Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P22 (11-30-20)
When we look at scriptures concerning the last days of Jesus on earth, those things we have read about through the prophets, such as Isaiah and Micah, and then the eyewitnesses, like John and Matthew, who ate and drank with Jesus, do you not marvel? The disciples of Jesus recorded down the fulfillment of prophecy, of the things they saw and heard, what was fulfilled, as written down through the prophets. How can you not say, “This man must have been the Messiah!”? But as you look deeper into the scriptures, you realize the attitudes of the heart of all mankind is made known.
We look at the attitude of Judas, who obviously betrayed Jesus, but later recognized his wrong and tried to make it right. He was filled with remorse. Yes, he betrayed Jesus, and so did all the disciples, including Peter. What was Judas main problem? He thought he could manipulate God into doing what he wanted Him to do, which would cause deliverance of the Jews out of Roman rule. He had the mind of natural man but was blind to the things of God. The plan of God was hidden from him. It was not that Jesus did not make His plan known. He had ears but did not hear. He had eyes but did not see. He saw the perfect love of God every day, for he ate and drank with Him.
But all that was recorded by the prophets to the precise details of the betrayal of 30 pieces of silver, of the money being tossed into a field, known still today as the field of blood, Potter’s field. That came true exactly as what was written down through the prophets. As Jesus said, that this had to be done so scripture would be fulfilled that it had to happen this way.
But again, you look at the attitudes of the Pharisees and Sadduccees and religious leaders also. You see their hypocrisy and legalism. They thought it against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money yet they see no wrong in putting Jesus under a mock trial and getting the Romans to do the dirty work of putting Jesus to death.
But have we failed to check our own hearts? What kind of legalistic attitudes of heart do we have? Would we think of ourselves as righteous by what we do? Do we think of ourselves as too bad, having done too great of a wrong, that we cannot dare come to God? Do we know what Christ came to do? Do we know what grace He has come to give you?
Do we boast that we do not steal or commit adultery? Are we comparing ourselves to someone else, saying, “I would not do that?” Are you looking at only the external, or, if Jesus told you to sell everything you have and give to the poor, would you do it, if you were a rich man? Could you do that? What does the law tell you? “ Oh, you can do that? ” How quick will you fall on your face? Or do you say you do not commit adultery, yet you know you have lusted after a woman in your heart? Have you ever come to recognize that the law condemned you to death and declared you guilty before God?
Have you failed to look at the condition of your own heart? What do you think the hearts of all mankind is like? We all were the reason Jesus came to die. It is so easy to see the evil in the hearts of other people, to see the wrongdoing of others, but do you see yourself as God sees you. If you are in Christ, whose righteousness do you have? Certainly not your own. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Even our so-called good deeds are like filthy rags before God, those deeds that are not produced by the Spirit of God, but boastful flesh. What did the apostle Paul say concerning mankind in Romans? “There is no one righteous. No, not one.”
Do you see Jesus as just a man who did wonderful things, miracles even, and how He loved people. Or do you see Him for who He claimed to be, God. And being God, why did He come to this earth? I dare say, no one is born to die. When we are born, we do what we can to live a long life, to keep our bodies healthy. But Jesus came to die. Jesus even told his disciples, “No one takes my life from me. I lay it down of my accord.” To whom do you suppose He laid down His life for? For Himself? No. For you and me. Why?
What is in your heart? Is your heart deceitful and wicked above all else? Who can understand it? Have you ever come to the point of recognizing how wretched and empty you are inside? Unless the punishment of sin, which is death, is paid in full, we would have to pay that price, and if we did, we would be forever separated from God forever. The punishment of sin for the entire world, for all mankind, had to be paid in full, if there is any hope for mankind. And, if Jesus was not raised from the dead, we too would remain dead in our sins. Did Jesus remain dead? No. He is risen indeed!
Jesus told us ahead of time, about this command He received from His Father.
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Jesus told us why he came and what he came to do. Why do you suppose He was raised from the dead? If He is God, does He not have life in Himself and lives forever? What kind of life do you think He wants to give you? A life that dies again? No. He wants to give the very life that is in Him to you. But until the cause of our death, which is sin, is taken away, that life cannot be given. What greater love can there be than this, that while we were yet enemies, in our minds because of our sinful behavior, our sinful condition, Christ died for you, only to be raised again, to give His life to you, so He can live His life in you and through you. How do you want to respond to His love? Do you want to know someone who loves you that much? Would you want to invite Him into your life, to get to know Him? Do you want His life, or would you rather have your own? That choice is yours. Would you receive by faith, Christ as your life today?
Well there are all kinds of profits that could gain from something like that. In this particular case it was financial profit. There would also be a profit that could be gained, that I could make myself look great or greater in the sight of people by tearing down someone else. That is one of the reasons that I personally have never tried to engage in discrediting other ministries. That is why on the air, when people call in about other ministries or other ministers, even though it sometimes slips through, I do not want them to mention denominations or people by name. If they want to talk about what a person is teaching, then I will go after that. In other words, I will latch up. If someone is teaching prosperity gospel, I will match it up with scripture, up against that teaching. But I do not want to get involved in human personalities. I do not ever want to get involved to make myself look better in the sight of man by tearing another person down who is better known than I am. If someone is well known and I can make him look bad, then I will be well known and they will be crumbled.
If it is good in your sight, give me wages. If not, then never mind. In other words, I will never turn him over unless there is a profit to me. I do not believe there is ever such a thing as Judas Iscariot mindset where a person is not thinking of some personal profit for themselves in so doing it.
So they did that. They counted out the coins. Judas went out and watched for his opportunity to betray his best friend. You talk about some guts. Try it on for size what it must have been like to betray Jesus Christ, a man who loved him perfectly, who did everything in the world for them, never said an unkind word to somebody, yet he wanted to betray him. There was a reason Judas wanted to do that. Judas had a different agenda than Jesus. Jesus was here for spiritual reasons. Judas was there for political and human reasons. Judas was wanting Jesus to be the reigning Messiah and not the suffering Messiah. Judas was not interested in the salvation of people’s souls. He was interested in keeping the money. He had the treasury. He had his mind on business, money and investments. Jesus had his mind on salvation of souls.
So when you find somebody in an organization where their mindset gets on money and on money and on money instead of on souls and souls and souls. Before long you are going to have an organization on your hand that is doing business and has to do business in order to do ministry. Then the opposite of that is I have to do some ministry in order to do business. So when the agenda changes so it is more important to do business, then ministry becomes a sideline to you. What Christ was there for was to reach people. In order to do that, we have to do business.
But folks, that is one of the problems I believe that takes place in ministries where people are not responsible to respond financially when there is some truth being taught to you. When the message of unconditional love and grace has penetrated your heart and has changed your life and you know it to be true, and it is not common place to hear this message, if we are not responsible to respond to that message by supporting it. Even Christ when he was here had to have a treasurer. It means if you are going to function in this realm of human experience there is a dollar exchange that has to take place. We have to pay bills. We have to pay lights. We have to pay employees. We have to pay radio stations. We cannot get away from that.
But the goal never wants to come down to the point where the paying of bills, paying of a station, the exchanges of money becomes paramount and so therefore, I am a business that has to do ministry instead of a ministry that has to do business. What causes that subtle shift sometimes is when we as listeners and recipients of this message do not act responsibly and therefore do not responsibly support the message of the teaching of the fullness of grace. Therefore a ministry has to get their mind focused on how to sustain themselves financially instead of continuing to be focused on how to proclaim the message effectively. You are left with no alternative when we do not respond responsibly in support of ministry. So it forces you to be more involved in the finances than in saving of souls.
Judas had a different agenda than Jesus and therefore was willing to betray him in order to get him to see that he was there to do business. In the mind of Judas, he was there to be the reigning Messiah, to be a political figure instead of to be there for the purpose of seeking and saving the lost. So as it says in Matthew 26.
14 Then one of the Twelve – the one called Judas Iscariot – went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
We are spending a lot of time on this, Judas Iscariot. But I think it is a fantastic piece of prophecy. Zechariah prophesied that 500 years before Christ even down to thirty pieces of silver. They prophesied thirty and that is exactly what he got.
Now, turn to Zechariah 11:13.
13 And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter” – the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.
That was a prophecy fifty years before the event. See how that was fulfilled in Matthew 26:14-16.
3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.
What happened there was Judas was trying to get Jesus to change his mind. In other words, “look at things my way. You are supposed to try to restore Israel. You need to plug into my agenda, Jesus.” Is not that amazing? That is how we can get, though. That is how ego and pride can get the man so easy. “I do not care whether you are sent by God or not, I have got an agenda and I want you to follow it.” He turned them over but he did not realize that they were going to condemn him the way they were. He did not know that would be a condemnation of death upon him. He thought they would smack his fingers and get him back on track again. He did not know.
You can get involved in a betrayal but you do not know the ramifications of it. Of course you do not because all you are thinking about is your own selfish deals. “What I am going to get out of it.” You do not think what kind of damage that it will do to the one betrayed. All of a sudden you see this terrific damage to this one who was your friend, to the one you ate at the table, the one you trusted and the one who trusted you. Then you see the repercussion of that type of thing. You realize a couple of things when you look at something like that. Not only is there a terrific repercussion to the person you betrayed but there is also going to be a terrific repercussion in your own life in initiating that betrayal. Of course, that is how Satan deceives us. He thinks we can get away with something without the by-products being as severe as they are. He was seized with remorse. In other words, “I did not mean this to be that bad.”
3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
He returned the thirty coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned. I have betrayed innocent blood.” Listen to the response of a legalist.
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
In other words, “We do not care. If you think you betrayed innocent blood or not, we are not interested in it, whether it is innocent blood or not. We do not care if it is innocent blood. We want to get him.” That is the mind of a legalist. But to Judas. He had remorse. He came to grips to the fact that what he had done is wrong. But when he went back to the people to get them to recant their decision. “I want to give you back the thirty pieces of silver. I made a mistake.” The legalist says, “No. no. You did exactly and precisely what I need, him. I do not care whether he is innocent or guilty. I am after him.” There is the heart of a legalist.
I think very few people realize there was a Judas who repented. Judas saw the ills of his way. He betrayed his best friend. He betrayed someone who trusted him and he trusted him. He betrayed someone who fed him and had eaten at his table. He had a change of heart in regard to what he had done. He saw that what he did was wrong. But the legalist did not see that as wrong at all. In that state of remorse, and I think we fail to realize this, because the only way we see Judas is as the bad guy who turned over the Lord and that is true. He did that. But many times, we fail to see that there was a spirit of repentance and remorse in the heart of Judas to the point that led to what he did next. What did he do? He fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah.
5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
He could not stand the thought of having to go back and to face his best friend, the God who had loved him perfectly and to face Him and to say, “Jesus, I betrayed you.”
6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”[Zechariah 11:12,13; Jeremiah 19:1-13; 32:6-9].
So in his remorse, Judas went and hanged himself. Again, I would see a two-fold area there. That was the sign of a person, to me, that even though was confused and even though had a different agenda, that was a person who came to grips, to a degree, with the grace of God, because he came to the point he had done wrong. But to the people he went to, there was no remorse. There was no saying “I was wrong.” All they were after was, “Go get that guy.”
Is it amazing how you see humanity there. Ww have camped so much on the betrayal of Judas, but not realizing Judas betrayal would have been negated had it fallen on the ears of someone who understood anything about God. The fact they knew nothing about God. All they knew was legalism and law that Judas, his betrayal, went into effect that resulted in the crucifiction of his Lord.
I think when a person sees himself, and seeing they have done wrong, there are two things that take place. Your pride says, “I am not going to admit I am wrong, for then I am not going to accomplish my purpose.” “The reason I did it to begin with was to look good in the sight of people to tear him down.” “I am not going to admit I am wrong.” What kind of heart is that? That is not even Judas’ heart because he came to the point of saying “I am wrong”. He went back to the people to make it right. He tried to make them lay of this guy.
But to the legalists, the Pharisees and Saduccess, the teachers of the law and the chief priests, they absolutely had no remorse, no recounting of what they wanted to do. They were determined because of legalistic pride, to annihilate Jesus, and they ultimately did it.
All I am saying is this. Did Judas make a mistake? Yes, he did. But did he see the ill of his mistake? Yes, he did. Did it say he repented? Yes, he did. He was so grieved over what he had done, that he went out and hanged himself because he could not bear the thought of facing Jesus Christ face to face. So what did the legalists, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, do?
6 The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.”
Here are these self-righteous, idiots. These people had no idea. “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” It is okay to crucify somebody. It is okay to have a false trial, behind someone’s back and be the judge, jury and executioner. It is okay to do that but it is against the law to put money in the treasury since it is blood money.
Again, nobody looks into the heart. Here they are mean as a hornet. “And that is okay, but do not spit on the ground on the Sabbath.” You can spit on a rock but not on the ground! “Do not heal somebody on the Sabbath.” All along is the mind of the legalist, “I am mean as a hornet. I do not care if I kill somebody, but do not do it on the Sabbath. I am going to protect this little law that I can obey.” “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.”. Now they did not try to give it back to Judas, you understand, but we have to do something besides put it in our pockets!
7 So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. 8 That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
Today, you can go to Israel and find the field of blood, called the Potter’s field.
9 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”[Zechariah 11:12,13; Jeremiah 19:1-13; 32:6-9.]
What a prophecy, 500 years before the event, prophesied to the very amount, prophesied of the response of the people of Israel, and prophesied of the remorse of a person who betrayed Jesus. An unbelievable fulfillment of prophecy.
Now. Let us go to another prophecy, in regard to his suffering. The Lord is going to have to suffer as a result of the betrayal of Judas, even though he repented from his act, but an execution on the part of the legalistic world. The prophet Isaiah, some 700 years B.C., wrote about this.
6 I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
The prophecy is going to say that the Messiah is going to be beaten, to be slapped in the face, and people will pluck out his beard, and he will not cover his face from the humiliation and spitting. There will be people who will spit right in the face of God Himself. The more you look at these things, the harder it is to understand man at anything except what God says.
9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
That is not only true of all humanity but the fact gets amplified through the teachers of the law.
That, again, was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ and recorded by the apostle John.
1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”
Again, you just stop to think about the treatment of this man, Jesus of Nazareth, God in our humanity, on this earth, who walked in absolute perfect love, and was treated this way by his own creation!
10> He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
People not only did not receive him, his message, but they rejected him to the point of flogging him, cramming down on his head this crown of thorns, clothing him in this robe, while mocking him, saying “Hail, king of the Jews!”, and here is this purple robe for you, and then striking him in the face, and then standing there, spitting in his face.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
There was also, according to Isaiah 53:5, it fulfills what else they did to Jesus, during that terrible time of his trial, an illegal trial, as people like that always do behind your back. People do not do legitimate trials. Instead they become the accuser and the court and the executioners. These Pharisees brought up the crucifiction of the Lord Jesus Christ. As people normally try to do, they do that anonymously. The Jews were behind every bit of this crucifiction. They were the ones trying to crucify him, taking him to Caesar, and then they had the Romans carry out their dirty work. In essence, that dirty work could not be carried out unless it was given to be carried out.
All of us are guilty of crucifying the Lord Jesus Christ. You are talking about the Pharisaical religious leaders, the people who had control over all the other people. They were certainly responsible for the perpetuation of this, the initiation of it, the fanning of it, but the Gentiles had to carry it out. So we are all equally guilty, Jews, Gentiles, slave or free, all of us involved ultimately in the crucifiction of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Again, what you see behind that. You certainly did not have the legalistic heart in the Gentiles. They did not even know what legalism was. But to those religious leaders and to that heart of the legalistic, the legalistic heart that is evil above all things, you are going to see in that heart whereby they go normally in an anonymous way, behind the scenes, have a trial at night so nobody can blame, and nobody can say “I was there” and do the dirty work to get somebody else to do the work, and then walk away and say “I have nothing to do with that. The Romans did that.” It is a pattern you will see not only in the life of the Lord Jesus. You will also see that in the persecution that took place to the apostle Paul and other apostles and down to this very day in Christendom.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
That ties into what the prophet Isaiah wrote, of the fact that he was pierced for our transgressions.
15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
So all of that ties into Isaiah 53 that deals with the details of that crucifiction. Now, the prophet Micah wrote about that as well.
1 Marshal your troops now, city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod.
21 They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
Again in Isaiah we read.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness
In other words, Jesus was beaten beyond recognition. We have a picture of him on the cross and he looks all together. Sometimes we see pictures of boxers that have gone through a total beating in the rain, and their faces are so unrecognizable, with swelling and cuts. It makes you unrecognizable. That is what Jesus looked like on the cross. He was beaten as no man. He was unrecognizable. You could imagine the heartache of those on the one they had pierced. What has this man done to deserve this kind of beating? Yet there was no problem on part of those who carried it out.
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