The Plot to Kill Jesus
Accompanying MacArthur sermon: God's Preparation for Christ's Cross
The whole OT points to the cross, to the need for a suitable sacrifice that would pay the penalty for sin, satisfying the wrath of God, once and for all. And we've finally reached the point in the book of Luke where we begin the account of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
The death of Jesus was planned before the world was ever created. This was not an accident. This was not a good plan gone awry. This was predestined by God the Father in order to provide us a way to enter relationship with Him, and ultimately, to bring Him glory.
Many people had a role in the death of Jesus - the religious leaders, Satan, and Judas all play a part. Even the disciples - not in His death, but by following Christ's instructions about the Passover which He will turn into a memorial of His work on the cross. But they're all just role players. The architect, the designer, the power behind it all is God Himself.
In our passage today we see God's power in the timing of the cross.
In v37 we see that at night, Jesus slept on the Mount of Olives. Why? The religious leaders already wanted to kill Jesus. They couldn't arrest Him in front of the crowds during the day, so their only chance was at night. They wanted to capture Him at night and hold Him captive until the Passover was over and the crowds left, at which point they would be free to do with them what they willed, without the interference of the still loyal crowds. Jesus didn't stay at the house of Mary and Martha, which would have made it easy for the religious leaders to find and arrest Him. He stayed on the Mount of Olives - a place dark and thick with olive trees, where He would not be found until God's perfect timing. That's why they needed to have a traitor, a Judas, who knew where He was at night.
When we come to v1, we see that the time has come for God to act. God's plan is to have Jesus slain on Passover - the very same moment when the animals would be sacrificed. And so He begins to set things in motion to accomplish the most momentous event in history (His story) - the salvation of the world.
Although we are the beneficiaries of salvation - salvation isn't for us. It's for God.
MacArthur: all of this is not just so that we can enjoy heaven but so that You can be worshiped by redeemed sinners. But the scheme is all about gathering a bride for the Son who will love Him and worship Him and honor Him and praise Him and the bride whom He can give to You, along with Himself, so that You become all in all. We’re caught up in this staggering, sweeping drama and one day brought into glory that we might become the community of those redeemed and glorified who give You worship, worship which apparently holy angels cannot fully satisfy. And so You bring us to glory. All of this for that, that You might be forever glorified.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 22:1-6