Some of you know this about me…some of you don’t.
But I became a Christian when I was 18.
It all started one winter night when I was supposed to spend the night at my friend Jake’s house.
We had been up hanging out with friends and talking, and it was almost 2:00am, and we were all about to go to sleep.
But I never liked sleeping overnight on their couch, so I thought, you know what, I’m just going to drive home, and sleep in my own bed.
So I drove home, walked downstairs, and went to my room in my basement.
And at about 2:00am, God performed a miracle in my life.
Rather than crashing on my bed, I looked over to my bookshelf and saw a Bible.
And at 2 in the morning, I thought, you know what, I should read it.
I don’t even recall if I was having a hard night or what, but I had this overwhelming urge to read the Bible.
Even though at that time I was very opposed to Christians, I had learned enough about the Bible to know that the New Testament was where the stories of Jesus were…
and I opened up to the first page of the New Testament in the Book of Matthew and started to read.
And every night after that, I would go in my room, shut my door, and read the Bible.
And it blew my mind.
The Bible absolutely blew my mind.
I had thought the Bible was full of religious ceremonies and animal sacrifices and irrelevant teachings
But it wasn’t that at all.
The narrative was so engaging.
And beyond that, I found Jesus’ teaching to be absolutely brilliant.
I had never read anything like it.
And so I kept reading, every night, and after about 6 months of reading, and with a few other nudges from God, I decided to become a Christian…
To believe that Jesus died in my place and become a follower of His.
And over the next year, I just devoured God’s Word.
I can remember lying on my bed at night, looking at a new Study Bible my new Christian friends helped me pick up, and just saying, “No way! That’s awesome! You mean, that’s connected to that! And that one’s connected to that! Wow!”
The Bible is deeply interconnected, and at its core, it’s always pointing to the Messiah, Jesus.
And we’re going to study a passage that proves that today.
Ever since 2018, we have been studying the Book of Luke together as a church.
Luke is 1 of 4 books in the Bible about the life and teachings of Jesus
We often will teach through Luke for 6 or 7 weeks, and then take a few months off, and then come back to it…
…but we are now 63 messages into the Book of Luke!
We’re literally going through it verse by verse.
Not skipping over hard or challenging passages.
We’re just teaching through the Bible so you can learn what it says and who God is.
And before we jump into our passage, I want to say something briefly to those of you that are just checking this place out.
If you don’t have a Bible, please take the one under the chair in front of you when you leave today.
(put up Take a Bible slide)
That’s our gift to you.
It even has a reading plan in there that will show you the best place to start reading the Bible.
I hope God opens your eyes to the brilliance of His Word
THE PASSAGE AND PASSOVER
All right, let’s take a look at our Bible passage for today
You can follow along in a couple of ways
(Renovation App – Weekly Verses)
Here’s where we are in the Book of Luke:
Even though we’re in chapter 18, and the book goes to chapter 24, we’re getting very close to the final week of Jesus’ life.
That’ll actually begin in our next chapter, chapter 19.
Throughout chapter 18 so far, he’s been teaching different groups of people, and now he’s going to tell his 12 disciples something
We’re covering just 4 verses today.
We’ll read it all the way through and then talk through it
(Luke 18:31-34) – NIV
31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 33 they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”
34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
Jesus tells them that they are going up to Jerusalem.
Now, verse 34 tells us the disciples aren’t understanding what Jesus is talking about
To them, they’re not going to Jerusalem for Jesus to die, they’re going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover like everyone else.
The Passover was 1 of 3 Jewish festivals that Jews were required to go to Jerusalem to celebrate.
Now, the Passover is a religious holiday that commemorates a miracle of God’s in the Old Testament.
The people of God, the Israelites, we’re held in slavery in Egypt for 400 years.
And in freeing them, God struck Pharaoh and the Egyptians with 10 plagues (turning the Nile River to blood, a plague of frogs, locusts, etc.)
And the final plague was the death of the firstborn sons.
This occurs in the book of Exodus (the 2nd book of the Bible)
We actually taught through this entire book if you want to listen to it on our website or app
It’s a 20-week series called “Rescue”
So, again, the final plague was “the death of the firstborn”
The Angel of Death came through the city, and only those who had the blood of a lamb painted on their doorframe would be spared.
Now, to our modern, suburban ears, that sounds quite uncivilized. (the blood of the lamb and such)
But keep in mind, in an ancient, agrarian society, especially one with animal sacrifice, this is not as weird as it sounds to our ears.
And if you read the story, you read that the Angel of Death “Passed Over” them (thus, Passover) all who had the blood of the lamb over their doorframe…and they were saved.
Okay, that may see pretty random, but let’s go forward about 1,500 years and Jesus is going to Jerusalem for Passover.
By the way, do you know what many called Jesus?
Let me show you what the prophet John the Baptist called Jesus
(John 1:29) – NIV
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Jesus is…the lamb.
And get this…the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) is going to be shed…when?
During the Passover.
It get even more amazing.
When Jews celebrate the Passover each year, they are supposed to find a male lamb without blemish, and not a bone was to be broken.
Jesus perfectly fulfilled the prophecy of the Passover lamb.
He was without sin, and amazingly, not a single bone was broken on his body when he was killed.
And if you believe in Jesus through faith, sometimes Christians use this curious phrase, they say, “You are covered by his blood”
That’s a reference to Passover.
Because remember, if they had “the blood of the lamb” on their doorframe, they were covered, safe from the angel of death.
He would “pass over” them.
And by believing that Jesus’ blood was shed for you, and believing He died for you, you are saved as well, and given eternal life.
The interconnectedness of the Bible is INCREDIBLE.
JESUS IS THE FULFILLMENT OF SCRIPTURE
We’re just getting started with our little passage today!
It gets even more amazing.
In verse 31 of our passage in Luke, Jesus says everything written about Him by the prophets (of the OT) will be fulfilled. Everything.
And then Jesus goes on to talk about how he will be mocked, insulted, flogged and killed.
Let me show you an amazing prophecy from about 800 years before Jesus came to earth.
In fact, grab your Bibles again, head to page 505
It’s a prophecy about what would happen to the Messiah when He was killed.
Look for the similarities to our passage in Luke.
(Isaiah 53:3-7) – NIV
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
All of that happened.
Even though that was written and predicted 800 years before Jesus, that prophecy was fulfilled in his suffering and death.
The Bible is not a book of fairy tales, but an interwoven masterpiece of God’s truth
THE DEPTH OF HIS LOVE FOR YOU
And so when this masterpiece of history…God’s Word…tells you that Jesus loves you…
You want to listen very carefully.
Let me read verses 32 & 33 again (slowly) to you out of Luke
(Luke 18:32-33) – NIV
32 He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 33 they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”
This is indeed what happened to Jesus.
He was betrayed by his own disciple Judas…and handed over (by the Jewish leaders to the Romans)…who were the only ones that could enact capital punishment.
But they didn’t just execute Jesus.
We see that they mocked him, they insulted him, they spit on Him. Spit on him.
They flogged him
That means they’ll tie him to a post and whip his shoulders, back, and legs with a whip called a flagellum
Which consisted of small pieces of bone and metal attached to a number of leather strands.
And eventually…they killed him.
And Jesus endured all of that…for you.
If there is anyone listening to this who has been doubting God’s love for them lately…
Maybe you really messed up…
Maybe your world has just felt dark lately…
If that’s you, I want your eyes to look hard at these passages from the Bible.
Jesus tell us that he IS going to Jerusalem.
He knows that He is going to be the Passover lamb…that his blood is going to be shed.
But here’s the thing I don’t want you to miss from today’s passage of Scripture
It’s not that Jesus is just eventually arrested and they hit him and flog him, and it’s all out of his control.
This isn’t just telling us what eventually happened to Jesus
This is Jesus telling us that He already knows that it’s going to happen to him.
Let me ask you…
If you knew that if you kept walking to Jerusalem, you were going to be insulted, spit on, flogged, and killed…would you keep walking to Jerusalem???
So why did Jesus keep going to go to Jerusalem?
Because He was DETERMINED to Love you…to die for you.
In fact, He always planned to be your Passover Lamb…dying in your place.
Even during the original Passover, Jesus in heaven knew it was just a shadow of a greater Passover still to come.
It was determined long ago that Jesus would be the suffering servant of Isaiah 53…who would be pierced for our sins.
He knew it was going to happen…
In fact, before time began, Jesus knew that he would suffer…for you…and yet when the time came, He still did it.
The fact that Jesus willingly subjected himself to such agony and pain is even deeper if you think about who Jesus really is.
Jesus is not just some moral teacher who told nice stories and taught people to love their neighbor
Jesus is a human being, but He’s also God in the flesh.
In this passage, Jesus calls himself the “Son of Man”
Do you know what that is a reference to?
Because remember, the Bible is interconnected everywhere.
The title “Son of Man” is a reference to a vision the prophet Daniel had hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth…
I’ll show it to you in the Old Testament.
(Daniel 7:13-14) – NIV
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
So Jesus is saying in our passage in Luke, “That’s WHO I am.”
“Not just a teacher, not even just the Passover Lamb…I’m the Son of Man
“So know, that when human history wraps up, that prophecy is about ME…the “Son of Man”…the Messiah” coming back on the clouds…
…having the authority and the power to judge the nations…
…That’s me. That’s who I am.
And so let me ask you all a question: “In the hours leading up to his crucifixion, when the Roman Soldiers put a robe on him, and a crown of thorns and mocked him as the King of Jews?”
Could Jesus, The Son of Man, not just have spoken the word, “STOP,” and they would have fallen over dead?
When they whipped his back, and he cried out in pain…
Could he not just have called on 10,000 angels to wipe them out instantly?
When they nailed his hands and feet to the cross, could he not have called down fire from heaven?
Yes, and yes and yes.
He could have, but he didn’t.
Because that’s how much he loves you.
He was Determined to Love you…
He was determined to die in your place…and even though he knew that was the pain that would be coming to him…he still went forward with it.
That’s how much He loves you.
ITS MEANING WAS HIDDEN
And I know many of you know that…but do you know it?
Does the reality of the cross melt your heart…or has it been relegated to some theological fact in the dusty corners of your brain?
You know one of the more fascinating parts of our passage in Luke today is verse 34
Jesus tells his disciples he’s going to go to Jerusalem, be killed, and then rise again.
And then verse 34 surprisingly says this:
(Luke 18:34) – NIV
34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
To us, in hindsight, it feels like he’s speaking pretty plainly about what’s going to happen: “he’s going to die & rise again!”
But to the disciples, they must have thought he was speaking in some sort of parable…or explaining some deeper metaphor about dying to yourself and rising with a new outlook on life…or something.
And as I was thinking about this during the week, it hit me…there are so many people in America today, to whom the meaning of Jesus’ death is completely hidden…just like this passage!
They’ve heard about it, but they do not understand it.
If you asked them, “How did Jesus die,” I’m sure 90% of people would say, “On a cross”
But if you asked, “Why? And what for? And what did his death accomplish?”
I’m not sure half of Americans know.
And maybe for you today, the meaning of his death is starting to take shape.
Because the truth is, without the blood of Jesus (his death on the cross) the plague of death is on us.
We will die.
And not just die an earthly death, but we suffer in death…and eternal separation from God, not in heaven, but in hell.
Only the blood of the New Passover Lamb…Jesus can save us.
And my friend…He Came to Save YOU
I hope you saw that today.
He suffered, He REALLY suffered (even when He didn’t have to), because he wanted to die in your place.
To take the punishment for your sins.
And I just wonder: Have you ever truly accepted that?
Have you “painted him over your life?”
Or has Jesus just been an intellectual concept for you or just a teacher…or a figure from history?
Have you ever said, “Lord, I believe that you love me so much, that you died in my place, for my sins… ‘save me Jesus!’
If you haven’t, let’s do that today.
Let’s just have everyone bow their head and close their eyes for a minute.
If I’m talking to you…
And the LOVE of Jesus for you is hitting home today…and you need to give him the keys of your life…turn your life over…and let Him save you….
Today is the day to do that my friend. Don’t put it off.
If that’s you, and you’ve never done this before, I’m going to ask you, in a second here to stand up where you’re at.
As a way to mark this day …and accept his gift of forgiveness.
It is not just given to everyone.
We have to believe by faith…and to walk that out as His disciple.
And so if you’re ready to ask for His forgiveness and believe He died for you, I want you to stand where you’re at.
If you’re standing up, would you pray this prayer with me?
This is not a magic prayer…but just a prayer to tell God where you’re at… the Bible says, we 1) believe in our hearts and 2) confess with our mouths.
So I want you to say it out loud with me. Repeat after me
IN fact, there are a lot of other believers already in the room, and this is what we believe.
So, let’s all say it together with these new believers.
Repeat after me
I confess to you, that I have sinned against you.
But God I believe, that you sent your Son Jesus, to take my place
And God I thank you, for forgiving my sins.
And now I commit, to following you, with my life.
As everyone else still has their eyes closed, I want to talk to those of you who are standing for just a moment
I need you to do one more thing for me.
It will only take a few small minutes, but I believe these are a few of the most important minutes of your life.
You’ve just made the most important decision of your life, and I believe that requires some more information…
So here’s what we’re going to do…In just a second, I’m going to pray, and when I pray, I need you to quietly sneak out of your row, and head back towards the lobby where it will be quiet.
I’m going to go meet you out there in a second with someone from our Follow-Up Team…and I want to give you some extremely important resources & next steps to get you started on the most important journey of your life.
If you’re part of this church, and your friend or family member is standing up right now, PLEASE come out there with them.
Walk them out.
All right, I’m going to pray now, so you can head out there.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.