Classic Christianity – Jesus His Final Hours P2 (04-14-20)
Let us zoom in on what transpired that night that Jesus knew he was going to be betrayed into the hands of men. Here is Jesus, praying alone to His Father. His disciples could not stay awake for one hour. Jesus knew that, having told them previously that every one of them will be scattered. Yet he would say, “I am not alone for God is with me.” Do you sometimes feel the weight of the world is on your shoulders? I think of our current president, when I ponder over what he has to face every day he goes to work.
But Jesus bore this weight alone. Jesus is agonizing over what he must do for our sake, the lives of all men who ever walked the face of the earth. The punishment required for sin is death, and that punishment must be paid, but no man can pay it. No man is without sin except Jesus. The only man who had a life to lay down is Jesus so that the just requirements of the law could be fulfilled in us. Yet, to become sin for us is very agonizing. We cannot really comprehend that, to know God and to have Him turn his face from you, because God is too holy to look upon sin.
So Jesus experienced death for us. Every vile sin, every thought and deed, that ever entered the world would be laid on Christ Jesus. So, Jesus was agonizing over this in the garden of Gethsemane, sweating with drops of blood, and asking if there was any other way for man to be saved, for life to be able to be offered to man. What keeps man from God? Is it sin? Sin is the cause of our death, this emptiness we feel, this void in our heart, this separation, of being dead, to God. What is the consequence of sin? Death. So until sin is taken away, life cannot be offered to man.
So when you pray, do you pray so that all your prayers will be answered? Or do you pray so that the will of God is accomplished? So those in Christ Jesus, born again with the Spirit of God living in us, should have the same mind as that of Christ Jesus. What was the Lord praying? “God, if there is any way to save these people apart from my having to become sin, taking upon myself the sins of the whole world, if there is any way to save them apart from doing that, do it? But Father, it is not my will, but yours be done.” He knew there is no other way. “If He thought of anything while I was here on earth, come up with it. Yet, not my will, but yours be done.” That is an attitude that should be in our hearts as people who are born again. If we are indwelt by the living Christ and have his mind living in us, our attitudes should be “Lord,not my will but yours be done”. Your prayers answered or God’s will for your life are not necessarily the same.
John 13:6-8 (ESV)
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.”
Peter said, “Never will you be a servant to me. I will be a servant to you.” Is that not a natural response?
John 13:8 (ESV)
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you,
If I am not your servant, and do not serve you to the ultimate of going to the cross for you, then you have no share with me. So, Jesus said to Peter, “Peter, you do not understand me now, but you will”.
John 13:8-11 (ESV)
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”
In other words, if that is the case, Peter said, “just wash me all over”.
John 13:10-14 (ESV)
10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
In other words, as I have served you, so you should serve one another. Recall that Jesus humbled himself and became a servant. And this mindset of Christ should be in you, the mindset you should have, which will be yours in Christ Jesus.
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Do likewise. Do not think of how people can be serving you, but how you can be serving others.
John 13:15-17 (ESV)
15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
We know, from that point on, a betrayal has taken place. So let us pick up in the garden of Gethsemane. After he did the Lord’s supper, he and his disciples would have returned around the city into the garden of Gethsemane. When Jesus was in this garden of Gethsemane, among the grove of olive trees, he said to them that this very night you will all fall away on account of me. Think of the good news of that. These men followed Jesus for all of this time, through some severe persecution, in many instances. Yet, today, he says, “You will all fall away because of me”.
Matthew 26:30-33 (ESV)
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”
Do you think Peter meant what he said? Do you think he was sincere? Yes, he was sincere with all of his heart that he will never, ever leave Jesus. Peter was saying, “I do not believe that.” Peter always had his foot in his mouth, but the Lord loved him. That is an encouragement to me.
Matthew 26:34-35 (ESV)
34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.
Did Peter mean it? Yes, that is for sure what he thought he would do. Remember when Moses came down with the ten commandments, what did they say? (You can read about this in Exodus. The ten commandments are in Exodus 20. Exodus 19:8 and Exodus 24:3,7 are the responses of the Jewish people. Look particularly at Exodus 24:3,7.) They essentially said, “Oh, we will obey those. No problem for us.” Before they ever brought them down from the mountain, they had built a golden calf and were having orgies (Exodus 32).
That is how much we can do apart from Christ. You can be sincere but also be sincerely wrong. Many times sincerity is an attribute that people have respect in. But folks, it means nothing. You and I can be sincerely wrong. Everybody that stands at an altar to get married are sincere, hopefully, or they would not be there. But they are sincerely wrong, thinking that in the energy of the flesh they can keep this thing together. Just as the Israelites could not keep the law in the energy of the flesh, here is Peter, that has a devotional love for the Lord that is so obvious.
Matthew 14:22-33 (ESV)
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
On on one occasion, here it was on the third watch, three o’clock in the morning, where the disciples are in the middle of the lake of Galilee. Now, here is Jesus walking on water to them. What a sight! Who was it that said, “Lord, let me walk out there with you?” Peter. And he said, “come on”. He got out of the boat, and then all of a sudden starting seeing the waves. When he saw the waves, he sunk, and said, “Lord, help”. What did the Lord say, “Oh you of little faith.” Little faith! What are you talking about. He stepped out of the boat and out on the water. That is not little faith. That is a bunch of faith. Would you do that? Would I do that? Not unless I was on the Salt Sea, and then I would sink? What was he saying? You have enough faith to step out of the boat onto that water, and that was a bunch of faith. But when you got out of the boat and saw the waves, you started sinking. Peter, use the same faith you used to get out of the boat, to get into the boat.
What is that a picture of? You and me. What kind of faith did we have to exercise to step out of Adam into Christ? To leave everything behind and say, “Jesus, I am trusting you and you alone for my salvation. People that have come out of tradition, where you were saved by being a Catholic, or taking the Lord’s supper, or doing ordinances, or saved by Greek orthodox, or saved by anything, and you say, “It is all dung”. You say, “Jesus, it is you and you alone”. So we exercise faith.
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
The next day we tun into a problem. We say, ‒Help”. So the Holy Spirit speaks to our heart, ”.Bob, the same faith that you exercise to come to me, exercise in me.”. As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him. The same faith that took to receive him, walk in Him. That is what he was saying, almost amusingly. “Peter, look what you did? You walked out of the boat and walked on water. Peter, keep your faith where it belongs. Keep it on.”. Peter was not a man of little faith. He was a man who loved the Lord with all of his heart, but he could not do it.
Now, before we go on, after Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, and then after the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit of God was sent by God to live inside of you and me, and to live inside of the apostles, and they were literally born again that day. They were spiritually regenerated that day. No man is spiritually regenerated until the Spirit of God lives in you. Prior to that time, the Son of God came upon people for divine service. But only at Pentecost did he come to live in people. Now what was the difference between this Peter we are going to read about that denies the Lord and the Peter that stood in front of those people 50 days later and said, “You killed the Son of God”.
29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”’[f]
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
What was the difference between the two, the Peter who denied Christ in fear and the Peter who spoke boldly? The Spirit of God living in you, the Holy Spirit of God to take up residence in a person. That is what it means to be born again (See John 3). Was he religious prior to that? Yes. Was he a follower of Jesus prior to that? Yes. Did he love Jesus? Sure. Did he have any power to live the life? None. How come? He did not have the life. That is the condition of the so-called Christian religious world. You have people who are living a life they do not have, pretending. When they do not have life, they are religious. They say they love church, they come to church and give their money, but they do not have a living relationship with God.
So, if you are asking the same question, “What shall we do?” Come to Jesus for life. Here is a small booklet you can read, that goes over in more detail what Jesus accomplished for you and me, and by putting your faith in Him and Him alone, you can have new spiritual life. Be Born Free
So you either have a life that you do not live or else you live a life that you do not have. So many people are trying to live a life they do not have and then there are those of us who have a life that we do not live. How much can you and I do apart from Jesus? Nothing. How much could Peter do apart from Jesus? Nothing. He was strong. He was big. He was bold. He loved the Lord but he could not do one thing apart from Jesus when the crunch came to life. How much can you and I do? Nothing. He said even if I die I will never disown you. He meant that.
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
What was he praying? He was saying, “take this cup from me.“ Was he merely saying, “I do not want to die.” No. Much lesser men than that have gone to their death bed, who have not wept great drops of blood, as we will read about later. Here is the sinless Lamb of God, who literally took upon himself, by transfer, the sins of the entire world. Every dirty, lousy thing we have ever thought or done, or ever will do, and ever man who as ever lied, and everything they ever thought and done, all of that went upon Jesus.
In my early days of teaching as a brand new Christian, I was teaching in a Sunday school class with some teenagers. I remember one girl who said to me, “Mr. George, I do not see how Jesus would be dripping great drops of blood over dying?” So I said to her, “I want to ask you a question. If someone told you tomorrow that you were going to have to die, be shot or whatever it might be, do you think it would cause you to sweat as it were, of great drops of blood?” “No. I do not think so.” I said, “I do not think so either. Let me ask you another question. If someone told you tomorrow that you were going to go into a field and that you were going to be molested by a hundred guys and be made fun of and be engaged in all kinds of evil, sexual activities and everything else, what would happen to you then?” She said, “I think I would sweat great drops of blood.” That is the difference. This Jesus took upon all the vile sins that you and I ever thought of committing in our lives.
What was the Lord praying? “God, if there is any way to save these people apart from my having to become sin, taking upon myself the sins of the whole world, if there is any way to save them apart from doing that, do it? But Father, but it is not my will, but yours be done.” He knew there is no other way. “If He thought of anything while I was here on earth, come up with it. Yet, not my will, but yours be done.” That is an attitude that should be in our hearts as people who are born again. If we are indwelt by the living Christ and have his mind living in us, our attitudes should be “Lord, not my will but yours be done”. Do you want your prayers answered or do you want God’s will for your life, because the two are not necessarily the same.
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.
Who was sending Judas out? Chief priests, religious people and the elders.
48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”
What did he call him? Friend. Do you think Jesus knew he was up to? Do you think Jesus knew what Judas was up to for three years? Yet, what did he call him? Friend. Recall what Jesus said. “I do not call you a slave. I call you my friends.”
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
So, here is Judas, one of the twelve, who was with Jesus for three years. Here was Judas, who was also instructed to go out two by two, along with the other disciples. So, can someone taste and see the goodness of the Lord, but fail to come to him for life? It would be like a person going to church all his life, playing church, doing good things, looking good on the outside before men, but inwardly dead to God. It could be someone participating in the things Christians are known to do or it could be someone like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but either way fail to come to Christ for life.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
That was Peter. We know this from John’s account.
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him
The reaction of the other disciples were similar, to take up swords to fight, as we read in Luke’s account. Notice too, that Jesus healed the man’s ear. So the crowd of soldiers was dispatched to arrest Jesus. They hated him without reason.
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion,
In those days, there were rebellious Jews, organizing a rebellion against the Romans. That is why the Romans did not like the days of Passover because of the hundreds of thousands of Jews gathered in one place, for that would be potential danger there. Barabbas was one of those. So that was not an unusual question for Jesus to ask. “Am I leading a rebellion?” It would be like saying, “Have you seen me picketing Washington?”
that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me?
“Have you seen me doing this? ”
Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.
“You heard me there. Why did you not arrest me then?”
56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
So all the disciples fled, including Peter. Now then went over to the Kidron valley. That is a valley that goes from the garden of Gethsemane over to the Jerusalem walls. They went to Caiphas house. Many people believe that at that place is where the disciples denied the Lord, and was probably so.
57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled.
Who had assembled there? All the teachers of the law, all the people who did not like Jesus, who do did not agree with his interpretation. And you know how bad that is, when someone does not agree with your interpretation.
58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.
59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.
This is what always takes place. When someone wants to get you, and they cannot get good information on you, why they dig up false information. You can always do that. You get people, and pay them off, to get them to say something about a person to try and get him crucified.
Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
Did Jesus say that? Just as this temple, three days and three nights, this temple will be destroyed and be rebuilt. But what was he talking about? He was talking about himself.
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent.
Jesus was probably looking at him like, “Boy, are you dumb.” Jesus did not even answer.
The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
Where did that come? I thought the accusation was “I would destroy the temple and rebuild it”. No, the question now is, “Are you the Christ, the Son of God?”
64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?”
This is the high priest now.
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
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?”
As you turn back to history, and look at what people did back in those days, people would put a hood on top of some man and tie it, and then bust him in the face, and say, “Who hit you that time?” Then they would turn him around, and then another person would hit him in the face. “Who hit you?”, mocking him, and asking, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?“
13 See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
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 –
15 so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.
As we read in Isaiah, he was beaten beyond recognition beyond any man. There was a huge hole, where they would take a prisoner and lower him down with a rope into a hole, with no place to move, and leave you there for torturing purposes, and then drag you back up again. There are all kinds of torture that took place. Can you imagine walking up and spitting in the face of the Son of God, a man who had raised the dead, healed the blind, the most loving person who ever walked on the face of the earth, yet engendered such wrath, for what? Teaching truth. He was called rabbi. He could have interpreted the laws, just like the other rabbis, and could have been the biggest ones there. But he taught truth. He got underneath the skin to show us our own hypocrisy. We do not want to see that. We want to function on the surface. Do not get too close to me. I just want to fool you. Do not get under my skin. Jesus got underneath the skin, and that is uncomfortable because we have to come to grips with yourself. If there is no solution, then have to come to grips with yourself, accept or form more religion. Come to church more. Pray more. Read your bible more. Have more quiet time. That is the best religion can offer to you. And you try that, don’t you. So you go to church and tithe. Then he tells you to do something else, so you go to prayer meeting and go to visitation. And you try harder and harder and harder, but there is nothing that can calm your heart. That thing he said in the beginning about peace. You have peace right in front of you and you rejected it. That was certainly true of the priest, the religious leaders and the elders.