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(If you would like to download the PowerPoint presentation for this sermon, Click here – 194 A Plan – A Plot – and Preparation)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
February 10, 2019
People want to think of themselves as autonomous captains of their own ship, masters of their own fate. The common situations of life usually put a check on such foolish ideas quickly as our plans are often changed by circumstances or other people. Even simple travel plans are changed by the car breaking down, or either you or the person you were going to travel with getting sick. Yet, man continues to try to achieve some degree of autonomy by efforts to control the world around him. You may be able to have some success in controlling your home environment through air conditioning and heating, but you can’t control the weather and it could just blow your house away. You may be successful at manipulating other people to do what you want them to do, but then, there are the other people that are good at manipulating you? Don’t believe me? Ever buy something and then figured out after you got home that you didn’t really want it, or find that even after a couple of years, you never used it?
This morning we will see a contrast between God’s absolute ability to control the future and man’s feeble and foolish attempts to do so as the plans of the Jewish religious leaders are once again crushed by the sovereignty of God. God has a plan, people have plots, and Jesus’ directions for the preparation of Passover demonstrate once again that He is more than just a man. Turn to Matthew 26 and put markers in Mark 14 and Luke 22.
God’s Sovereign Plan – Matthew 26:1-2
1 And it came about that when Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be delivered up for crucifixion.”
Verse 1 marks this as occurring after Jesus had finished His discourse on the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem. Jesus would have made this statement either as they prepared to leave, while traveling back to Bethany where they would spend the night or in Bethany after they had arrived. What Jesus said is simple enough, but it is very profound. Before we look at that, let me remind you of the chronology of what has taken place and what Jesus is predicting.
It is Wednesday and it has been a very long day filled with a succession of confrontations as soon as Jesus had entered the Temple that morning. First were the chief priest and elders who challenged His authority to teach (Matthew 21:23-22:14, See: Who Does the Father’s Will, The Longsuffering Landlord & His Son & Invitation to a Royal Feast). They were followed by Herodians who had been sent by the Pharisees to entrap Jesus in a political dilemma (Matthew 22:15-22. See Obligations to Caesar; Obligations to God). Next were the Sadducees who foolishly sought to trap Jesus on a theological point about the resurrection which they did not understand (Matthew 22:23-33. See The Dead Still Live & A Future in Heaven). Finally, the Pharisees tried to ensnare Jesus in a popular theological debate about what is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-46. See The Greatest Commandments & Love for God & Loving Your Neighbor & The Son Who Existed Before His Father). Jesus then addressed the multitudes and His disciples to warn them about the false teaching and ungodly lives of the scribes and Pharisees (See: Warnings against Pseudo Piety & Pride & Seven Woes to Spiritual Hypocrites) concluding with His lament over unwillingness of Jerusalem to repent and believe (Matthew 23:1-36. See The Savior’s Lament & True Piety). The Olivet discourse in Matthew 24-25 takes place as they leave the Temple mount and are on their way back to Bethany. (See: The Beginnings of the Future Tribulation & The Great Tribulation & The Sign of His Coming & Are Your Ready for His Return? & The Necessity of Being Prepared & The Importance of Being Faithful & A Sheep or a Goat? & Why We Are Premillennial & Why We Are PreTribulational).
Jesus states that it would be two days until Passover. The Jews counted a part of a day as a day, so the rest of Wednesday plus Thursday would be two days, and after that it would be Passover on Friday. Jesus then reminds the disciples of what He had been telling them for some time going back to Matthew 16:21, “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 be raised up on the third day.” Even as early as John 2:19 Jesus had hinted about the coming crucifixion when He told those looking for signs – attesting miracles – from Him, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The text goes on to specifically state that Jesus was talking about the “temple of His body.” Jesus repeated His same prediction of suffering and crucifixion in Jerusalem in Matthew 17:22-23 and 20:17-19 and the parallel passages in Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:32-34 and Luke 9:22 and 18:31-34. Jesus was more detailed in some of these describing also being handed over to the Gentiles who would mock and scourge Him.
The coming crucifixion was not coming as a surprise to Jesus for it had been revealed in prophesies many centuries before. A millennium earlier David spoke about it in Psalm 22 describing in detail what would occur to the Messiah in verse 1, “My God, my God, why has Thou forsaken Me . . .” , verses 6-8, “But I am a worm, and not a man, A reproach of men, and despised by the people. All who see me sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying, Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue Him, because He delights in him . . .” , and verses 16-18, “they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.”
Three hundred years later and seven hundred years before it happened, Isaiah 52:13-53:12 described the Messiah as the suffering servant with great detail about what Jesus would go through in the crucifixion.
52:13 Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men. 15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand. 53:1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? 9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. 10 But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.
The angel revealed to Daniel the timing of Messiah’s death over 500 years before it happened. Daniel 9:25 explains that “Messiah the Prince” comes at the end of the prophetic 69 weeks. I have pointed out previously that this prophecy concluded on March 30, A.D. 33 (Nisan 10) when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Daniel 9:26 then states that after this “the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing .” Jesus would be killed after the triumphal entry.
There was nothing haphazard about the timing of Jesus death. He knew it before hand because it would occur, as Peter described it in Acts 2:23, according to “the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God.”
Here in Matthew 26:2 Jesus now gives the specific day on which He would be crucified. It would be on Passover. This is a statement of both His omniscience and sovereignty in declaring the exact day all these prophecies would be fulfilled in Him. It could not come sooner nor could it come later
Proverbs 16:9 states “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” That is true of believers and unbelievers alike. The chief priests, elders, scribes and Pharisees should have known this truth from not only their studies of the Scriptures and of Jewish history, but from their own lives as well. Matthew 26:3-5 and the parallel passages in Mark 14:1-2 and Luke 22:1-2 reveals their perverse plotting that would be used by God to accomplish His own purposes and not the purpose they had in mind.
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; 4 and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him. 5 But they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise a riot might occur among the people.”
This was not something new for them. They had been plotting to kill Jesus since about the middle of His ministry in Matthew 12:14 –“But the Pharisees went out, and counseled together against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.” This was in reaction to Jesus healing a man with a withered hand on a Sabbath. John 5 records Jesus healing a crippled man at Bethseda on a Sabbath with the same response from the Jewish religious leaders who were “seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”
It was not just plotting, but there were also actions taken to try and kill Jesus. In John 8 Jesus had another confrontation with them in which He proclaimed “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” They reacted by picking up stones to throw at Him, but “Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.” At an earlier time when Jesus was in the synagogue in Nazareth, the people were so incensed at His teaching that they tried to throw Him off a cliff, but “passing through their midst, He went His way” (Luke 4:30). In both of these cases this is God’s sovereignty at work because you cannot just pass through an angry crowd or suddenly hide yourself in the midst of one. Jesus could not be killed prior to God’s predetermined time.
The current effort of the Chief priests and Pharisees at plotting Jesus death extended back a month or more to when Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. Now that Jesus is in Jerusalem they are actively plotting this again optimistic that perhaps they would succeed this time after their past failures. However, they have a problem. The common people liked Jesus and held Him in high esteem. They had been shouting to Him only a few days prior, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest.” That was the reason for many efforts by the Jewish leaders to try to find a way to discredit Him, but they had failed, so they would have to figure out a way to be carry out their dastardly desires without alarming the multitudes. Luke states they were “afraid of the people” while Matthew and Mark are a little more specific that their reason for their fear was a possible riot of the people if they were not careful enough. That fear caused at least some among them to think they would have to wait until after the Feast of Unleavened Bread was over and the crowds would diminish.
The text states they wanted to seize Jesus by stealth (dojloV / dolos), a word meaning deceit, trickery, falsehood – bait for fish. That is one of the reasons they were meeting in the home of Caiaphas rather than the “hall of hewn stone” on the south side of the temple court where they would normally meet. They did not want any public attention about what they were doing. This was second nature for Joseph Caiaphas who was the high priest, but not because of Levite heritage. The High Priest had become a puppet position controlled by the Romans, and Caiaphas was an opportunistic, sly manipulator who by “hook and crook” gained the Romans’ favor and eliminated his rivals. Meeting in his home was convenient for him and his father-in-law, Annas, who had been the previous high priest. It would also ensure greater secrecy being away from the crowds which might overhear something if the meeting had been held in the Temple courtyard. It also allowed them to meet late into the night if needed, past the time when meetings were allowed in the Temple area.
They found an accomplice among Jesus’ disciples. However, before we continue on following Luke’s chronology, I must quickly mention that the accounts of Matthew and Mark jump back in time here to speak about Mary’s anointing of Jesus with very costly perfume in preparation for burial and Judas’ objection to what he considered a waste of the value of the perfume (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9). They use this event to expose Judas’ greed as well as acknowledging that Mary seems to have understood what was going to happen to Jesus even if the disciples did not. We followed John’s chronology that this event actually occurred just prior to Jesus’ Triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
Matthew 26:14-16, 14 Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. 16 From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.” Luke 22:3 exposes a driving force behind Judas’ action. “And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot . . .”
While this definitely indicates a greater force at work than just Judas’ own selfishness and greed, this does not mean the “devil made him do it.” Satan is powerful because He is an angelic being of the highest order, but he is not in control. He is the master deceiver and so can lead people astray into greater sin, but he cannot control people beyond what they will let him. He is not the cause of people’s sin, only an opportunist who will exploit it in the pursuit of his own designs. It is the evil within Judas and his quest of it that opens the door to Satan and welcomes him in. Satan is also not in control of the future for that belongs to God and God alone. Satan, like people, may even accomplish their designs for the short term, only to find out later that what he did works against him. The crucifixion of Jesus will appear to be Satan’s greatest triumph for a short time, but it will prove to be his greatest failure.
The chronology in Luke indicates it is either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning when Judas meets with the chief priests and elders. Judas had wanted to be part of a new government that would sweep the Romans away. He wanted the prestige, the power, and the riches such a position would bring him. After the events and teachings of that week, it would seem that Judas finally recognized that Jesus was not going to set up that kind of kingdom any time soon, and that Jesus was serious about His statements about being crucified in the very near future. It would be logical for a greedy man like Judas (John 12:6) to try and get what he could since he could not get what he wanted. It is also possible that Judas simply saw a way to make some extra money in this situation believing Jesus would still escape the trap as He had every time previously. In either case, he is also now being Satanically influenced and so would have a deluded sense of reality, right and wrong. He goes to the chief priests and offers to betray Jesus for money.
Mark and Luke both remark that they were glad at this. That is understandable since this gives them an opportunity they did not think they would get until after the feast was over. The chief priests were not going to let the opportunity get away, so they pay him in advance to obligate him to carry out his end of the bargain. Judas must have been disappointed with the amount offered, but he was greedy and settled for a cheap price. According to Exodus 21:30, thirty pieces of silver was the price of a slave that had been gored by an ox.
What a contrast Judas is with Mary who gave to Jesus what was probably her most valuable possession expecting nothing in return but simply as an act of adoring worship. For the price of an injured slave Judas sold his soul to Satan and became the most tragic figure in human history. To have walked and talked with the Lord, to have seen miracle after miracle, to learn at the master’s feet and then to turn his back on the Light of life and walk into the darkness.
Judas’ job would be to inform those who were plotting to kill Jesus when Jesus would be in a secluded spot where they could seize Him and bring Him to their kangaroo court without notice of the crowds. That is why it was “from then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.”
The next day, Thursday, Jesus gives instructions concerning preparations for Passover. Luke 22:7-13 gives the most detail about this, but before we look at that passage I need to briefly explain a little about Passover.
Passover was the oldest of the Jewish religious feasts. It was instituted in Exodus 12 as the means by which God would make a distinction between His people and the Egyptians as the last plague came against that nation. God was going to kill the first born of every household that did not observe the sacrifice and feast He was commanding. An unblemished year old lamb was to be killed on the 14th of the month with its blood spread on the door post and lintel of the house so that when the death angel would see that blood he would “passover” that house. Other elements such as the manner cooking and eating and the type of bread were also detailed. This meal was also commanded to be held again every year as a reminder of the Lord’s deliverance of Israel from their bondage in Egypt.
Passover took quite a bit of time to prepare. Not mentioned in any of the gospel accounts but required by the Mosaic Law was that the lamb had to be chosen and brought home on the 10th of the month – which was that Monday, the day of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread was closely related to Passover. Both were instituted at the same time and both were memorial observances of the exodus from Egypt. Passover focused on escape from the last plague, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread focused on the haste in which they left Egypt which was so fast there was no time for the bread to rise (Exodus 12:35). The Feast of Unleavened Bread began with the Passover meal and lasted seven days, so Passover was often referred to as the first day of Unleavened Bread. (Some additional confusion arises from some evidence that the Feast of Unleavened Bread had developed into an eight day period for some with first day being the day prior to Passover).
It should also be pointed out that there were two ways of reckoning a day among the Jews. One was from evening to evening (sunset to sunset), and the other was from morning to morning. This had a practical and beneficial effect on Passover because it ended up allowing for two afternoons on which the lamb could be sacrificed. For this particular year, that would mean those who calculated from morning to morning to sacrifice the lamb on Thursday afternoon of Nisan 14 and also eat that Thursday evening also Nisan 14. Those who calculated from sunset to sunset would offer the sacrifices on Friday afternoon of Nisan 14 and eat it that evening which would be Nisan 15. This allowed Jesus to be able to eat the Passover with His disciples on Thursday and still die as the fulfillment of the type of the Passover lamb on Friday.
The narrative resumes in Luke 22:7-13 on Thursday. 7 Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.” 9 They said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare it?” 10 And He said to them, “When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. 11 “And you shall say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ 12 “And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there.” 13 And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
The story seems somewhat clandestine since neither the particular man they meet nor the owner of the house are specifically identified. It would have been somewhat unusual for a man to carry water since that chore was normally carried out by women and children, so this man would stand out in the crowd.
Why be so secretive? Jesus was already aware of Judas’ traitorous bargain with the chief priests, so Jesus answers in a way that only those who are involved in the Passover preparation would find out the location before it was celebrated that evening. Judas would be unable to tip off Jesus’ enemies until after the Passover meal was over.
Notice that Jesus tells Peter & John to identify Him to the owner of the house as “the Teacher.” This indicates that this man was already familiar with Jesus as was probably one of His followers. Jesus may have made arrangements with this fellow earlier in the week to have Passover at his home.
Second, Matthew 26:18 records that they were to tell him that Jesus said, “My time is at near.” Time here is not “chronos” (crovnoV), a general reference to the succession of time, but “kairos” (kairovV), a specific and often predetermined period or moment of time. Earlier attempts to kill Jesus were thwarted because Jesus “time was not yet come.” Jesus could not be murdered prior to God’s predetermined time for His death at Passover. Now it was Passover and His “time was near,” and it could not be delayed (cf. vs. 5).
Jesus time was near, but first He must keep the Passover meal with the disciples. Again this is a statement of God’s sovereignty. No effort of man could keep Him from accomplishing what remained. There were a few things He still had to teach His disciples, and He also had to establish the memorial meal that would replace Passover for His disciples. The shadow from the past would be replaced by the reality of the present and the hope for the future.
Matthew 26:19 succinctly states that “the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.” The Scriptures do not record any other events that day. We do know that Jerusalem would have been extremely crowded. The Jewish historian, Josephus, records that on a normal Passover of that time over 250,000 lambs would be slain. Since tradition required 10-20 people for each lamb (enough to eat the whole thing) there would easily be 2.5 to three million people in the city. We do not know what Jesus and the other disciples did that day, but we do know that two of them would have gone to the temple between 3 & 5 O’clock to sacrifice the lamb as required by Exodus 12:6 “at twilight” or literally, “between the two evenings.” This works out to being between the 9th and 11th hours of the Jewish day or between 3 & 5 O’clock in our reckoning. Only two people would be allowed into the temple area per lamb to reduce the crowding. They would have then brought the sacrificed lamb to the upper room that had been prepared for them all to celebrate Passover.
Man would like to think he is autonomous and can control what will happen in the future, but only God is autonomous and only God can control the future. Jesus was knowingly following precisely God’s predetermined plan.
The chief priests and elders along with Satan and Judas all were under the delusion that their plot would accomplish their purposes, and it would appear that way to them for a very short time, but in reality, though they were pursuing utter evil, they were still unwittingly accomplishing the predetermined plan of God. The truth of their utter failure to get rid of Jesus would be proved when Jesus rose from the dead just as He said He would. Their refusal to repent would seal their condemnation. They will be, as Romans 9:22 describes, vessels of wrath
Those, who like the disciples, will follow the Lord’s commands, will be used of God to accomplish His will and will receive His praise. They will be vessels of God’s mercy upon whom He will make known the riches of His glory (Romans 9:23).
God’s is sovereign and He will glorify Himself in you as either a vessel of wrath or a vessel of mercy. The question is which will it be? Which do you want it to be? Remember, God gives grace to the humble, but He resists the proud.
People would like to think they are _______________, but they are not
_________is in control even when evil appears on the surface to be succeeding
God’s Sovereign Plan – Matthew 26:1-2
__________has been a long day of confrontation, warnings and teaching – they are traveling back to Bethany
Jesus has been telling for a while that He would suffer, be killed and resurrected in ______________
Daniel 9:25-26 predicted the ____________of Messiah’s coming and being cut off
Acts 2:23 – Jesus’ death was according to “the predetermined ________and foreknowledge of God”
Matthew 26:2 – Jesus foretells the specific ___________He would be crucified – Passover
Proverbs 16:9 – “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD ___________his steps.”
________would use the perverse plot of the Jewish religious leaders to accomplish His own will
They had been actively plotting to ___________Jesus since He raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11)
They were __________of the common people who like Jesus and did not want a riot during the Feast
They wanted to seize Jesus by “_______” – deceit / trickery – which is a reason they were at Caiaphas’ house
Matthew & Mark recount Mary’s earlier anointing of Jesus as a _____________to Judas’ selfish greed
Satan is powerful as an angelic being, but he is not in control and ___________make people do things
Satan is a deceitful opportunist that ______________people’s sinful desires for his own purposes
Jesus’ crucifixion will appear to be Satan’s greatest triumph, but it will prove to be his greatest __________
Jesus is not setting up His new kingdom, so Judas’ __________drives him to try and gain something
Deluded and Satanically influenced, Judas goes to Jesus’ enemies and offers to ___________Him for money
They are glad at the opportunity this brings, but only offer the price of an injured __________(Exod. 21:30)
Mary’s sacrificial generosity in worship of Jesus is the contrast to Judas’ ____________in betraying Him
Judas was to seek an opportunity to betray Jesus in a place they could seize Him without __________notice
Passover was established in ______________commemorating the last plague and Israel’s hurried departure
Passover preparations begin with choosing a lamb on Nisan _____ – to be sacrificed on Nisan ______
The 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread begins with the ______________meal
Differences in reckoning the beginning of a ____allowed both Thursday & Friday to be counted as Nisan 14
Jesus was able to eat Passover with His disciples on ______________and still die on Passover on Friday
Luke 22:7-13 – instructions given and carried out on Thursday concerning _______________
The story is clandestine – it ___________Judas from being able to betray Jesus until after the Passover meal
The _________was already familiar with “the Teacher” and may have made arrangements with Jesus earlier
Jesus’ time (kairovV / kairos) was near – a _____________ and predetermined moment of time
The time was near, but Jesus would ________keep Passover, teach the disciples and establish Communion
Matthew 26:19 – Peter and John carry out Jesus’ __________
Man is not autonomous and only God can _________the future – Jesus was knowingly following God’s plan
The religious leaders and Satan were under the delusion their plot was successful – until Jesus’ ___________
Without repentance, they would glorify God as vessels of His __________ (Romans 9:22)
Those keeping the Lord’s commands will be used by God and glorify Him as vessels of ______(Rom. 9:23)
Are you a vessel of wrath of mercy? God gives His grace to the ____________, but He resists the proud
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times Jesus is mentioned. Talk with your parents about how Jesus was in control of His future even as His enemies plotted to murder Him.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Describe some of the ways in which you found your plans for the future out of your control and changed? What do you think would have happened if your plans had been fulfilled? What benefits have you found in having your plans changed? Briefly describe the events that took place in Jesus’ life on Wednesday of Passion week. How did Jesus know what would happen in Jerusalem and when He would be crucified? How has he communicated that to His disciples? What Old Testaments prophecies predicted Messiah’s death? Who is the “servant” in Isaiah 52:13-53:12? Explain. How long had the Jewish religious leaders been seeking Jesus’ death? Why did they want to destroy Him? What efforts had already been made to kill Him? Why didn’t they succeed? Why were the religious leaders afraid of arresting and executing Jesus during the Feast? Why were they meeting in the home of Caiaphas? Who was Caiaphas and how did he get his position? Satan entered into Judas – what does that imply? Can Satan control people? Why or why not? Explain. What do we know about Judas’ basic character and desires? Why would Judas’ betray Jesus for money? Why were they glad Judas’ offer? What is the significance of the price they paid to Judas? What is the significance of Passover? Of the Feast of Unleavened Bread? How could Jesus celebrate Passover with His disciples on Thursday and yet be crucified on Passover on Friday? Why were Jesus’ instructions to Peter and John clandestine instead of direct in telling them which house to go to? How do the instructions indicate Jesus omniscience and sovereignty? What was involved in preparing for Passover? What is the significance of Jesus statement that “My time is near” ? What had to still happen before Jesus would be crucified? How have you seen God use evil things in your life to still produce good? Will you be a vessel of wrath or mercy (Romans 9:22-23)? If you are currently a vessel of wrath, how can you become a vessel of mercy?
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