- Sermon Notes
The New Covenant
1. Conspiracy. Betrayal. Intrigue.
2. These words capture the events that led to the establishment of the New Covenant; the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
3. Last week, we discussed how extravagant God’s love is for us.
4. This week, the magnitude of God’s love for us will become even clearer as we see the great lengths that He went to set us free from the penalty of our sin so that we may enter into a relationship with Him through Jesus.
5. It is my prayer that our study of Matthew 26:14-30 will cause us to love the Lord more deeply in return.
1. During last week’s study, we read that a dinner to honor Jesus was held in the home of Simon, a leper who had been cleansed by Jesus.
2. Other guests at the dinner included Jesus’ twelve apostles along with Lazarus, whom Jesus had recently raised from the dead, and his sisters, Martha and Mary.
3. While the dinner guests were reclining around the table, Mary approached Jesus with an alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume.
a. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head and feet.
b. Then, in a sign of humble adoration, Mary wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair.
4. As the aroma of perfume filled the home of Simon the Leper, we’re told that the disciples were indignant about this outpouring of extravagant love and asked, “Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” (9)
5. According to John’s Gospel, Judas Iscariot was the catalyst behind the apostles’ objection.
6. Immediately after this, Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and elders and agreed to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. (14-16)
7. What an extreme contrast!
a. First, there was the extravagant love of Mary who anointed Jesus with expensive perfume, perfume that she probably bought for her own wedding day or for the burial of someone very dear to her.
b. Then there was Judas Iscariot, one who had seen Jesus’ miracles with his own eyes, yet, in spite of all that God had revealed to him, thought only of himself.
Transition – In Judas, we see the nature of man and the depravity that we all have the potential to fall into. From this, we see why we need a Savior. The Good News is…
I. Jesus Came to Seek and Save the Lost
Luke 19:10, For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
• We must keep in mind the context and remember of the heart of our Savior because it has direct application for our lives.
• What I mean is this; Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him, yet Jesus reached out to Judas and invited him to turn away from his plot of betrayal.
• Here again, we have another contrast.
o On the one hand, we see how low a person can go in their depravity.
o On the other hand, we see how high God will go in His love to reach His enemies.
A. Our choice about Jesus is ours to make
1. When we look at Judas, we must acknowledge the “elephant in the room” and ask, “Why? Why did Judas Iscariot do it?”
2. While several possibilities come to mind, each of them seems to fall short of being a reasonable explanation.
a. For instance, perhaps Judas felt embarrassed when Jesus rebuked him in front of the dinner guests. But didn’t Jesus rebuke them all?
b. Maybe Judas was bitter because Jesus selected three Galilean fishermen, Peter, James, and John, over him for leadership. Why not Judas? After all, he was the only “sophisticated Judean” in the group!
c. Or Judas might have been disappointed because Jesus had not led a revolt against the Roman Empire.
d. The truth is, none of these excuses seem reasonable.
APPL – The truth is sin is never reasonable! There is never a “reasonable” reason for sin!
ILLUS – Have you ever asked a child to explain why they did something dumb?
APPL – The Bible provides the best explanation for why Judas Iscariot called Mary’s anointing of Jesus an extravagant waste; he was a thief!
John 12:6, Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.
• Here’s the bottom-line: Our choices are ours to choose.
• We can’t blame anyone else!
ILLUS – Joshua’s challenge for Israel to decide once and for all whom they will serve.
Joshua 24:15, If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, 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 living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
B. No one will have an excuse before God
1. I find it interesting that there are those who try to blame God for their condition, even going so far as to say that God isn’t doing enough for them!
2. But God’s Word makes it clear that He has revealed Himself so that no one has or will have an excuse.
Romans 1:18-20, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
3. Some have said that Judas had no choice because he was a pawn in God’s chess match.
4. If Judas had no choice, then how could he be held responsible?
a. God is sovereign, right?
b. And doesn’t the Bible say that God cause all things to work together?
Romans 8:28, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
APPL – While it would be fair to say that “God causes all things to work together,” it would not be fair to say that “God causes all things.”
• God gave us a gift called “Free Will.”
o Free will is voluntary.
o Free will has the power of an alternative choice.
o Free will is a self-caused action.
o Free will cannot be coerced.
• Therefore, God is not responsible for when we exercise our free will.
• We are responsible for our own choices.
• But God causes all things to work together according to His will, even factoring into His will our sinful choices.
5. When Jesus said that one of His apostles would betray Him, each of them asked, “Surely not I, Lord?” meaning, “It isn’t me… is it?”
a. Why would they ask?
b. Could it be that each of them recognized their own potential for even betraying Jesus?
Transition – But after seeing the condition of man, it is a great relief to see the degree of God’s extravagant love in redeeming us from our bondage to sin.
II. At the Right Time Jesus Died for Us
• When Jesus had this last supper with His disciples, it was the Passover meal.
• The Passover was celebrated each year to remember God’s deliverance of Israel from their slavery in Egypt. (Exodus 11-12)
• Now when it comes to the Jewish feasts, it is important to note that all of them point to some aspect of Jesus Christ’s person and/or work.
• It is also important to note that of all the feasts mentioned in the Bible, the Passover is the one that is referred to the most.
o Over 50 times in the Old Testament
o 27 times in the New Testament
• From Matthew 26, Jesus explained that He is the fulfillment of this significant Jewish feast and that all aspects of the Passover meal point to Him.
• While all Jewish feasts were about Jesus, this one had special meaning to Jesus because it would be on this Passover that He would become the Lamb who was slain for the forgiveness of our sins.
• At the start of Jesus’ ministry, John the Baptist testified that this was the very reason for why Jesus came.
John 1:29, The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
• Through His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus, our Passover Lamb established the New Covenant.
• Why was the New Covenant necessary?
o Because the Law reveals the problem.
o The Law cannot fix the problem!
Romans 8:1-4, Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
A. Jesus gave His body for us
1. Jesus took the bread at the table, broke it, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” (26)
2. It is important to highlight that the bread was unleavened.
a. In the Bible, leaven is a picture of sin. Like sin, it only takes a small amount of leaven to spread throughout the entire lump of dough.
b. But the unleavened bread used during the Passover meal points to the fact that Jesus was without sin; which was necessary for His sacrifice to be accepted by God.
Hebrews 4:15, For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been
tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
APPL – It is also a picture of God giving us His righteousness as a gift; a righteousness that we could never obtain through our own effort.
2 Corinthians 5:21, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
APPL – Jesus’ death is our life because He is the Bread of Life!
John 6:35, Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”
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.
• It is important to understand that when we eat the bread, it is more than just a mental agreement.
• By faith, we are asking and receiving Jesus Christ into our broken, sinful lives so that we are healed and blessed by His life in us.
B. Jesus’ blood must be applied to our lives
1. As I said earlier, the Passover remembers when Israel was redeemed out of slavery in Egypt.
2. On that day, the blood of the Passover lamb was applied to the doorposts and lintel of a house so that the angel of death would “Passover” and not “pass through” the house.
3. All who entered a house that had the blood of the Passover lamb applied to the doorposts and lintel were saved.
Exodus 12:7, 13, 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… The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
4. In the same way, the blood of Jesus must be applied to our lives.
a. Drinking the cup of the New Covenant is a symbol of that very thing.
b. That we have asked by faith to have the blood of Christ applied to our lives for the forgiveness of sins.
1 Peter 1:18-19, … you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
APPL – Therefore, applying the blood of a Passover lamb is a picture of applying the death of Jesus Christ to our lives so that our sins can be forgiven.
ILLUS – Please remember that on the day of the first Passover, only those who entered a house where the blood of the Passover lamb was applied were saved.
• It was not enough for a person to sacrifice a lamb.
• It was not enough for a person to eat the Passover meal.
• It was not enough for a person to apply the Passover lamb’s blood to the doorposts and lintel.
• By faith in God’s command, they had to enter the house where the Passover lamb’s blood was applied to the doorposts and lintel in order to be saved.
Hebrews 11:28, By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.
ILLUS – Leading a 95-year-old man to faith in Jesus Christ
APPL – Likewise, it is not enough to acknowledge that Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life, or that He died and rose again three days later.
• We must believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths.
• We must ask God to apply the blood of Jesus to our lives so that we can be saved.
Romans 10:9-13, … if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For
there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Matthew 26:14-30 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me [a]to [b]betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty [c]pieces of silver to him. 16 From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to [d]betray [e]Jesus.
17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’” 19 The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.
20 Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” 22 Being deeply grieved, they [f]each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good [g]for that man if he had not been born.” 25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself.”
The Lord’s Supper Instituted
26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and [h]after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
30 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.