The Sermon today is from Luke 22:1-13 and Luke starts out this chapter by telling us that it was the time of Passover in Jerusalem…and the multitudes of Jewish people there, were preparing for the Feast of Unleavened Bread…It was also called “Yahweh’s Passover”, because of what Yahweh had instructed the Israelites to do back in Exodus chapter 12…when they were to paint some of the blood of a sacrificial lamb onto the doorposts and lintels of their houses…as a sign to Yahweh to “Passover” their houses, as He brought death to all the firstborn of Egypt. Jews began their celebration of Passover on the 14th day of the month of Nisan (that’s between March—April)…because they sacrificed the Passover lamb at twilight…as it says in Exod 12:6…“You will keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.”And then, they began to eat the sacrificed lamb on the evening of the next day, which was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread…the 7-day celebration actually done in conjunction with the Passover.
Now the Chief Priests and Scribes knew that Jesus was there in Jerusalem at that time…and were plotting against Him as Luke 22:2 “The chief priests and scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.Here is where Satan starts to put his plan into motion…so while the Chief priests and scribes were trying to figure out how they were going to arrest our Lord, and ultimately put him to death…it was at that very same time that Satan facilitated the next part of his plan, using Judas…take a look at verse 3… And Satan entered Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. You see here, that Satan entered the scheming heart of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot…and now, two main parts of Satan’s plan is in motion…making it clear that the Sanhedrin’s Chief Priests and Scribes, and Judas Iscariot are being led in each other’s direction…destined to come together to do away with Jesus, as it says in verse 4… And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. The chief priests were delighted that Judas fell into their laps, and the prospect of their plot to do away with Jesus was now coming together…and the officers of the temple guards were also happy…with the thought that the arrest of Jesus would go smoother than they had originally guessed…The discussion came down to the details…when and how would the arrest take place…and how much would such betrayal cost? Once the negotiations were concluded, the chief priests were satisfied and agreed to pay Judas thirty (30) silver shekels…And Judas, with the thought of that amount of money in his hand, was now going to figure out the best way to accomplish his plan to betray our Lord… as it says in verses 5 & 6…They were glad and agreed to give him money. So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd.
“Apart from the crowd” tells us much…it indicates that Judas didn’t want to do this openly, because he and the chief priests and scribes were afraid of the crowd…afraid that the crowd would hurt or kill them instead…you can see that the heart of Judas had been filled with Satan’s guile, and he had become devious in his planning…Several reasons likely contributed to the desires of the Jewish religious leaders’ to kill Jesus, and the means by which they would cause it to be done…but primarily, to them, Jesus was acting as a messianic pretender and a blasphemer…However, they were afraid of losing control of the masses due to His popularity…and afraid of causing civil unrest during the Passover festival…which could lead to violent punishments from their Roman Overlords, and the Roman Military contingent stationed in Jerusalem…And then of course, with regards to Judas…Scripture tells us that those who want to be rich fall into temptation, trapping them with many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction…
And so it was with Judas…because Satan had tempted him and corrupted his heart…and as a result, he had become deceitful and cowardly in his actions…a traitor to our Lord Jesus…It is thought, by many scholars, that Judas may have initially joined Jesus because of the promise of a well-positioned place in His Kingdom…but his belief was that Jesus was teaching about a “worldly-kingdom” and not a spiritual one…And so, when Jesus had spoken of His own approaching death, Judas felt disillusioned and sought a means to gain a higher station in the only worldly kingdom he was familiar with, that of the Jews and Romans…and in that “worldly-kingdom”, money was king! Now, you’ve probably heard it said that “money” is the root of all evil…and surely, money was an accommodation given to Judas for his betrayal…but like a tree withering slowly until it dies, there was likely a progression of things that first turned the heart of Judas away from the compassionate and loving Jesus, to the dark and corrupt evil of Satan…It is probable, that over time, the ambitions of Judas began to overtake him, and he began to resent Jesus more with each passing day…as he did not see a strong and powerful Messianic Leader and King, as many of the Jews had expected to see in their Messiah…
Judas had been a part of the twelve…one of those “closest” to our Lord…and with all consideration, it was the most vile of acts for someone to undertake…to betray, or figuratively speaking, to stab in the back someone who loves you…as it were, it was for money that Judas symbolically stuck a sword in the back of Jesus…Brothers and Sisters, betrayal by a close friend or loved-one can be one of the most hurtful things we endure, perhaps even the worst…and although it may not be a real sword or knife, the pain of the wound is still excruciating, because it has struck at our very heart…So, imagine how Jesus felt…We should all think about and remember how important it is to have a close relationship with someone…someone we care for and love…someone we spend intimate time with…someone we place our trust in and share our deepest thoughts and feelings with…We should remember this, if or when, we are hurt by someone and contemplate hurting them back…we should, instead, forgive them and seek forgiveness for ourselves as well…
But meanwhile, as Judas is doing all of this…and as the throngs of pilgrims flowed into the city of Jerusalem to share in the festivities…it appeared that there was little, if any, place for the Apostles to share in their Passover meal…But while quietly in retreat in Bethany, Jesus had already foreseen this, so He says this in verse 8…And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.” Here, you might even imagine a slightly puzzled look on the faces of Peter and John when Jesus said this…but then, take a look at their simple act of faith in verse 9…They said to Him, “Where do you want us to prepare it?” This was not so much a question of bewilderment…but rather a question seeking direction from our Lord…they were trusting in Him because they had faith and believed in Him…And so, with consideration of His supernatural knowledge, rather than by prior arrangements made, Jesus tells them where to go and what to do in the next three verses 10, 11, & 12… And He said to them, “When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house he enters. And you shall say to the owner of the house, `The Teacher says to you, Where is the guestroom in which I may eat the Passover meal with My disciples?’” And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there.”
In the gospel that Luke writes, he points to our Lord’s divinity, by the supernatural knowledge of things that only Jesus knew, and rightly so…for instance, when Jesus had told two of his disciples to go into the village and find a donkey’s colt tied-up and then bring it to Him so that He could ride it into Jerusalem, thereby fulfilling a scriptural prophecy…and here as well, when Jesus speaks of a man carrying a water pitcher, “follow him” He says…Now, it is taught, that in biblical antiquity, it was more common for women to carry water in their pitchers, but when men carried drink, it was usually wine and it was carried in wineskins…however, it seems likely here that this was something this man, as a servant, was ordered to do by his master…and perhaps, also setting himself apart…making himself readily visible to Peter and John…as Jesus would have already known.
Folks, Jesus didn’t set all this up before it happened…so that He could just pretend to be who he was…Jesus knew these things because of His divine nature, His omniscience! Jesus was of God and is God! So, what did Peter and John find when they got to town…listen to what Luke tells us in verse 13… And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.My Friends, nothing is hidden from God…and so, again, this is confirmation as to the divine omniscience of our Lord Jesus…He told Peter and John what to look for, and it was as He had said…and because of this, Peter and John were then able to prepare the Passover meal…The Lord’s Supper…the last meal Jesus would eat….
Hebrews 4:13 tells us of “nothing hidden” as it says this…And no creature is hidden in the sight of him, but all things are naked and laid bare to the eyes of him to whom we must give our account. As Peter and John was preparing the Passover meal for our Lord and the rest of the twelve disciples…Jesus was preparing himself for His sacrifice as our savior…the sacrificial lamb of God…and by His dying on the cross for our sins, we were given salvation…there is no greater love than this…He gave His life for us! So, we would do ourselves a favor if we were to remember this…we cannot hide anything from God…and one day, we all will have to give an account of our life before Him…And what we need to take away from all of this…is that we need to prepare ourselves…to have repented for our sins, have been immersed in baptism, and have lived a Spirit-filled life…we need to live by faith…so that when we stand before God to account for ourselves…we may be granted eternal life with Him in heaven.
Now, before we close in prayer, I would like to leave you with this example of the Gospel’s Power for Salvation, as written in scripture by Paul in Rom. 1:16,17 ..For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”