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2008-03-02_And A Rooster Crowed_Matthew 26.68-27.10_SL

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A Rooster Crowed

Matthew 26:69-27:10   |   Shaun LePage   |   March 2, 2008

A Rooster Crowed

Matthew 26:69-27:10   |   Shaun LePage   |   March 2, 2008

I.       Introduction

A.    The Jesus I Never Knew, P. Yancey, p.194, starting with, “I know of no more poignant…”

B.    Review: After Olivet Discourse (when Jesus predicted His Second Coming) He returned to the business at hand—the purpose of His first coming. He predicted He would be crucified (2); one of them would betray Him (21) and all of then would “fall away” (31); 26:31-35

C.    Context: Failures of Peter and Judas, but brilliant light of a Sovereign Lord choosing to sacrifice himself for mankind, in control every step of the way toward the Cross.

II.     Body—Matthew 26:68-27:10 [Read in 2 sections]

A.    (26:69-75) Peter denied Jesus and wept bitterly.

1.     (69-74a) The Predicted Denials. Fulfilled prediction (31); Notice: 1) More dramatic each time (confused, oath, cursing/swearing); oath like saying, “God is my witness…”; “began to curse and swear” Idea: “If I’m lying, may God strike me dead right here”; 2) Difference between v.51 (take on mob) and this: Two “servant-girls” and “bystanders” (other servants?). Not told their intentions—perhaps they wanted to know more about Jesus!? Ironically, same man who stood up to armed mob; earlier, now denied he even knew Jesus. How did this happen? No doubt disillusioned by Jesus’ apparent lack of power, fear of being arrested himself.

2.     (74b-75) The Painful Reality. “a rooster crowed.” Fear caused Him to forget God, forget Jesus, but the sound of the rooster hit him hard and woke him up—(75) he “remembered” vs.33-35. Lk: Jesus turned and looked at Peter at that moment (through window/gate); Peter “wept bitterly”. Not just embarrassed or sad—grieving; devastated. Only imagine what he was thinking and feeling. Perhaps he remembered Matt 10:33; perhaps suicidal thoughts; Jn 21—went back to fishing

3.     Peter demonstrates the sovereignty of God for those who trust Christ. This was Peter’s darkest night as well as his brightest dawn; represents the end of trusting himself—his pride, his feelings, his way, his safety; came to end of himself and the beginning of trusting God completely; He did not kill himself—three days later, Jesus restored him and greatest failure became one of greatest men in history; God stands ready to forgive all who will seek forgiveness—even the greatest of failures. Jesus demonstrated this in John 21 when He gave Peter three chances to confess his love for Jesus. It was as though each denial was nullified with each confession of love. Peter went on to become a bold witness for Christ and a powerful example to the young Church of Jesus Christ—even dying the death of a martyr without denying Jesus.

B.     (27:1-10) Judas felt remorse and killed himself.

1.     (1-2) “chief priests and elders” trying to look legitimate—illegal to hold trial at night, so waited until “early in the morning” to officially condemn; also couldn’t wake Pilate in middle of night; “bound…delivered Him to Pilate”—why? not allowed to put anyone to death under Roman occupation. We’ll come back to this appearance before Pilate next week.

2.     (3-7) Point of vs.1-2: Judas “saw…condemned”; in courtyard with Peter/eye contact?; “felt remorse”— “Remorse” (KJV “repented” bad translation) not same as repentance (come back to this) but where did this remorse come from? Jn 13 makes it clear Judas led then possessed by Satan, when deed done, Satan dropped him like a dirty shirt; Judas left alone in his guilt—he had rejected Christ, opened himself to Satan’s evil scheme and now realized where it had led him; tried to return blood money saying, “I have sinned…” (which is right; not “Satan made me do it” cooperation); threw money into temple…“went away and hanged himself”; Ac 1:18-19 (“acquired a field” ironic language; indirectly bought it); gruesome picture (Life & Times, Edersheim, p.870-1)

3.     (8-10) Mt: chief priests made sure no one soon forgot Judas/betrayal—bought Potter’s Field, “Field of Blood to this day” (about 30 years later); again “fulfilled”—Jeremiah

4.     Judas demonstrates the hopelessness of man for those who reject Christ. Sad story, but who more evil than Judas? Only 12 men had the personal relationship/ exposure to the teaching/example/power/love/compassion/grace of incarnate Son of God. Yet, he refused to believe; rejected more evidence than anyone ever received; Remember: People reject Christ because of sinful hearts, not lack of evidence; outcome Eph 2:12: “separate from Christ…having no hope and without God in the world.”

5.     Both Peter and Judas sinned. The difference is not that Peter’s sin was less “sinful” than Judas’ sin. The difference was in how they handled it. Judas knew Jesus was “innocent” but he never believed Jesus was the Savior of sinners. There’s the difference between Peter and Judas reaction to his sin is simply that Peter repented (turned from his sin) but Judas did not. Jn 21:15-19; Mt 26:24, Jn 17:12. Judas did not repent—if he had, would not have committed suicide; still trying to be his own God—did not repent 2 Cor 7:10; 2 Pet 3:9.

6.     Judas knew he was guilty of the worst of sins, but he did not believe there was any hope. Peter knew he was guilty of the worst of sins, but he believed there was hope and he turned to Jesus in faith and found forgiveness.

III.   Closing: Several implications (5)…

A.    Pray. Jesus said, “Pray in this way…lead us not into temptation (Peter; 26:41) and deliver us from the evil one (Judas).” Struggling? Temptation? Prayer best defense

B.    Take heed. M.Card: Traitor’s Look: Now Judas don’t you come too close / I fear that I might see / That traitor’s look upon your face / Might look too much like me / Cause just like you I’ve sold the Lord / And often for much less / And like a wretched traitor / I betrayed Him with a kiss; 1 Cor 10:12-13 God is faithful/gives ability to endure temptation

C.    Forgive and be forgiven. Eph 4:32; make a list of those you need to forgive and burn it! Failed, hurt someone? Ask for forgiveness and receive it! Failed God? 1 Jn 1:9 “He is faithful and righteous to forgive”

D.    Don’t play God—Suicide is never the right answer. Suicide is self-murder. It is self-centered. Stupid. Satanic. Remember Peter! What if he had killed himself? No John 21 (resurrection; 1 Pet 1:3 “hope”)! No Pentecost! No part in NT! Get help/perspective. 

E.     Let God be sovereign over your failure and pain. God is sovereign and doesn’t need your permission, but often we try to be God over failure/pain—get angry at God, bitter toward others, revenge, become isolated, give up, suicide! Reread this passage some time this week and remember what God did with Peter’s failure/pain; embrace a theology of failure/pain—that God allows such things for good reasons; then ask God to show you how to let Him be sovereign over failures/pain; tell Him you’re trusting Him to bring good

F.     A Christian novelist in Japan named Shusaku Endo “centered many of his novels on the theme of betrayal. Silence, his best known novel, tells of Japanese Christians who recanted their faith under persecution by the shoguns. Endo had read many thrilling stories about the Christian martyrs, but none about the Christian traitors. How could he? None had been written. Yet, to Endo, the most powerful message of Jesus was his unquenchable love even for—especially for—people who betrayed Him. When Judas led a lynch mob into the garden, Jesus addressed him as “Friend.” The other disciples deserted Him but still He loved them. His nation had him executed; yet while stretched out naked in the posture of ultimate disgrace, Jesus roused himself for the cry, ‘Father, forgive them…’” (The Jesus I Never Knew, Yancey, p.193-4)

Closing Prayer…

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