bread drew near, which is called the Passover (22:1).
In the book of Leviticus chapter twenty-three, as Moses explains for us the Jewish feast. We read that on the fourteenth day of the first month, they were to celebrate the feast of Passover. And it was to be a memorial feast by which they commemorated God’s passing through Egypt and slaying the firstborn in order that the Pharaoh might be convinced to allow the children of Israel to leave. And God made provision for the children of Israel that wherever they would place the blood of the Lamb on the lintels of the doorposts of their house, when God passed through and killed the firstborn, where the blood was seen upon the lintels and doorposts, the Lord would pass over that house so that the firstborn would not be slain. Hence the word passover.
On the fifteenth day, that was the fourteenth day of the first month, on the fifteenth day began the feast of unleavened bread. And this was a seven-day feast. The first day of the feast and the last day of the feast were Sabbath days. And they were to be observed as the regular weekly Sabbath day. The passover feast, as were all of the feasts, not only commemorating what God had done, the acknowledgment of God’s goodness and grace, but they were each one of them anticipatory. The feast of the Passover was looking forward, as well as looking backward at the lamb in Egypt, it was also looking forward to the Lamb of God who would be slain for the sins of the world. And thus, Jesus fulfilled the Passover feast.
When Paul was writing to the Colossians in chapter two, speaking of their sabbath days, their new moons, their holidays, he said these all were “a shadow of the things that were going to come; but the real substance is Jesus” (Colossians 2:16,17). These things were a foreshadowing. Jesus is the substance.
And so the feast of unleavened bread was getting close. That began the fifteenth. But the day before was the feast of the Passover and so it was called the feast of the Passover. This whole general time was called the feast of the Passover, though the feast of unleavened bread was worked in with it. So the feast of unleavened bread was getting close which is called the Passover, they’re tied together.
And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill Jesus; but they feared the people (22:2).
They were looking for some way to arrest Jesus and to get Him on the cross before the people really realized what was going on. They were true politicians in the sense that they were very concerned with the opinion of the people. They wanted to remain in office and thus they sought to do their deeds in such a way as not to rile the people. And we read,
Then entered Satan into Judas who was surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered of the twelve (22:3).
John’s gospel tells us that Jesus early on in His ministry said, Have I not chosen twelve of you but one of you is the devil? John also tells us that Jesus knew from the beginning who it was that was going to betray Him. John also tells us that Judas was more or less the treasurer of the group. He paid the bills. And we read that when that woman poured on Jesus that expensive perfume, he said, Why this waste? We could have sold this for a lot of money and given it to the poor. But John said it wasn’t that he was interested in the poor, he was keeping the money and he had been thieving out of it. So he was embezzling the funds. At this point we read that Satan entered into Judas,
And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Jesus unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the crowds (22:4-6).
Going back to the previous chapter in the last couple of verses, “In the daytime Jesus was teaching in the temple; and at night, He went out and stayed at the mount of Olives. And the people came early in the morning to hear Him in the temple” (Luke 21:37,38). So the crowds were listening to Jesus. They would gather early to hear Him. He would come and during the day, teach in the temple. At night He would go out and stay at the mount of Olives. So Judas knew the place that Jesus was staying on the mount of Olives. And thus, he went to the priest and he struck a deal with them that he would betray Jesus unto them at an opportune moment.
Back in the Old Testament, the prophecy of Zechariah, he made a very interesting and remarkable prophecy concerning the betrayal of Jesus. Chapter eleven, beginning with verse twelve, “And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD” (Zechariah 11:12,13). Amazing, remarkable prophecy some five hundred years before Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord, which led to His crucifixion.
Can you imagine prophesying something that’s going to happen in the year 2500 with that kind of accuracy? You’re prophesying concerning a man that will be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. They would then take that silver and throw it in the house of the Lord and then use it to buy a potter’s field. You say, impossible. Of course it is. It’s divine. It’s proof of divine revelation.
Then came the day of unleavened bread (22:7),
That is, they were coming close to the beginning of that feast, they were approaching it.
when the passover must be killed (22:7).
The passover feast preceded the feast of unleavened bread but it was all a part of it so the day was coming when they would kill the passover.
And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare for the passover, that we might eat. And they said unto him, Where do you want us to prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when you are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, who is bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he enters. And you shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master says unto you, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he will show you a large upper room that’s furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover (22:8-13).
To get all of the things set for the Passover. To get the meal all prepared. To have all of the aspects of the Passover meal. Those reminders of the bondage in Egypt. The slavery, the hard work, the tears, all of these symbolic portions of the Passover, they were to prepare them on that evening which began the Passover because again, remember the Jewish days begin at sundown. We’re already into Monday as far as the Jews are concerned. It began at sundown. Their days go from sundown to sundown. Ours go from midnight to midnight. So the Passover day had begun. Jesus ate the Passover feast with His disciples. He was crucified before the day was over. Jesus was crucified on the day of the Passover which was also the preparation for this sabbath day that would come as the first day of the feast of unleavened bread.
Very significant, planned of God, that His Son would be crucified on the day of Passover where again, they were remembering the lamb that was slain, the blood put upon the lintels and doorposts; so the Lamb of God to be slain. So that those that seek protection in Him through the blood of Jesus Christ we have passed from death unto life. We are spared death through our faith in Jesus Christ. That is, spiritual death, the second death. Not the first death.
God never promised you you’re going to live forever in these corrupting bodies. Thank God for that. I’d hate to think of living in another even twenty-five years in this body. No. As Paul said, “We who are in these bodies do often groan, earnestly desiring to be free, not to be an unembodied spirit” (2 Corinthians 5:2,4). I’m anxious for the new model. I want to be clothed upon with the “building of God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).
And when the hour was come, he sat down, with the twelve apostles. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer (22:14,15):
I really longed to eat this Passover with you. He knew this was the last. This was the last real observance of the Passover. This is what the passover was looking forward to, anticipating all of the hundreds of years, the centuries that they have been observing the passover, it was always looking forward to this passover. This is it. And so, with desire or great longing, I’ve been longing to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
From what it would appear, Jesus ate the meal with them but then it came to the breaking of the bread. And he said,
For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God (22:16).
This feast is about to be fulfilled. The next day He’ll be hanging on the cross as the Lamb of God giving Himself as a sacrifice for man’s sin. And thus, He said, “I will not eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
And then he took the cup (22:17),
This was the final cup of the Passover feast and it was known as the cup of joy. And He gave to them the cup,
After giving thanks, and He said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come (22:17,18).
So again pointing to the fact that this is to be fulfilled on the next day, this whole ceremony of the passover will have its fulfillment and a true understanding of the meaning.
And so he took bread, and He gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you (22:19,20).
So He’s giving now a new meaning to the elements of the communion. No longer are you to be reminded of the lamb that was slain in Egypt and God’s deliverance when the blood was on the doorposts. But from now on, you’re to remember the Lamb of God that was slain for the sins of the world and by the application of the blood of Jesus Christ on your life, you’ve passed from death to life. Jesus said,
But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. And truly the Son of man is going, as it was determined (22:21,22):
Peter, when he spoke of their crucifying Jesus, he said, “And you, according to the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, with your wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23). In other words, it’s been determined. It’s not being determined by the priests who are now conspiring and Judas. That’s not where the determination was made. The determination was made back before the world was ever created. Christ was crucified, we read, from the foundations of the earth. It was always God omniscient. Knowing all things. From the beginning before He created man, knew man would fail. But would designed, He had designed to manifest His love by the sending of His Son. And according to the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God. It’s all a part of God’s divine foreknowledge. And so, “the Son of man goeth as it was determined.” A part of God’s plan.
but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed (22:22)!
There is also a responsibility. God’s purposes are going to be accomplished. And we can become instruments through which God’s purposes are accomplished. Or we can refuse to be instruments through which God’s purposes are accomplished.
When the Jewish nation was facing extermination, during their captivity under the Persian empire, when Esther had become the queen and Haman had determined to put the Jews to death because of his absolute hatred of Mordecai, when Mordecai sent a message into Esther to let her know of the decree that Haman had the king sign, encouraging her to go to the king and to seek a reprieve from the edict that had set the day for the Jews to be exterminated. She sent back and said, You don’t understand the protocol of the king’s court. You just don’t go in, even though I’m his wife. I don’t just go in unless he bids me to come. And if I go in without being bidden, the guards will put even me to death unless he raises the scepter to stop them. Nobody just comes in to the king without being bidden.
And Mordecai sent back and he said, Do you think that if this edict goes through that you’re going to escape even though you’re there in the palace? He said, But if you fail at this time, their deliverance will arise from another quarter. In other words, God is going to accomplish His purpose. God’s going to accomplish that which He plans to accomplish. I can be God’s instrument and be used of God in accomplishing those purposes. But if I’m not, then God will raise up another instrument. God is not going to stop His purposes just because of the frailty of a human being.
And so with Judas, it was determined. Judas I don’t believe had to be an instrument but he had opened the door. He allowed Satan to come in and now he was acting as an instrument of Satan and Jesus said concerning him, “Better for him had he never been born” (Mark 14:21). So Jesus said “the one who’s going to betray Me is sitting here at the table. Truly the Son of man is going as it was determined, but woe unto that man by whom He is betrayed.”
And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them would do this thing (22:23).
It’s interesting to me that they really didn’t seem to suspect Judas. When Jesus said that, they sort of all of them realized that they began to say, Lord, is it I? I don’t know my own heart. Could I do such a thing? Lord, is it I? And to me it’s interesting that they didn’t say, Um-hmm, I’ve been suspicious of Judas all the way along. He just hasn’t quite fit in the group. He just always, have you noticed Judas? They didn’t immediately say, Oh yeah. And that is interesting. They began to look at themselves. Lord, is it I?
But right in this solemn moment,
There was also a strife among them (22:24),
Not only the questioning of who it was but the strife among them,
of which would be accounted the greatest (22:24).
Can you imagine this at this point? When He’s talking about His death. I’m going to be suffering. I’m not going to eat of the bread until I eat it anew in the kingdom or drink of the vine until I drink of it in the kingdom. And here they are now arguing with each other again, striving with each other, as to who was going to be the greatest when His kingdom was set up.
And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them (22:25);
That’s a trait of the heathen. The exercising of lordship over people. And He said,
they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so (22:25,26):
That’s what the heathen are like. But that shall not be among you.
but he that is greatest among you, let him be as a younger person (22:26);
In that society, the older ones always controlled the situation. The younger were always there as servants. They were in a tutoring kind of a thing, learning how to rule, learning how to govern, serving those who were governing. But Jesus said, Let the greatest among you be as one who is younger, who is serving.
and he that is chief, as he that does serve (22:26).
John tells us that at this point or just before this, Jesus had washed their feet and He said, Do you see what I’ve done? And they said yes. He said, You call me Master and Lord and that’s correct, I am; but if I being your Master and Lord have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s. He that would be chief, let him be the servant of all. That’s the order that Jesus gave for the church. The hierarchy that has been established is so unbiblical. The setting on pedestal, the building of ivory towers. That attitude that we so often see manifested in the ministry of being a little above and thus to be catered to is so absolutely wrong. Jesus said, You’re going to be chief, then be the servant of all. So important in the ministry.
They are in this dispute as to who would be the greatest, and so Jesus said,
Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That you might eat and drink at my table in the kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (22:28-30).
In other words, you’re going to have your place, all of you will have your place. When the kingdom is established, you’ll be sitting on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And then the Lord turned to Simon or Peter and He said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired you that he might have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for you, that your faith would not fail (22:31,32):
As we mentioned this morning, to me it’s quite interesting the thing that Jesus prayed for Peter. He didn’t pray that Peter could escape the sifting of Satan. Satan has desired you. The Greek is, more literally, has asked for you. He wants to sift you like wheat. He wants to put you through the grinder. He wants to pulverize you. But I’ve prayed for you that your faith would not fail.
We, if we could have our way, would escape every bit of pain and suffering that comes along. And so often our prayers are for escape. None of us really like to suffer. None of us like going through trials. None of us like the testings. Because we are all of us so shortsighted. We fail to realize that it is through the testings that we grow. Through the testings, character is built. I think it’s rather an unfortunate thing that depth of character hardly ever comes apart from real suffering. That it is through suffering, through pain that character is developed.
And Jesus knowing that does not pray that we will be able to escape any pressure, any pain, any suffering. As we read the book of Acts, we become very aware of how much suffering the disciples did experience, even death by martyrdom. And the Lord did not deliver all of them from that.
We think that if I serve the Lord, it ought to be just all rosy and beautiful. No problems, no pressures. But that is not the case. And Jesus didn’t pray that Peter would not be sifted. He prayed that his faith wouldn’t fail. Not only does God use the sifting process or the trials and the tests to develop our character but also to develop our confidence and faith in God, recognizing and realizing that God is able to help us through any experience that we face. That we might gain as I am going through suffering, I am comforted by God, I’m helped by God, I’m strengthened by God. And thus, I learn firsthand of how God can minister to me in suffering.
That then enables me to minister to others who are suffering. Who are going through the same things that I went through. Here Peter was going to fail in courage. But not in faith. Courage was one of Peter’s strong points. He was a rugged, rough fisherman ready to do battle with anybody. Ready to step out in faith and that place of his greatest personal strength is the place that Satan did attack him. As Satan usually won’t attack your weak place, he’ll attack your strong place because in your weak places, you know you have to trust the Lord. In your strong places, you’re foolish enough to think that you can do it without the Lord’s help. And so Satan so often attacks us in our strongest place. And he experienced failure but it gave him empathy and understanding for those who in their testing failed.
He was able then to minister as Paul, who said that the God of all comfort comfort you with the comfort that I received when I was going through my afflictions. And the purpose for which God allowed me to go through some of these things is that He might comfort me in order that I might share that comfort with you.
And so, Peter, I’ve been praying for you. Not that Satan would not sift you, but I’ve been praying that your faith would not fail.
and when you’re converted, strengthen your brothers. Peter said, Lord, I am ready to go with you, even unto death. And Jesus said, I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow before you have denied me three times that you ever knew me (22:32-34).
Remember it’s evening. This evening Jesus is going to be arrested and taken to the house of Caiaphas. Before morning comes, before the daylight comes, before the rooster ever crows, Peter will have denied that he knew the Lord three times. The other gospels tell us that Peter objected. He said, Lord, even if they would kill me I would not deny you. Confidence in himself. Lord, I’m not a coward. Beware of self-confidence.
Paul wrote, “When I am weak, then am I strong because His strength is made perfect in my weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10). Where I am weak and when I am weak, and I know it, I’m more prone to rely upon Him and as I rely upon Him, then I have His strength that is imparted to me and I can stand. In those places where I rely upon myself, you at your best day in your best part of your life are not a match for Satan. And whenever you think you are, you’re doomed to have a disappointing experience of failure.
God allows failure. God allowed Peter’s failure. God knew it was going to come. Jesus was saying Peter, you’re going to deny Me three times that you know Me. Before the morning light comes, you’re going to fail.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, When I sent you out (22:35)
That is, when He sent the seventy out, He said I sent you out
without a purse [You didn’t take your wallet] or scrip, or shoes, did you lack any thing? And they said, Nothing. He said unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one (22:35,36).
In other words, fellows, tough days are coming. It’s not going to be easy.
And I say unto you, that this that is written must be accomplished in me (22:37),
What has been written? That He would be numbered with the transgressors in His death. That He would be wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. The prophecies concerning His death, that which was written must be fulfilled, He said.
And they said, Lord (22:38),
Still not understanding.
here, we’ve got two swords (22:38).
No, you don’t understand.
And he said unto them, It is enough. And he came out, and went, as he was accustomed (22:38,39),
That is, came out now from the upper room where they had just had the passover, and they went over,
to the mount of Olives (22:39);
to this place where He spent the evenings with His disciples,
and his disciples also followed him (22:39).
And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that you enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (22:40-42).
What Jesus is referring to is His death upon the cross. Jesus had just taken the cup and He said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood which is shed for the remission of sins.” Later on after this prayer and after the commitment to the will of the Father, when Peter drew the sword and began to try to defend Jesus, He said, “Put away your sword: the cup that the Father has given Me to drink, shall I not drink it” (John 18:11)?
When the mother of James and John came to Jesus and said, Lord, I have a favor to ask you. He said, What is it? When you get into the kingdom, I want one of my boys to sit at Your right hand and the other boy at the left hand, Lord. And He said, Are they able to drink of the cup that I’m going to drink of? They said, Oh yes, Lord, we’re able. They probably put their mom up to that thing. They’re right there, saying, Oh yeah, we can. He said, You indeed will but to give this place is not mine to give but the Father’s. But the cup was always referring to His death.
We are told in the book of Hebrews concerning Jesus that “He endured the cross, despising the shame, for the joy that was set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2). Knowing what the cross would accomplish in the salvation of souls, He endured it though He despised the shame.
Now in the garden, when He prays, “Father, if You are willing, let this cup pass from Me,” the other gospels say He was praying, Lord, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. If man can be saved by some other means, if man can be saved by keeping the law, if man can be saved by being religious, if man can be saved by being good, being moral, if we can save man any other way, let this cup pass from Me.
The cross of Jesus Christ says one thing loud and clear and that is, there’s only one way that a person can be saved or forgiven of their sins and that’s through the cross. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, the life: and no man comes to the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). You cannot be saved by good works. You cannot be saved by being religious. You cannot be saved by any set or code of ethics or rules or law. There’s only one way by which your sins can be cleansed, and that’s through the blood of Jesus Christ. Faith in the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for you.
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, that was strengthening him. And He being in an agony prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And He said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation (22:43-46).
He started out at the beginning He said that back in verse forty, “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” And now He says, “Pray lest you enter into temptation.”
And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, was coming before them, and He drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss (22:47,48)?
How low can you get? What he was doing was bad enough. But to feign love with a kiss.
When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword (22:49)?
Shall we draw our swords, you just said, if you don’t have a sword, sell and buy one. Time to fight.
And one of them [We know it’s Peter from the other gospels] smote the servant of the high priest (22:50),
We know his name is Malchus from the other gospels.
and he cut off his right ear (22:50).
Now remember it’s dark so Peter starts swinging.
And Jesus answered and said, That’s enough. And he touched his ear, and healed him (22:51).
Grafted his ear back on. You hear of doctors today doing that, that’s nothing new. Jesus did it.
Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and the captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves (22:52)?
Here they all are with their swords and their armor and their spears and everything else. He said,
When I was daily with you in the temple, you stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness (22:53).
He is submitting. He’s not resisting.
Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them (22:54,55).
He tried to just sort of blend in with the crowd.
But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, [She began to study him] and she said, This man was also with him (22:56).
Here’s Peter, Lord, I’m ready to die with you. And he was, he was the one that started swinging with the sword. I’ll go down swinging. And yet now, here’s a little maid saying, He’s one of them.
And he denied, saying, Woman, I don’t know him. [One] And after a little while another saw him, and said, You are one of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. [Two] And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what you’re talking about. And immediately, while he was speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned, and looked at Peter (22:57-61).
What do you think Peter felt at that moment? How do you think the Lord looked? That’s the real question. Was it a look of absolute disgust and disdain? Sort of, how could you do that? Or was it a look of, I told you so. Or was it a look of, I understand, Peter. I know you love Me. I understand and I forgive you, Peter.
How you think Jesus looks testifies to how well you know Jesus. There are many people who would see in the eyes of Jesus anger, condemnation; but they don’t know Him well. Others would see sort of a taunting, I told you so. They don’t know Him well. But those who see infinite love and understanding and compassion and forgiveness, they are the ones who truly know Him. Because that’s the kind of a Lord He is and that’s the attitude He has towards our weaknesses.
The Bible said, “He knows our frame, He knows we’re only dust” (Psalm 103:14). That wonderful look of love. And the result,
Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly (22:61,62).
That sense of failure. The prayer of Jesus was that his faith would not fail. Though his courage failed, his faith did not fail. The prayer of Jesus was answered. It doesn’t mean that the prayer wasn’t answered because Peter failed. Jesus knew he was going to fail. Jesus told him he was going to fail. He knew that. His prayer wasn’t even that he wouldn’t fail because He knew he was going to. But His prayer was that his faith wouldn’t fail. And his faith did not fail. The repentance.
Interestingly enough, we have here with Peter, went out and wept bitterly when he recognized his failure. We have with Judas Iscariot, when he saw that Jesus was submitting and not rebelling, not fighting, he went back to the priests with the thirty pieces of silver and he said, Take this back, I betrayed innocent blood. And they said, That’s your problem now. And so he threw, as the prophet said he would, the money on the temple floor and he went out and hanged himself. Peter went out and wept bitterly. One was a repentance, the other was remorse.
There’s a lot of times that we have remorse for what we have done but not repentance. Peter repented. And for Peter there was forgiveness.
And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and they smote him. And then they blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? And many other things blasphemously spake they against him (22:63-65).
God has marvelously designed our human body and one of the parts of that design is that automatic kind of feigning when we see an object coming towards us. As the eye automatically responds in blinking when an object is coming towards the eye, so the body automatically responds when we see an object coming we sort of pull back and thus the blow is cushioned. It’s interesting how that a person who steps off of a curb, not knowing the curb is there, can break their foot very easily. Because they aren’t cushioning, it catches them by surprise. Now we step off and we have no problem because our bodies are so coordinated and designed that we can walk down steps. But if you just six inches without being prepared for it, the jar can break your foot.
So when they blindfolded Jesus and then began to hit Him, there is no reflex action to cushion the blow. And thus, you get the full force, the full blunt of the blow. They began to beat Him unmercifully until His face became so marred, so swollen, so disfigured that in looking at Him, you would not even recognize that He was a human being. That’s according to the prophecy of Isaiah. And when we shall see Him, His face, he said, is so marred (Isaiah 52:14) He could not be recognized as a human being. This came through the abuse of blindfolding Him and beginning then to hit Him and mocking, saying Tell us, prophesy, who is it that hit You?
And as soon as it was day (22:66),
This abuse went on through the night.
the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and they led him into their council, saying, Are You the Messiah? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, you wouldn’t believe: And if I also ask you, you will not answer me, nor are you going to let me go (22:66-68).
Just a couple of days earlier, they had come to Him and they said, By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you the authority? And so He said, I’ll ask you a question. You answer mine, I’ll answer yours. Baptism of John, God or man? They said, we can’t say it’s God because He’ll say, Why didn’t you believe him? We can’t say it’s of man because the people believed John was a prophet, they’ll stone us. They said, We can’t answer. Jesus said, I won’t answer. So here He’s saying here, “And if I ask you, you’ll not answer me, nor let me go.” But then He said,
Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all, Are you then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Basically, you said it. [He affirmed, yes.] And they said, What need we of any further witness? We have heard it ourselves out of his own mouth (22:69-71).
And so that brings us to Jesus before Pilate that we’ll get into next Sunday night as we continue our journey through Luke.
Lord, as we see You receiving the scorning, the mocking, the shame, we realize Lord that it was for our sake that You endured the suffering on the cross. It was for our redemption that You died. It was Your love for us that caused You to submit to being nailed on that tree. Dying in agony that You might forgive us our sins. O Lord, what love. How we thank You for it. And we receive and accept that love tonight. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
It was His love for me that nailed Him to the tree. To die in agony for all my sin. For my own guilt and blame the great Redeemer came, willing to bear the shame of all my sin. O what a Saviour is mine! In Him God’s mercies combine. His love will never decline. And He loves me. The wonder of it all. Just to think that God loves me.
May you go in the love of God and in the strength and in the power of the Holy Spirit. And when the enemy comes to sift you like wheat, remember Jesus is praying for you. And if God be for you, who can be against you? Who is he that condemneth? That is Christ who has died; yea rather, is risen again and is at the right hand of the Father and He is making intercession for you. He’s praying for you that your faith will not fail. Not that you’re going to escape from any temptation. Not that you won’t have to go through suffering or trials. But that you will learn in those the comfort and the help and the strength of the Spirit. And even if you as Peter fail, He’s not going to cast you out for that failure. He’ll use it to help you in ministering to others. When you are converted, strengthen your brothers, Jesus said. When you’ve gone through it, then use that to minister to your brothers. And so, may the Lord be with you and help and strengthen you and keep you in His love always through the power of God’s Spirit.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8066