- Sermon Notes
People Need the Lord
As we join Jesus we find Him teaching in the temple each day and all the people getting up early in the morning to come to Him in the temple to listen
The culmination of all time and history has now come to this final week. The week began with Jesus entering into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey as the crowds shouted, “Hosanna, to the Son of David.” Jesus immediately went to the temple, took a whip, and chased out the money changers and those taking advantage of people coming to worship God. He healed the sick and taught them daily in the temple and the people received Him gladly.
But this is also the week that Jesus will be betrayed by Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of silver. The Jewish leaders were glad for the opportunity because they were seeking how they might put Him to death but were afraid of the people. By this betrayal, the Jewish leaders will arrest Him at night, give Him a false trial; turn them over to the Romans who will crucify Him.
It is no coincidence that this was the very week that Israel was celebrating the Passover. In fact, Jesus was betrayed, arrested, and crucified on the very day on which the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed. This is why the words of John the Baptist had such significance when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
What a contrast we see in these verses. In Judas we see the terrible depravity of man and just how low man can go in his broken nature, but then we also see the demonstration of how great God’s love is toward us when He sent His Son to die the death we deserved to die and to suffer what we deserve to suffer.
I. Jesus Came to Save Sinners
- And of the most powerful verses in the New Testament is when Jesus said, “I did not come to call the righteous, I’ve come to call sinners to repentance,”
and in another place, “I’ve come to seek and save that which was lost.”
- The story of Judas is a story of the brokenness and lostness a man; it’s a powerful picture of why people need the Lord.
- His name has now become synonymous with betrayal. I’ve never dedicated a baby with the name Judas Iscariot, or Benedict Arnold, or Jezebel.
- You look at just how low man can go in his depravity and set that against how high God will go in His love and we are truly amazed yet again.
A. Our choices are ours
- When you look at Judas, you have to ask the question "why." Why did he do it? How is it possible?
- A number of possibilities come to mind, but all of them fall short of being reasonable.
- Maybe Judas’ pride was undone because Jesus embarrassed him and rebuked him in front of the others.
Illus – When Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume Judas objected, “Why this waste? This could have been sold and the money given to the poor.” But we know he said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief and he carried the money bag. Jesus then corrected him.
- Maybe Judas resented the fact that Jesus chose simple Galilean fishermen over him for leadership. After all, Judas was the only "sophisticated Judean"
- Maybe he was disappointed because Jesus didn't lead a revolt against the Roman government.
- But the fact remains that none of these are reasonable. One of the greatest conclusions I've come to in life is that sin is never reasonable!
Illus – I tried to never ask my kids to explain why they did something dumb. There is no reasonable explanation. If you ask a child, “Why did you pour superglue in your sister's hair?" no answer will make any sense.
- One thing is for certain, our choices are ours to choose and we can blame no one else.
- Please don’t let anyone lock you into the box that says that bad environments always make people bad and good environments always make people good.
- I’ve seen people raised in good environments make terrible choices and destroy their lives.
- Look at Judas, he was with Jesus for three years and saw all the miracles of Christ, he saw the power and the authority of Jesus over the demons, he
was there when Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves on the Sea of Galilee.
- But I’ve also seen people raised in terrible circumstances and live in the mud of worldliness be set free and become radically transformed and touch
hundreds of lives for the glory of God.
- I like the challenge that Joshua gave Israel to come to a place of choosing, and he himself was the example.
Joshua 24:15, "Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
- There are many people who will even try to blame God for their decisions, or will say that He isn't doing enough to stop them.
- But God makes it clear that He has revealed Himself, so that no one has an excuse.
Romans 1:18-22 No one will have an excuse before God
- When some look at the events regarding Judas Iscariot, they even say that Judas had no choice because he was just fulfilling what God had prophesied
- Jesus was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, the specific fulfillment of prophecy from the books of Zechariah and Jeremiah.
- Some have suggested that Judas did not have responsibility because of God's sovereignty.
- There is a scripture, Romans 8:28, that says that "God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love God and called according to His purpose."
- But it would also be fair to say that "God causes all things to work together," not that He causes all things, for we are
responsible for our own decisions, but He causes all things to work together according to His will.
- When Jesus said that one of them would betray Him, each of them asked, "Surely not I, Lord?" meaning, “It isn't me, is it?"
- Why would they ask? Did they recognize at that moment their own potential for terrible things?
- But seeing the condition of man, we are then greatly relieved and encouraged to see the degree of God's extravagant love in redeeming us.
C. Jesus loved His betrayer
- This story is even more powerful when you realize that Jesus loved His betrayer. When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet at the Passover dinner, He washed
Judas’ feet also. Judas used a kiss to signal who they should arrest, and Jesus responded, “Friend, you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
- In contrast, we would want to get even. Many people have been betrayed and can understand the pain of it; but instead of getting even by telling everyone
about it, talk to Jesus, “I know, I know, I know,” Jesus would say.
Romans 5:8, God demonstrates his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
II. There is No Greater Love than This
- When Jesus was having this last supper with His disciples, it was the Passover meal.
- Jesus explained that He is the fulfillment of this great Jewish feast and that all of the aspects of the Passover meal pointed to Jesus and the extent
of God's love for us through Him.
- All of the feasts were about Jesus, but this one had special meaning because on this Passover He would become that Lamb who was slain for the forgiveness
of our sins.
A. Take and eat; His body is given for you
- Jesus took the bread at the table, which was unleavened, broke it and said, "This is my body, take and eat."
- There is something important about the fact that it was unleavened, representing the fact that Jesus was without sin.
- It's a picture of the righteousness of God which is given as a gift to us, a righteousness we could never obtain on our own merits.
John 6:26-35 He is the Bread of Life
John 6:51, 53, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” … “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.”
- Eating the bread is important because it means that we have gone beyond just giving mental agreement, we are receiving Christ
into our own bodies, sinful and broken.
- "He stands at the door and knocks, if anyone opens the door, He will come in and eat with him." We must open the door of
our hearts, we must partake."
B. His blood must be applied to our lives
- The Passover feast remembers when Israel was redeemed out of slavery in Egypt when the blood of a lamb was applied to the doorposts and lintel of a
house so that death would "Passover" that house and they would be saved by the blood.
Exodus 12:7 Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.
- In the same way then, the blood of Jesus must be applied to our lives and drinking of the cup is the symbol of that very
thing; that we have asked for the blood of Christ to be applied to our lives.
- The scripture says that the wages of sin is death; therefore applying the blood of a lamb that was slain is a picture of applying the death of Christ
to us so that our sins have been forgiven.
- Paul wrote to the church at Corinth that a man should examine himself and not take of the bread or the blood in an unworthy manner.
1 Corinthians 11:27-28 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
- But what does it mean an unworthy manner; that someone must become righteous enough to take communion?
Illus - That would be like telling a person who has cancer, that they can see the doctor as soon as they conquer their cancer on their own.
- No, in a worthy manner means that we recognize the worth, the value, the greatness of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ.
- To eat and drink is a picture of our desire to receive life, righteousness and the forgiveness of sin from Him and to be filled up to the full and satisfied in the soul because of His life in us.
Luke 22:1-23 NASB