Matthew 26-28

Fallen Man Exposed

 In this study Jesus has left the temple court and is preparing for the Passover Feast that will take place soon. Jesus will be the Passover Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. From what we read in these next chapters those sins are many.

The Bible teaches we all have a sin nature that we inherited from Adam. In our reading today we will see how our sin nature works to the surface and is exhibited in the actions of the various people in these chapters.

Judas Iscariot is first up. He is motivated more by money than serving the Lord and he makes a deal with the chief priests to betray Jesus.  Jesus identifies Judas as His betrayer at the Last Supper then institutes the Lord’s Supper. To partake in the Lord’s Supper, represents our commitment to the Lord recognizing what He has done for us. Sadly though, shortly after the Lord’s Supper Jesus tells the disciples that they will all fall away from Him that night when Jesus is arrested. Even the high resolve of Peter is not strong enough to keep him from denying Jesus.

That night Jesus is arrested by the temple guard and taken to the high priest. The high priest represents the religious system that should be representing God to the world. Instead they represented fallen man when they sought false witnesses and testimony against Jesus in order to condemn Him to death; something they had been planning for quite some time. Because of the sin nature of man the religious system failed Jesus. It also failed to intercede for the sin of Judas when he tried to return the money he received to betray Jesus.

Jesus was then handed over to Pilate the governor. God’s plan for Government leaders is to administer justice and righteousness to the people they govern. Surely, in Jesus’s case, the governor would see through the lies and manipulation and Jesus would get justice.  But that was not the case. Political pressure, political correctness, and a bargain that went wrong, failed Jesus as well. In the end the political system failed Jesus because of the sin nature of man. The same was true for the soldiers. Mocking and brutalizing another human being was more important than doing the right thing. Even the people came out to mock Jesus as He hung on the cross dying for the sins of the world.

All the cruelty of the sin nature of man was exposed that day when they nailed Jesus to the cross. At the Last Supper he offered His disciples a cup saying, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28 NASB

He was pierced for our transgressions and His blood ran out to cover our sins. His body was broken for us.

Like everyone we have just read about, we too have a sin nature and we all have sinned. The consequence of sin is death which is separation from God. Jesus did not sin so death could not hold Him. That is why he rose again. The death He died; again death is separation from God for eternity, was your death and my death. The cry he made from the cross right before he died our death was, “…My God, My God, why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46b

This cry gives us a glimpse of what death or separation will really be like for those who refuse to accept the Blood of Jesus to cover their sin.

What is interesting to me is that before Jesus took the cup and offered it to His disciples telling all of them to drink of the cup; He gave thanks to the Father for it. The devil used the sin nature of man to do everything he could to discourage Jesus and keep Jesus off the cross.  He used every dirty trick in the book, (and the devil wrote the book)  in an attempt to show Jesus there was no one worth dying for, no one who was faithful or worthy. The devil was right we all are sinners and can’t save ourselves from our sin.

When Jesus looks at us He does not see our sin nature. Hebrews 12:2 says that there was a joy set before Him as he endured the cross. Perhaps it was the fact that in this one act the devil would be disarmed and powerless to accuse, but I think it was love, a love for mankind that I can’t really understand. But I know this much, Jesus is the exact representation of the Father’s nature to us. John 3:16 begins with,  “For God so loved the world….” NASB

Jesus loves me and you. That is really all we need to know. Jesus took bread the night he was betrayed and He blessed it and broke it and gave it to His disciples telling them to take it and eat it. The bread represented His body broken for them and us. Then after giving thanks he took the cup and told the disciples to “Drink from it, all of you:”

Have you?

Pastor Dave