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May 5, 2021 8:00 am
Today on the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce will ask the question if Jesus had the power to avoid the cross.
Why didn't he will find the answer is all about obedience in a world where decisions are made primarily on the basis of whatever is convenient or whatever feels good at the time we have a lot to learn from Jesus sacrificial submission to his father's will to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically.
As Christians, our power does not look like the world's it's not based in the threat of violence or the authority of political office hours studying Matthew 26 as part of our continuing examination of this first show the four Gospels, and we have been moving toward the arrest trials and crucifixion of Jesus.
For some time now, and lastly decisive moment is, Jesus, and spend time preparing his disciples Florida's best they could be prepared. He has spent time preparing himself, which is what those hours of prayer in the garden were all about. And now this band of armed men who have been sent to arrest him and bring him to trial in the court of the high priest arrived in the garden and Jesus goes forth to meet leading the band as the betrayer Judas Iscariot really a ludicrous site error men with swords coming forth in the dark of night to arrest God Almighty coming with torches arrest the one who alone is like on the world. I we begin with Judas last we saw him he was in the upper room where Jesus had identified him as the betrayer.
He left immediately after that, but he had been busy while the meal was ending while they band of disciples were making their way to the garden and while Jesus prayed about his coming crucifixion what he had done apparently is go the high priest, where he collected this large crowd that had now come to take his master in the custody can suppose that he went to the upper room first because that's where they had left the others, but when he found that Jesus wasn't there. He buys correctly that he would be on the garden. On the way to Bethany when they were spending each night that week and so he arrived? With Judas is why he was needed at all. Usually suppose that it was necessary to show the arresting party where Jesus was. That's not quite as obvious as it seems because Jesus had been in the city in a very visible why all that week work times earlier in his ministry where he withdrew into seclusion in face of the danger buddies headed into the danger now he knows what is coming has to be in fulfillment of the Scriptures so hardly been more visible despite a wiki been teaching there in the temple courts virtually every day should of been easy for anybody to know where he was arrested usually set an explanation that the leaders of the people wanted to arrest Jesus secretly because they were afraid of the people and I was certainly a factor, but even so it must've been many occasions where they could've caught Jesus in the quiet outdoor unguarded moment than have affected rest before there was any outdoor Frank Morrison has an interesting suggestion. In the book that's been around a long, long time.
It's called move the stone. Morrison argues that the Jewish leaders must've been afraid of Jesus and to census for one thing, he had great power with the crowds.
I followed him gladly listen to what he said in some occasions, perhaps like this they would obey him. Suppose he resisted arrest supposedly stirred the people up. Suppose he cried out for help.
While that created an uproar. They wanted to avoid that is probably not the most significant thing what Morrison suggests is that they probably were afraid of his undeniable supernatural power member that they had tried to arrest them before they did it.
On one occasion early simply slipped away from them and disappeared. On another occasion they sent soldiers to arrest him and they came back with this answer.
It's an incredible answer for soldiers. No one ever spoke the way this man does is what they said.
John 61F leaders probably were afraid even of expressing this to themselves but in the back of their minds. They must've been thinking what if, in the final analysis, Jesus should prove to be on the arrestable. Besides, it was a problem of doing everything in the amount of time available. This was the day before Passover. Passover was a holy Sabbath. Jesus couldn't be executed on the Sabbath, so I would like to get this all done I had to have a trial secured a verdict of death, and then following that thread to be a Roman trial to secure the necessary verdict for execution. They couldn't execute themselves under Roman rule, they do that and get even the execution carried out all before the Sabbath that we know how they did that they held their own courage trial at night and then they confirmed the verdict by a very early meeting of the Sanhedrin the next morning they rushed over to pilot much case against Jesus was clearly unprepared and the trial before the Jewish court was moving obviously toward a verdict of acquittal before Caiaphas hit upon the illegal but very effective means of challenging Jesus, under oath, to testify against himself, but why did they wait so long. Why did they arrest Jesus several days before that sort assuming that they had put it off for some reason, why wasn't the case, better thought out. Morrison suggests that Judas somehow probably brought them information that cause them to think that in spite of all the difficulties were face and they were great difficulties there opportune moment really had arrived at last. What might he have said, well, he might've said something like this, Jesus had been talking about his death. He been trying to prepare the disciples for it. Judas might've said you know Jesus has been talking as if he's about to die.
Sadie's tire is defeated maybe the mood of surrenders on it now. I think he go with you what you have to do it tonight. He has to be arrested right away. Follow me I'll take you to them. That's what happened that night in a quick decision had to be made couldn't be pulled off at this late hour had to be.
This initial hearing, the Sanhedrin had to meet in the morning they had to tell the Roman governor get ready. It would not normally been a court day.
They must've sent Caiaphas over to ask him if he would hear an important case in the morning so they did it, we can understand of all of this is going on.
All these decisions were being made by so much time elapsed between Jesus departure from the upper room of the garden where the arrest took place presumably about three hours later other words, what we have here in this paragraph of Matthew 26 is the climax of many hours of frantic evil activity and Judas finally arrived with the temple guards affected the arrest, I would ask a lot of questions. Let's ask another one. Why did he do it for thousands of years. Since that time, people asked that question of Judas was agreed that he do it for the money.
Well, maybe got on the right, but 30 pieces of silver wasn't a whole lot of money is a jealousy perhaps was a disappointment. Resentment at having wasted three years of his life and what turned out to be a lost cause. The only explanation we can reject outright are those a try to exonerate Judas looked on that, surprisingly, commentators on Matthew and other Gospels of tried to exonerate them like saying he was only trying to force his master's hand demonstrate his power in bringing the kingdom of Judas as a warning to all mere appearance of religion are many, especially in our day, Tracy Ryle, English Bishop pointed out that Judas was a chosen apostle and eyewitness of the miracles I fear of the Lord sermons a fellow laborer with the 11 and a reputable professor of religion by one of the 11 seems to of doubted him and yet he was no friend of Jesus. Betrayed him is lost and he is now in hell. Jesus said so. So be worn by him about being merely religious learn to do what Peter told his congregation make your calling and election sure I was not only from Judas.
We learn about failure in this paragraph. We also learn from Peter to although Peter's failure is of a different order. Matthew doesn't mention Peter, probably because his writing early. Peter was still around. It might've been dangerous for Peter.
We learn that this was Peter who attack about this high priest servant from the Gospel of John, that was written later.
Was Peter trying to do is trying to cut off, Marcus is head of course Malcolm saw the sword coming.the only lost in Peter which Luke the physician.
Interestingly enough alone tells us that Jesus healed was more going on in this remember the Jesus had been warning Peter about his failure. He said this very night, you will deny me. Peter had been asleep on the Lord was praying. Suddenly the soldiers are coming in the garden. Peter wakes up he's groggy but he thinks it is great testing moment has common salt wants to be brave. He pulls out his sword and he attacks ahead of the arresting party very courageous thing to do.
That would've been a big band.
They were only 14 together. You have this big band coming at us. But Peter's also pathetic because his boldness evaporated in a moment too soon is Jesus refused to be protected.
That way when he didn't anticipate is that is real test was not that moment when the soldier said, but that it would come later in the courtyard of the high priest when he was confronted by servant girl who said to them, surely you been with Jesus and Peter said no.
How I'm not. I never knew the man, there's a lesson you see it's often that way we think that our tests of physical, we would be somebody actually attacked us. We would stand there and defend Jesus but it's usually not that way. Real test of the spirit. They come to mind them off in a very subtle moment.
That's what happened with Peter and it's in those moments is quiet, unguarded moments that we either speak up for Jesus or we deny Jesus talk Peter three things and is worth looking at them. He told them to put away his sword and then he explained why in the first reason was this Peter's use of the sword was dangerous not to mount this because Jesus healed and it was dangerous to Peter, Jesus said was all who draw the sword will die by the sword on this. Not precisely true, of course, not all who take up arms die in battle, but it is a general principle was certainly a reminder to Peter that he was called to a different way of life and secondly Peter's use of his sword was unnecessary is what Jesus says in the next verse, verse 53 do you not think I cannot call on my father and he will at once put at my disposal more than 12 legions of angels. I don't know how many people were in the arresting party couldn't of been more than 100 people, maybe less than last 20 or so on Roman legion was 6000 men, 12 legions of angels would've been 72,000 angels quite obviously Jesus didn't need to be defended.
He was arrested because he was willing to be arrested is going to die voluntarily for our sins. And certainly, Jesus taught the Peter's use of the sword was mistaken. The next verse, because he says, how then would the scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way sound easy. I don't think that was easy for Jesus to say forgetting that been wrestling in prayer about what was required of God servant in the garden just moments before this I have to go through with this is the cross absolutely necessary as he had prayed he had done what we of course are to do as well. He had been meditating on the Scriptures. The passages came back to his mind and he was well aware that this is what the Bible taught. So when soldiers came and Peter objected. He said no it has to be this way because this is what the Bible says I don't know what passages were in his mind. There are plenty of them that we can think about Isaiah 53.
For example, just verse seven. This is speaking of the Messiah. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so we did not open his mouth. This is describing the warrior is describing one who would die willingly for us again.
Maybe he was thinking of Psalm 22. It also points to one it would suffer for our sakes versus 16 to 18 dogs have surrounded me a band of evil man has encircled me they have pierced my hands and my feet I count all my bones people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them, and cast lots for my clothing or Psalm 69 I looked for sympathy, but there was none. For comforters, but I found on a put goal in my food and gave me vinegar my first sale was more important, Jesus of the scriptures be fulfilled and that he avoid suffering and was the critical point because he states it all over again later the crowd you have it here in this chapter. In verses 55 and 56 Leopold Peter, it has to be this way in order that the scriptures might be fulfilled. Then he turned to the crowd and said my leading a rebellion that you come out the sorts of clubs to capture me every day. I sat in the temple courts teaching and you did not arrest me, but all this is taken place in order that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled. That was the important thing scriptures might be fulfilled in a war.
They will fulfilled the letter go back a moment to Peter's attempt to save Jesus with the sword. Sometimes Christians applied this text in defense of pacifism as of Jesus was teaching that his disciples must ever bear arms wrapped fails for several reasons. Other passages of the Scripture to have people bearing armed also fails to account like distinction that was developed so well by St. Augustine between what he called the city of God in the city of man to society's two cultures to humanities and Augustine's point is that Christians are citizens of both citizens of the kingdom of God.
We also have an earthly citizenship and in that respect, we can serve in secular offices. That includes the military. Certainly we could do that as a matter fact were glad to have Christians with some values of the military but what is forbidden is attempting to advance Christianity by forcing other people to be Christian. Christians have tried this I have tried it again and again.
The result is always been a disaster for the faith. Christianity became worldly when it was made the official religion of the Roman Empire under Constantine began a period of rapid decline, the Crusades, the Middle Ages were a horror and a disgrace attempting to convert Muslims by conquering them even for Puritanism worse.
Age of the Puritan movement was when the ministers of Christ gain political power under Oliver Cromwell. Power is the word of God.
Not the sort. That's why Henry smarts break him, lead on, O King eternal expresses it this way it goes for not with support slab clashing the role of starting problems, but deeds of love and mercy. Heavenly kingdom comes I mentioned JC while he wrote this sword has a lawful office of its own, but the sword is not to be used in the propagation and maintenance of the gospel. Happy would've been the church of this sentence a bit more frequently remembered. What are the Christians weapons is why Paul put it, weapons we fight, whether or not the weapons of this world.
On the contrary, I have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Our battle is not a battle for political power, but a battle of ideas. Paul well knew that it is at that level in back battle, but the victory is won both thought in Christian ways. He wanted other people to think in Christian ways to give you an example comes from the Reformation. In 1524, seven years after Martin Luther had nailed the 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, farmers Germany rebelled against their feudal lords of what became known as the presence of war lasted from 1524 to 1526 revolt began in Schaffhausen and Germany where Hans Mueller acting on a suggestion from Thomas Mueller form the presence into an evangelical brotherhood was pledged to emancipate the farmers by the end of that year there were some 30,000 farmers in southern Germany bearing arms. They refused to pay taxes.
Church ties are futile dues. On March 15 25. They circulated a document called the 12 articles 12 articles.
They claim the right to choose their own pastors play only just pious to be considered as free men rather than serfs, and other very reasonable demands and in addition all that they were favorable to the Reformation on the repose of the Roman Catholic Church of the present sent a copy to Luther playfully expected his support and in fact Luther's first response was sympathetic to acknowledge the injustices about they were writing and he blamed the rulers, both of the church and state for the responsibility is what he wrote to them you have no one on earth to thank for this mischievous rebellion except you princes and lords and especially the blind bishops nothing but flay and rob your subjects in order that you may lead a life of splendor and pride until the poor, people can bear it no longer strong words Luther didn't endorse the rebellion. Most of his goals coincided with those of the Reformation.
Later, when hundreds of monasteries were sacked and cities were overrun. Luther denounced rebellion uncharacteristically sharp terms.
Why did he react this way, why, when virtually everybody expected in the side with the peasant's are several reasons he was afraid of anarchy, strong reason.
That's what K deal of damage was done. He also thought that the Bible and establish the authority of princes they want to be rebelled against. But his real objection was that the power of the sword had not been given to the church and he knew of the gospel wouldn't advance that way.
According to Luther Reformation would proceed in here use the Latin expression known. They said there about not by power but by word of God would presence war was a tragic episode in the Reformation.
More lives were lost in that war. In Germany than in any tumult prior to the 30 years war, 130,000 farmers died in battle or afterwards. As a result of reprisals. It almost wrecked the Reformation didn't reason it didn't. Is that the Reformation was moving forward by power of the word of God, and God bless the teaching of the reformers on the last sentence in this portion of Matthew 26 is a sad one, despite their protests about standing by him to the end. In the end, the disciples flipped into the darkness of the guard verse tells us then all the disciples deserted him and fled. Jesus suggests that the writings of the prophets had to be fulfilled even before he fulfilled them by his arrest and crucifixion. The disciples will build at least one of them by pleading because Jesus said that's the way it must be. It was written by Zechariah, I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered before I had been sleeping rather than praying and how they were fleeing rather than standing by their Lord I ask final question, do you want to know what you're made of.
What kind of courage you have. Look at those men get them in that moment because that's what you are. You are also weak and fearful and you're more concerned for your own well-being when you are for Jesus.
The gospel something else. Look at those men. A few weeks later, after the resurrection. Look at Peter, who struck out with his sword trying to kill Malcolm X and then cleanse the darkness. And after that the servant girl that he didn't even know Jesus look at him. It Pentecost is a stands before some of these very people saying let all Israel be assured of this God is made this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. Look at Peter and John before the Sanhedrin that same judicial body that had condemned Jesus to death like Christ's salvation is found in no one else, for there's no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved and they called them to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus.
The difference presence and power of the Lord Jesus Christ makes make it for you if you confess your sin turn from it embrace Jesus Christ as your Savior leaning on him for daily strength and courage spray father. We are thankful for these verses are powerful lessons about ourselves and our weakness and our sin. Jesus Christ in his glory gospel of salvation through the death of the very son of God on our behalf. We confess our sin. We confess our weakness. They were nothing but you have stooped and grace to save us by the power of that cross was grace.
We pray, believe that follow Jesus Christ faithfully all our lives until he comes again. Amen for your listening to the Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals.
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