Saturday, August 07, 2021

2021.08.07 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 21:37–22:7

Read Luke 21:37–22:7

Questions from the Scripture text: What was Jesus doing during the daytimes (Luke 21:37a)? What did he do at night (verse 37b)? What would happen early again in the morning (Luke 21:38)? What drew near in Luke 22:1? Who sought how to do what (Luke 22:2)? Why did they have to figure out a way to do this? What development does Luke 22:3 bring? Among whom had Judas been numbered? Where does Judas go in Luke 22:4, and what does he do? How do the chief priests and officials feel about this (Luke 22:5)? What do they agree to do? What does Judas do in Luke 22:6? What does he now seek?

The Lord is in control to bring about His salvation: “the Passover must be killed.” In the passage, we see the world, the devil, and the flesh rage. But all are being employed by God to bring His salvation.

The world rages, here represented in the chief priests and scribes, who are eager to destroy Jesus (cf. Luke 20:19). The dynamic in Luke 21:37–38 sets up the difficulty for them. Jesus is spending His evenings at Bethany, at the top of the Mount of Olives, about two miles northwest of the temple. But during the day, He was teaching in the temple to large crowds. The influence and power of the religious leaders is an illusion. “They feared the people” (Luke 22:2). When the world rages, let us remember that it has always done so against Christ, and that He employed its raging even to bring about our salvation.

The devil rages. Satan entered Judas in Luke 22:3. It’s a bold move for him to target one of the twelve. But as the book of Job makes clear, the devil is only able to do as much as the Lord has foreordained for His own good purposes.  The effect on Judas is dreadful; suddenly he is actively opposing Christ, even entering into the counsels of His enemies as they collaborate upon the betrayal. A bold and seemingly effective move. The devil continues to rage today. He is bold to attack via those who seem to be something in the church. He is permitted to affect them dreadfully. But let us remember that this is not new. The Lord brought even the salvation of all the elect through the raging of the devil.

The flesh rages. There is the murderousness of the fleshly natures of Jesus’s enemies in Luke 22:2, which has the disgusting effect of making them glad in Luke 22:5. And there is the covetousness of Judas’s fleshly nature in verse 5, for which he is willing to take the blood money. When we find hostility or greed in our own hearts, let us identify them as enemies of the Lord and of our souls, and set ourselves to battle against them. But let us not think that even our own sin—or that of any of our enemies—can undo the good and saving purposes of Christ. Clinging to Him, we engage with confident joy in our battle against the flesh. 

The Passover must be killed. God has determined to save His people from the death that they deserve by covering them with atoning blood. Jesus has come as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Along the way, there is the horrible raging of the world, the devil, and the flesh. But these are under the control of the God Who is using them to bring about the application of that redemption which Christ has accomplished.

Are you covered by the blood of the Lamb? What enemies rage against His applying to you the benefits of that redeeming blood? How does this passage help remind you that God uses those enemies for your good?

Suggested songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage” or TPH196 “At the Lamb’s High Feast”

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