Sermon: The Sovereignty of God and the Sinfulness of Man in the Death of Christ (Luke 22:1-6)

The Sovereignty of God and the Sinfulness of Man in the Death of Christ

Luke 22:1-6

Introduction

Human Condition

In our fallen state as humans, we have two very vital truths to learn and to place into practice as we live our lives in this world.  If we are going to honor God and bring Him glory, we must grasp these two truth and bring them to weigh on our souls: God is sovereign and man is a sinner.

If we grasp the truth of God’s sovereignty over all events and people we will ascribe glory and honor to His name.  If we understand than man is utterly depraved and helpless before Almighty God, this too brings God glory because God alone saves man from his sin.

The two biggest dangers we must guard against is to think God is like man and man is like God.  It’s utter suicide to our souls to bring God down to human standards and to elevate man to God’s position, that’s exactly what we do when we deny God’s sovereignty and deny man’s sin and utter depravity.

Primary Claim

God had planned the death of His Son from before the foundation of the world.

Lk 22:1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover.

2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.

3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve.

4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them.

5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.

6 So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

1.  God’s Divine Plan

Lk 22:1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover.

God has a divine plan.  This plan has always and will always come to pass exactly as God has determined.  His plan included His Son and His plan includes you and me.  Jesus was born according to God’s timetable…

Jesus’ Birth was in God’s Plan…

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Everything is on a Divine timeline and working exactly as God had planned it in the eternal past.  The life and death of Jesus was according to God’s plan.

Jesus’ Life was in God’s plan…

Jn 8:28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 

John 17:4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

Jesus’ Death was in God’s Plan…

Jesus entered the world on God’s timetable and He would leave this world on God’s timetable as well.

The Crucifixion was God’s idea…

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

God was at work carrying out the crucifixion…

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

It’s so important that we understand that Satan was not in charge.  God was fully in charge and orchestrating His divine plan to save mankind through the death of His Son.

Many had tried to kill Jesus up to this point and all were unsuccessful.

Remember Herod’s Attempt…

Matthew 2: 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.

17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

There was a divine timetable and none could thwart it.

Jesus refers to it as His Hour…

Jn 2:4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 

John 7:30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.

John 8:20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

Then later in John’s Gospel Jesus begins speaking of His death…

John 12:23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

Then our Lord know that the time is close and begins His High Priestly prayer…

John 17: 1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,

I wanted to show you these verses because we must see that the death of our Lord didn’t just happen and God reacted to it nor was it in Satan’s power to control, it was decreed by God before the world began.  Before Adam and Eve were ever created and ever sinned, the Trinity had already planned to send the Son of God to be crucified.  God had a plan.  Jesus had a divine hour set in history to be murdered.

Satan and the Religious Leaders also had a divine timetable…

Luke 22:52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs?

53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

God was orchestrating His divine plan and He had set up human instruments to do His bidding.  On the flip side of the coin is man’s sinful scheme…

2.  Man’s Sinful Scheme

2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.

3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve.

4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them.

5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.

6 So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

During the Passover days, the population of the Holy City, Jerusalem swelled to unbelievable numbers.  Some estimates are in the 2-3 million people.  This is the reason that the religious leaders wanted to avoid arresting Jesus inside the city.  They wanted to avoid the possibility of some sort of revolt or uprising.  Their concern was that if Rome caught wind of any such disturbance they would march their armies in and take over.  Even though Rome was in charge, the Jews still lived with some level of freedom.  They feared an uprising.  They feared losing their religious freedom.  So everything had to be one in secret behind locked doors and often even at night.

One such meeting was held at the house of the High Priest…

Matthew 26:1 When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples,

2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas,

4 and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.

5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

Here’s the picture…the religious leaders had all of Jesus they could take.  Their plan was to kill Him.  Do you see the depth of human depravity?  Religious Leaders are plotting murder.  Those who claim to be spokesmen for God are scheming how to kill.  This is sin on many different levels.  Even if Jesus was just a man, to plot murder is highly sinful.  But Jesus is not just a man; He is the Son of God.  They’re planning the most sinful act ever accomplished by man, the death of Jesus.

It seems from this passage that they were going to wait until after the feast to carry out this great crime, but then they get a knock on the door…

Matthew 26:14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests

15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.

16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

Judas goes to the meeting, enters the room and asks, What’s it worth to you?  They went back and forth and Judas settled on 30 pieces of silver.

From Judas’ standpoint, he had wasted three years of his life following this would be Messiah.  He was tired and wanted out…he also wanted some compensation for his time.

30 pieces of silver was equal to about four months wages.  Four months compensation for three years.  To Judas this seemed ok.  It was a significant amount.

Both parties were in agreement on the amount…

Luke 22:5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.

This verse says they meaning Judas and the rest were glad.  They were happy and in complete agreement.

Judas was now a pawn of Satan.  On one occasion, Jesus had even called Judas a devil…

Jn 6:70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”   

John 8:41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father–even God.”

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.

43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.

44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Satan had indwelt Judas and was influencing the Religious Leaders to do what they were doing.  They were scheming together how they would capture Jesus secretly and kill Him.

Judas and the Leaders were all responsible for their own sinful actions.  At the same time their own sinful plans and schemes were carrying out God’s will.  Do you see the amazing sovereignty of God?

Psalm 41: 9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

Psalm 55: 12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me– then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me– then I could hide from him.

13 But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend.

Matthew 27, quotes from Zechariah that when Judas returned to the chief priests throwing the money into the Temple that this was in fulfillment of OT prophecy.  God’s plan is so thorough that He even determined the amount of money Judas and the leaders would agree on.

The bottom line for Judas was that he didn’t really sell out Jesus, he sold himself.  Four months wages was worth more to Judas than his soul.

3.  A Case Study in Depravity

3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve.

While God used Judas, Judas was culpable for his own actions and had to answer for his own sins.  What was going on in Judas’ thinking?

In his book, War of Words, Paul Tripp hits on an issue that I believe was at the heart of Judas’ sinful thinking and sinful acts.

Jesus had just fed the five-thousand and then departed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  All the people were looking for Jesus but couldn’t find Him.

John 6:26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.  

Jesus’ point is that they were not seeking Him because they loved Him and wanted to become a follower.  They were seeking Him because they got free meal and thought there was more where that came from.

Judas was following Jesus because he thought in time it would pay off big time.  When Jesus became King, Judas would be His right hand man.  It would be very lucrative to be alongside of Jesus when He took the thrown.

The people were looking for a Messiah who would give them material things.  Judas was looking for a Messiah who would give him material wealth.  What kind of Messiah are you looking for?  Or we might ask, why are you a following Christ?

I’m afraid many people today follow Jesus not for His glory but because they have some burning desire to get something from Jesus.  They desire comfort, health, wealth, good life, good marriage, good kids…etc.

These are all physical things and to desire them over Christ Himself is to be no better than the crowd who wanted Jesus for another free handout.

Judas was terribly mistaken to think that life consists of material goods and wealth.  Because of this, he exchanged worshipping God to worshipping goods or we could say that he exchange worshipping the Creator for worshipping creation.

Luke 12:15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4 to fix our eyes on the things that are unseen not the things that are seen.

Here are four things Judas believed to his destruction.

First, he believed physical things are permanent-  The Bible is very clear about the fact that physical things are passing away, they are not eternal.  The things you lust for and covet will never last.  The goods you think you need will soon be gone.  John tells us this world is passing away (1 John 2:17).  Paul says we are wasting away (2 Cor. 4:16).  David says the abundance of the wicked is like a very short dream, it leaves very quickly just like when one wakes up (Psalm 73:18-20).  Jesus pleads with us to lay up treasure in heaven rather than on earth (Luke 12:33).

Second, he believed physical things are all there is- Human depravity and sin are tempting us to focus only on the here and now and the material things.  Happiness, we tend to believe, will only happen when we have enough stuff.  We concentrate all our energies on amassing enough stuff to make us happy and often forget that the most important things are not physical but spiritual.  That’s why Jesus commands us to not chase after this world but seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:19-24).  We are told to live as pilgrims in this world because we need continually reminded that the stuff we accumulate is not all there is.

Third, he believed that success is measured by the amount of goods accumulated– If you’ve ever envied the rich or daydreamed about winning the Lottery, you know the temptation that money posses to us.

Jesus reminds us, what good would it be if you gain everything in the world and forfeit your soul? (Matthew 16:26).

Forth, Life can be found outside of  a relationship with God– Judas believed all he needed was wealth.  This drove him to steal and cheat.  He was in charge of the moneybag and there were a few who knew where the money was going…

John 12:4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said,

5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”

6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.

He coveted money…He stole money…He had fallen into many temptations and sins concerning money…He had set himself up to be influenced by Satan and then ultimately we’re told Satan entered Judas…He went to the meeting where they were plotting to kill Jesus…He bargained with them…He accepted their offer…For 30 pieces of silver he betrayed Jesus…Then he went out and hanged himself.

What a sad case.  Money was his god and now Judas has nothing but the flames of hell to keep him company.

The other thing about Judas that’s mentioned in our text is that he was one of the Twelve…

He was one who saw everything Jesus did, everything Jesus taught.  If Judas can witness our Lord’s miracles and listen to Him teach and be in His company for three years and end up the way he did, we had better heed this wake up call.

If there is any shred of Judas in us, we must kill it.  We must be about putting the love of money to death in our lives.

I hope we are freighted not so much that Satan entered Judas but that he was one of the twelve.  That should humble us and concern us.  We must make sure we are following Christ for the right reasons.  Not so we can get something from Him but simply because He is worthy to be followed.

Primary claim refocused

God had planned the death of His Son from before the foundation of the world.

Human condition changed or Human need met

God is sovereign and man is a sinner.  I pray these truths will guide us.  God is in complete control of every event in the universe including the cross.  I also pray that because we are sinners, we can cast ourselves on the absolute mercy of God and receive pardon for our sin.

Jesus said, I came to seek and to save the lost.  Do you know Jesus as Savior and Lord?  Have you been following Him because He alone is worthy?  Are you sold out to Jesus or are you sold out to something or someone else.  Judas sold himself for four months wages.  I pray we’re sold out to Jesus Christ.

Exhortation in godly living

Learn from the sad story of Judas and let’s commit ourselves to Christ.

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