THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XXIX: Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen In His Sovereign Prediction Of His Passover Death
A. Matthew's Gospel was written to show how Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah from God though He did not establish the Messianic Kingdom in His first coming to the earth, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, p. 1337.
B. One of the many evidences of Christ's identity as Messiah is the great accuracy by which He predicted future events, not the least of which were the events of His death that stood in sharp contrast to the plans of His foes.
C. We view this prediction and how its fulfillment was prepared by God in His will both as evidence of Christ's identity as the Messiah as well as a lesson in the works of God relative to events that unsettle us in our lives:
II. Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen In His Sovereign Prediction Of His Passover Death, Matthew 26:1-16.
A. Immediately following His Olivet Discourse on Israel's future (Matthew 24-25), Jesus told His disciples that He as the Son of man would (1) be betrayed (2) to be crucified (3) at the Passover feast, Matthew 26:1-2.
B. Though Israel's leaders planned to kill Jesus, this prediction strikingly differed from their plan, Matt. 26:3-5:
1. Israel's leaders did not want to kill Jesus at Passover (Matt. 26:5): they feared that doing so would create an uproar among the people, and the Romans suspected that those who did that at Passover when all Israel's men gathered in Jerusalem were insurrectionists to be severely punished.
2. Also, Israel's religious leaders did not plan to kill Jesus by crucifixion as He predicted, Matt. 26:2. The "Sanhedrin had no power to carry out a capital sentence" (Ibid., ftn. to Luke 22:66), so they planned to put Jesus to death by stealth after the Passover pilgrims had left Jerusalem. (Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 81)
3. Furthermore, Israel's religious leaders did not plan to acquire access to Jesus by way of a betrayer like Jesus had predicted would occur, Matthew 26:2. They presumed they would have to get access to Jesus by stealth without any help from the disciples whom they naturally believed all supported Jesus!
C. Nevertheless, God's plan, as Jesus had predicted, was that He die at Passover as our Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7b) on the cross (Psalm 22:16b with John 12:32-33) after being betrayed (John 13:18-19 with Psalm 41:9).
D. Thus, God set events in motion that Jesus' predicted way of His death might be fulfilled, Matthew 26:6-16:
1. First, God arranged for a woman with an alabaster box of costly perfume to be motivated to worship Jesus by pouring the perfume out on his head as He sat at a meal in a home in Bethany, Matthew 26:6-7.
2. That led the onlooking disciples to express strong displeasure that the woman's money was not more wisely spent in their view for not having had it used for giving alms to the poor, Matthew 26:8-9. We know from John 12:4-6 that Judas Iscariot, the treasurer of the group of disciples, had led this criticism not because he cared for the poor, but because he used to steal from the collections gathered for his own use, so he was upset that the money had not been directed toward his care!
3. Jesus defended the woman's action, publicly countering Judas and the disciples who followed his lead for troubling the woman because of her good work. Jesus noted they always had the poor with them, so they could always give them alms, but He was not always going to be with them, and this woman had done her good deed toward His future burial, Matthew 26:10-12. Jesus added that wherever the Gospel of His death and burial would be preached, what this woman had just done would be told in her honor, Matthew 26:13.
4. Jesus' critique of Judas and Christ's support of the woman's directing so much money away from Judas angered him, so Judas went to Israel's leaders to offer to betray Him to them for money, Matt. 26:14-16.
5. Judas' offer gave the religious leaders not only access to secretly taking Jesus, but his services as a witness against Jesus, Ibid., Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 82. Thus, the leaders willingly greatly changed their plans to kill Jesus another way, and the Father's plan for Jesus' death was put in motion for His glory!
Lesson: Even when Israel's religious leaders had planned a very different way to capture and kill Jesus, God's plan overturned their plans so that God's will in Christ's death might be sovereignly fulfilled.
Application: (1) May we trust in Jesus as God's Prophet and Messiah to be saved, John 20:31. (2) If events unsettle us [as the woman's use of her money unsettled the disciples], may we recall God has a purpose in them for His glory, and so calm down, Isaiah 55:8-9. (3) If unsettling events keep us from satisfying our lusts as in Judas' case, may we heed such events as warning to repent! (4) If we are living a constantly unsettled life, we fail either to know and/or to heed God's Biblical will, so we must make the proper adjustment(s) in order to settle down!