Sermon: The Son of Man Will Be Delivered Up to Be Crucified Matthew 26:1-5

Truth Taught- Jesus died according to God’s purpose and timing, not man’s

As we continue through Matthew’s Gospel we come now to a transitional point.  Jesus’s major times of teaching are over.  His focus now is on completing His Messianic Mission.

Our Lord has announced His mission to His disciples already.  On one occasion He told them very pointedly what was going to take place.

Matthew 16:21–23 (ESV) 

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” 

Jesus had also told them on other occasions what was going to happen and how He would give His life and how He would be raised on the third day.  Jesus tells His disciples and the Gospel writers record these prophetic declarations with a purpose in mind.  God wants us to realize all the events surrounding the cross and the resurrection are divinely planned out and will be divinely carried out exactly as God desires.

In Matthew Chapter 24 we read that Jesus had left the Temple after condemning it and it’s leadership.  He and His disciples went up onto the Mount of Olives where He taught them about the destruction of the Temple, Fall of Jerusalem and His Second Coming.  Now, in Chapter 26 He returns to the reason He came the first time.  He will now teach them that He will be murdered by crucifixion and on the third day rise from the dead.

The setting of all that will transpire from here until our Lord’s resurrection must be seen through the context of the Passover Festival held each year in Jerusalem.  So, I’d like to read the passage that serves as our interpretive lens in which we can rightly see Jesus Christ and His Sacrifice for us on the cross as the Lamb of God.

The Passover

Exodus 12:1–14 (ESV) 

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. 

“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. 10 And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. 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. 

14 “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. 


Matthew 26:1–5 (ESV) 

26 When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” 

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.” 

1.  Jesus Tells His Disciples That He Will Die at the Passover

26 When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” 

Now for the fourth time Jesus reminds them of the purpose that His mission holds.  He will die for the sins of His people.  He must die according to the Father’s plan to save a people to be His.  

Jesus makes mention that the Passover is coming.  He does not just tell His disciples and us this fact for no reason.  The Passover will play a very big role in how we are to interpret the events that surround Jesus’ death by crucifixion.  Now, the time is right; now, the Father’s divine decree is ready to come to pass.  The fullness of time has, in fact, come and Jesus is completely aware of the Father’s timetable regarding His death.  The Passover is coming and the Passover is the time when God has ordained His Son Jesus will be killed.

What we must see here is that before the appointed time, nothing or no one could kill Jesus.  There were multiple attempts to take His life and all, of course failed.  

We often look at these verses around Christmas time when King Herod attempted to kill the infant Jesus.  

Matthew 2:16–18 (ESV) 

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.” 

Luke 4:28–30 (ESV) 

28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away. 

John 5:18 (ESV) 

18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 

John 7:25–26 (ESV) 

25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 

So, I think we could say that before it was the right time, it was impossible to kill Jesus.  He had a certain time that the Father had set and before that time Jesus would not and could not die. 

Now, when we get to this point, the exact opposite is true.  The Passover was the time that Jesus was to die and nothing could keep Him from His time.  Jesus would die at Passover when the sacrificial lambs were killed.  He is God’s Passover Lamb.  At the Passover that year, God would introduce His Passover Lamb.

John 1:29 (ESV) 

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 

How do we know that the Passover was the time slated for Jesus’ death?  Jesus tells us and so does Peter.

Luke 22:22 (ESV) 

22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 

Acts 2:23–24 (ESV)
23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 

Also, the Apostle Paul declares that Jesus is our Passover Lamb.  In order to be our Passover Lamb, Jesus had to die at the Passover.

1 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV) 

Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 

So, Jesus is very clear when He tells His disciples that He will die at the Passover.

2.  The Jewish High Priest, Chief Priests and the Elders Say Jesus Will Not Be Killed During the Passover

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.” 

Caiaphas was a very discreet and devious politician.  He served as High Priest for 18 years, and all the time Rome was in charge.  He knew how to manipulate and play people.  He new when to move forward with a plan and when to wait.  He knew just how far he could push Rome and when to let up.  

Every time we read about Caiaphas in the Bible it’s in relation to killing Jesus.  His fear of Jesus was not in regard to His sins but concerning his political career.  He hated Jesus because Jesus was bad for business.  Jesus was hurting their political clout.  Jesus had the support of the people.  Jesus was God’s Son.

After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, both the Pharisees and the Sadducees met at Caiaphas’s palace to express their concern that Jesus’ growing number of followers would incite the anger of the Roman Empire (Matthew 26:2John 11:47). They were unsure how to proceed until Caiaphas spoke: “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish” (John 11:50). This statement calling for Jesus’ death was a cold, calculating move of political expediency; at the same time, Caiaphas was unknowingly prophesying about God’s plan for Jesus’ death.

So, Caiaphas calls a meeting and the topic is when would the time be right to kill Jesus.  The consensus among the Jewish leadership is that the absolute worst time would be during the Passover because there would no doubt be an uproar among the people and this would cause Rome to intervene.  This was something they very dearly wanted to avoid. 

3.  Jesus Was Crucified on God’s Time Table Not Man’s

On the day of Passover, Jesus ate the Passover meal with his disciples and turned that Old Covenant feast into the spiritual sign of the New Covenant, the Lord’s Supper.

A Hebrew day begins at sunset. The Last Supper or Last Passover began at sunset at the start of the day of Passover. Messiah Jesus died about 3 in the afternoon of that day.  It was at 3 in the afternoon when the Passover Lambs were being killed for the Passover sacrifices.  Jesus died as the Lamb of God just as God designed.  The death of Jesus took place exactly as God had determined in exactly the way God had determined.  


In the Passover in Egypt, it was the responsibility of the father to apply the blood of the sacrificial Lamb onto the door and door frame of every house.  When the death angels saw the blood, He would Passover and no wrath, no death would come to that house.

All this is a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus, our Passover Lamb.
So, we must see together how it is that Jesus, the Lamb of God who shed His blood on the cross is made to be our Savior and Passover Lamb as Paul wrote.  How is His blood applied to us?  How can I avoid the wrath of God because of my sin?  How are we saved from the wrath of God?

Ephesians 2:1–9 (ESV) 

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 

Resources Used:

Matthew by John MacArthur

Matthew by RT France

Matthew by Leon Morris

Matthew by William Hendriksen

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