Sermon Notes & Slides
He was Numbered with the Transgressors
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor
Overview: During the final days of Jesus’ life on earth, the conspirators are given an opening to put Him to death. Luke describes the sinister actions taking place in secret lest the supporters of Jesus discover the plot against Him. The various levels of betrayal include the Jewish leadership, Judas Iscariot, and Satan himself. Despite the secrecy and malicious intentions at every level, Jesus is the one who is most aware of his impending death. He replaces the Passover with the Lord’s Supper, reveals that Peter will betray Him, and refuses to take action to preserve his own life. Instead of presenting the death of Jesus as a tragedy, Luke intends for us to see his death with intentionality—it is not merely the evil designs of wicked men coming to fruition, but the perfect design of a gracious God bringing Scripture to fulfillment.
01. The various levels of culpability for the death of Jesus must surely include each of us, who have betrayed God by our sins, thus making us as guilty before Him as everyone else involved.
02. The purposeful approach of Jesus to his death on the cross provides us with tremendous assurance that we can be forgiven of this horrible crime against God.
03. The ongoing failure of the followers of Jesus to fully comprehend His work does not exhaust His grace or break his will, but rather magnifies the depth of his mercy, power, and love.
Questions For Discussion & Discovery
1. The persistence of the chief priests and scribes pays off, humanly speaking, with the agreement from Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus. At what point do you think they should have known that Jesus was the Messiah? How might they have been helped in the matter by listening to the people rather than fearing them? What does their ungodly secrecy suggest about our need to be transparent in all we do?
2. Does the fact that Satan is able to enter Judas relieve him from responsibility in betraying Jesus? How do the words of Jesus in Luke 22:22 speak to this issue? What was the chief interest that Satan had in attempting to undermine the work of the Son of God (see Genesis 3:15)? How was this strategy unveiled earlier in Luke’s Gospel (see Luke 4:16)? Why was it ultimately unsuccessful?
3. Compare the betrayal of Judas and the denials of Peter. In what ways were their actions similar? In what ways were they different? What accounts for the fact that Jesus issues a statement of woe against Judas (22:22) but offers a prayer of restoration for Peter (22:32)?
4. Consider how often the disciples of Jesus fail Him throughout this text. In addition to the betrayal by Judas and the denials of Peter, the disciples argue about who is the greatest (22:24), they fall asleep while He is praying (22:44), and they attempt to defend Him by using violent measures (22:49-50). What could possibly account for Jesus’ motivation to be numbered with such incompetent transgressors as these? What could possibly account for his unyielding devotion to the church today? In light of such love, how should we treat one another?
5. What comforts do you receive from taking the Lord’s Supper? Are you reminded of the purposeful intention of Jesus’ death on your behalf? Are you encouraged that He commands us to do this again and again in remembrance of Him?
For Further Reading: John Piper, The Passion of Jesus Christ: Fifty Reasons Why He Came to Die (Crossway, 2004).