Sermonette for Saturday

And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men. Matthew 17:22

Before Jesus and His disciples ever began their journey to Jerusalem, the Lord revealed to them that He was to die on the cross. And yet, when we read today’s text, we do not find the revelation of a great mystery. Rather, we find the latest in a lengthy series of announcements about a Saviour Who was to come into the world. Jesus’ words to His disciples were not new, they were just the newest presentation of a glorious theme that runs throughout Scripture. In fact, Jesus’ words were in perfect harmony with a great Plan that was designed and purposed before the beginning of time. We cannot read the Old Testament without encountering this great promise and we cannot read the New Testament without discovering the great fulfillment.

If we begin in the Garden of Eden, we find our first parents evicted with the promise that the Seed of the woman would bruise Satan’s head. In Abel’s offering we see the first promise of God’s acceptance of a worthy substitute, a promise repeated many times during the next few thousand years. In the ordinances and offerings of the Mosaic law we see the types and shadows of that one great Sacrifice that was to come. Amid the failures of humanity, we see the faithful few who bore testimony to the righteousness that was to be had by believing God and by anticipating the coming Saviour. Even the Psalms bring before us the great pictures of the Great King and of the sufferings to be endured by the Messiah when He was come. To read all of these, and then to read the pronouncement of the Lord Jesus in today’s text is to read the continuation of God’s great theme of redemption for us.

The New Testament is a continuation of the promises of the Old, with the Gospels presenting the Lord Jesus in His arrival, His life and ministry, His suffering and death on the cross, and His glorious resurrection. In the book of the Acts, we read the results of presenting the Gospel message to Jew and Gentile alike. In the epistles, we find a great program of worship and service that arises from the work of Christ, and in the Revelation, we read of the find outcome of those who reject and those who accept the Saviour’s message.

In our text, the Lord Jesus is presenting His upcoming purpose to His disciples. He is not predicting a terrible tragedy, but the fulfillment of God’s purposes. How thankful we are that He was committed to fulfilling those purposes, to redeem us by allowing Himself to be betrayed into the hands of men! -Jim MacIntosh

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