Matthew 26:31- 45 Obedient even when facing Death

Jesus had already talked to them at the dinner about one of them betraying Him and the disciples were concerned who it was because they knew Jesus knew. They did not fully understand at this time that Judas was already on his way back with people to betray Jesus because they did not suspect Judas to be the betrayer.

We all struggle with sin, but many times we do not talk about how to overcome it. We have to remember that Jesus was tempted in every way we are and yet He did not sin. As long as we live on this earth we will struggle with sin and the struggle between doing what we should and what we should not do will be a constant battle. Today Jesus will give us the key to being able to overcome all sins in our lives.

1)   Jesus knows every sin before you commit it

You will fall away because of me this night

Jesus is not shocked by the sin we find ourselves in. There is no sin that Jesus did not die for on the cross. This is important to remember because when we fall into sin we tend to think that Jesus hates us. The reason God hates sin and the reason He calls certain things sin, (even though our society doesn’t) is because of what sin does to His creation.

The worse thing you can do when you sin is not return to the one who can forgive you and the one who can start to begin to heal the hurts that your sin has caused.

The disciples were already disturbed that He said one would betray Him, but now He is saying they all will fail Him.

Fall away can mean, leading one into sin (Matthew 5:29-30; 18:6, 9), being offended (Matthew 13:57; 15:12; 17:27) and falling away from ones faith. (Matthew 11:6; 24:10)

They will desert Jesus when it becomes evident that they cannot win and fear will overcome them.

For it has been written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered

Jesus continues to point them back to the fulfillment of scripture to show them that God knows already all these things will take place. (Zechariah 13)

This does not mean they will not be held accountable for their actions but that God already knew what they were going to do and His sovereign plan is worked out in the midst of mans failure.

Zechariah 13 focus is on the Nation deserting God and now Jesus is letting the disciples know that they will be a part of that abandonment. The striking of the Shepherd comes from God Himself as He pours out the wrath we deserve, onto Jesus Christ. All of our punishment for every sin we have committed and even the ones we will do later, were put on Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:14-16 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need

2)   Jesus has a plan of restoration

But after I am raised I will go before you to Galilee

Jesus meeting them in Galilee will be something in a couple of days that will bring this whole conversation back to their minds.

Matthew 28:6-8  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Galilee is the place of restoration and victory even over their failures. Some of you need to know that you can meet Jesus in Galilee and find the Grace, Love and Forgiveness that awaits you, even though you are filthy from your sin.

Just like the Story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, some people are no longer seeking God because they believe He no longer wants to talk to them. The story of Christ is the story of reconciliation, the story of Him reconciling us back to God.

3)   Pride will lead us to sin

But Peter Responded “Even if everyone falls away because of you, I will never fall away

Peter is claiming that He can be a better Christ follower than the rest of the disciples. Many of us can do the same thing when we claim we would never do certain things.

I would never do those things those other Christians would do. I would never sin like those other people, look at them.

If you are honest we would all say there are some sins we would never commit but everyone of us is capable of the worse sins if we continue to disobey what God has established.

Luke 22:31- 34 31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,[d] that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter[e] said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus[f] said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

To sift wheat was a violent act of shaking.In your struggles to  overcome sin you may feel that you are just being shaken, and you are out of control.

When you have turned, strengthen your brothers. (Acts 18:23) Part of our job, even in our fallen state, is to see who needs encouragement and strength when they have fallen. Since non of us are perfect we need to help each other in our imperfections.

“I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows this night, you will deny me three times”

  • Not only will Peter fall away like the others, he will take it one step further and totally deny even knowing Jesus.
  • As we know later the rooster will crow sometime between midnight and 3 am and Peter will realize he messed up.

Even if I should have to die with you, I will never deny you. All the disciples said the same thing.

Self confidence in our own ability to overcome sin,  will lead us down the path of destruction quicker than anything else. When you think that there is no sin that can affect you, then you are that much closer to being destroyed.

We are called not to be more confident in ourselves but less. Matthew 5:3

When it comes to spiritual matters our only hope is in Christ and not in ourselves. Jesus already rebuked Peter for having the wrong mindset

Matthew 16:23-25 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance[a] to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[b] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Christianity is about following Christ and not our own will. When it comes to sin, we have to know that we have to die to our self-confidence and allow Christ to change us from the inside out. This change comes through His Holy Spirit who works in us. So it is not by your strength or power but the power of the Holy Spirit that will change you.

God also encourages us to be around others who can strengthen us. Even secular organizations that help treat addictions know that self confidence will keep you from becoming better.That is why they have you meet with groups and have accountability because if you think you can stand on your own you will fall. (Hebrews 10:25)

4)   Prayer is the key to obedience

Then Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane and told them, sit here while I go and pray

Gethsemane means olive press and so this was an olive orchard that some person let Jesus use to get away from the crowds.  Many had their crops away from the city and they would put  a wall around them designating them.  According to John 18:2 Judas knew the place.

Jesus knew the only way He was going to endure this last temptation was through prayer. The Praying Jesus did was not flippant prayers like we do most of the time, but heart wrenching prayers to God. Jesus prayers were so intense to that blood dripped from His forehead. (Luke 22:44)

My soul is filled with sorrow to the point of death stay here and watch with me.

Jesus was grieved because He would be taking on all of our sins and because of that God would have to look away from Him. (Habakkuk 1:13; Hebrews 2:9 )  Although we ultimately rely on God, we are also to surround ourselves with others who can pray alongside  us and encourage us. When someone is in deep agony no amount of words will suffice but your presence alone can minister greatly.

Watch means to be spiritually vigilant. It is the idea of seeing danger coming from far away and making sure it does not sneak up on you.

My Father, if it is possible, may this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.

Father is the intimate loving term that the Jews did not fully understand but that Christ was trying to teach them.  The Cup He was about to drink was the cup of suffering because of God’s wrath against sin would be poured out on Him (Psalm 75:8; Isaiah 51:17,22; Jeremiah 51:7)

Prayer is not a means of bending Gods will to our own but of submitting our wills to His. Jesus main concern was not His own wellbeing but to only do the will of God.

Keep watching and praying so that you do not enter into temptation

Prayer and Spiritual disciplines are the keys to overcoming sin. Ephesians 6:10-18

It is not by your power or self-will, but by seeking God and by being diligent to do the things you know you are to do. Spiritual disciplines is not something the church likes to discuss because we have become about how we feel more than about being obedient.

Jesus felt horrible to the point that He wanted to just die and it was because He disciplined Himself in prayer that during His most tempting time, He could stand strong.

The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak

This means our intentions are right but our actions are wrong. I think many Christians use this as an excuse sometimes for when they sin. Yes our flesh is weak but that is all the more reason to discipline ourselves.

If you exercise you know the battle is always between wanting to exercise and actually getting out of bed and doing it. The same is true spiritually and we have to make sure we discipline ourselves in prayer and scripture reading and memorization so we can stand strong.

He went away again a second time and prayed saying” Father if it is not possible for this to pass away unless I drink it, may your will be done.

Jesus has come to grips with the fact that this is Gods will for Him so now He is praying for strength to carry it out. Salvation for Humanity would come no other way unless Jesus takes all of our sins and dies for them. (Hebrews 2:9)

This is the attitude we should have as we walk through trials and tribulations. We know what Gods will is now we have to continue to pray that God will strengthen us to carry it out.

It is alright for us to ask God to remove the trials from our lives,  but we should also be submissive enough to His will if He wants us to walk through them.

This is different than some of the people on television who tell you ifyou pray by faith God will remove whatever is in your way. Jesus had more faith than anyone but He had to walk through the pain of death and the loneliness of sin to provide a way for us. Sometimes the people with the most faith are those who trust God even when things are not going our way.

Again, He left them, went away, and pray a third time, once more saying the same prayer.

Whenever we say your will be done we are dying to our own selfish desires to live for Him. 3 times in the Bible is showing that this is an ongoing act. Holy, Holy, Holy (Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4) 666 in Revelation 13:18 means ultimate sinfulness.

So Jesus praying repeatedly for strength is something we all need to do.

Are you still sleeping and resting?

I wonder if that would be said of the churches  in America?

This is a statement of disappointment and rebuke. The need to be alert against the devil never stops. I think we forget that we are in a spiritual battle that is always out to destroy us, our marriages and our children.

Peter did later learn that you must constantly be on guard.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

If we want spiritual victory in our lives then we have to discipline ourselves in Gods word and prayer.

You cannot deliver yourself from evil but you must ask Christ to deliver you and that happens through prayer. (Matthew 6:13)

Closing

I wonder if we have fallen asleep thinking the enemy is not going to destroy us.

I wonder if we take sin lightly not believing that it leads to death.

I wonder what would happen if we prayed like we should.

If you have sinned know that Christ is the one who will restore you. (1 John 1:9)

He already knew what you were going to do before you did it so you can rest in the fact that although you may have earthly consequences you can know you will not have eternal ones.

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