Easter Sermon Series ~ Station Three: The Betrayal

Station Three: The Betrayal

Matthew 26:47-56 ~ “While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.”

 

Judas was one of the twelve apostles, a disciple, a professing follower of the Lord. Just a few hours before, that very evening, he had been sitting at the table of the Lord eating bread with Him. Now, ever so quickly, he had turned away and had actually taken the lead in betraying the Lord.
 

There are too many within the church just like Judas. They profess Christ, yet ever so quickly they turn away.

 

Judas made sure they were armed. Judas had witnessed Jesus’ power and His escaping from crowds before. (Luke 4:30; John 8:59)

 

Judas was sent by the religionists: the chief priests and leaders. The very people who should have received Him rejected Him. If Jesus returned to earth today, how many would reject and oppose Him?

 

The deceiver Judas carried out his plan. What he planned he did: “He came to Jesus, and said, ‘Hail Master,’ and kissed Him.” The word for “kissed Him” (katephilesen) is strong. It means to kiss strongly, forcefully, passionately, fervently, repeatedly. Either Judas had planned to really put on a show to hide his sin or else his nervousness caused him to act passionately. The sin was bad enough, but the deception was worse.
Jesus asked a searching question: “Friend why have you come?” Note that Jesus did not rebuke or reproach Judas. He asked Judas a question, a question that forced Judas to search his deceptive heart. Christ still wanted to reach Judas, if possible. He asked, “Why have you come, Judas? You have greeted me as a loyal companion. Have you come committed and loyal to Me?” The question was bound to pierce and arouse a searching conviction within the deceptive heart. The deception and sin were completed. Christ was arrested (Matthew 26:50).

 

Christ asks everyone of us: “Friend, why have you come? Why have you come to me? To the church?”

  • Because you are really committed and loyal?
  • Because you want gain: social standing, business, livelihood, security, influence, position, religious recognition?
  • Because you want acceptability within the community?
  • Because you want to satisfy conscience: to have just enough religion to keep you from feeling guilty?
  • Because you want to please family or friends?
  • Because you were taught to come?
  • Because all your friends come?
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}

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