The Betrayal

The Preparation of the Sacrificial Lamb

Matthew 26:46-68


I.         Introduction - Isa 53:6-8


A.      Something is wrong with the sheep of Isa 53:6. Look at vs 5! Transgressions, iniquities - sins!

B.       And the only way for sins to be taken away was by the sacrificial substitution of a lamb for the sinner. Innocent paying for the guilty!


1.        The Passover Lamb. Up to this point, tens of millions of lambs had been slain for sins.

2.        Now Someone greater than a little wool-covered animal was here, and God had chosen to place all sin upon HIM!

3.        And leading up to the crucifixion, our Lord was entering into a spiritual battlezone in preparation to be the One Final Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world!


II.       Message - The Betrayal of Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:46-68)


A.      The Arrest (Matt 26:46-57)


1.        The arrest was Led by Judas Iscariot (26:46-49)


a.       A religious man - an apostle! Ordained by Christ Himself! better consider this stuff! Wars are started by RELIGIOUS PEOPLE! Hell is filled with RELIGIOUS PEOPLE! Religion is not the answer to sin, or to ANY of this world’s problems!

b.       A covetous man - This man was driven by his love for money

c.       A coward of a man - had to have a large ARMED mob with him to capture ONE man who was in a garden praying!

d.       An empty man - he was numb to any feelings of hesitation to KISS a man who would soon be dead! All religion is the same


2.        The arrest was Opposed by the Disciples (26:50-51)


a.       Peter acts first - He sees a soldier come forward and grab Jesus and begin to bind His hands behind His back. Peter jumps up off the ground and draws his sword and takes a wide swipe at the man! The man ducks, but not far enough, and loses his ear!

b.       It is dark. Way past 1am in the morning, and its every man for himself! There are over 100 men in the angry mob, and just 11 disciples, and Jesus! Outnumbered 8 to 1! But if He is to be crowned, it will have to take a fight! Or so they thought!

c.       The great thing about this is that Christ’s disciples had the courage to FIGHT for CHRIST! How about Christians today?! A bunch of WIMPS when it comes to cursing God’s name, and mishandling God’s word, and bad-talking God’s people!


3.        The arrest was Accepted By Jesus Christ (26:52-57) - He surrendered!


a.       Instead of rebuking the angry crowd, Jesus rebukes Peter and His disciples!


1)       Do you really think that the SWORD is the answer here?

2)       Don’t you know WHO I AM? WHAT I CAN DO?


b.       Instead of praising Peter’s courage and decisiveness, He heals the very man who was about to bind His hands!


Luke 22:50,51 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.


c.       Instead of running away, he confronts the mob, and presents them with a puzzle - “why now boys? Why never in public?” The question is to get them to THINK! And that’s why people do not get saved! Because they do not want to think about such things! They just want to GO WITH THE FLOW!

d.       And when Jesus yielded to their ropes and taunts, the disciples drop their swords (they had TWO), and they run! It was too much for them! Jesus did not make sense anymore!

e.       But WHY was Jesus surrendering? Why do it on purpose? To fulfill Scripture! Back to that BOOK! He was determined to stay on God’s course to the every end! Don’t you agree that it is the BEST course for ALL OF US?!


B.       The Trial (Matt 26:57-64)


1.        It was a religious inquisition (26:57)! He was presumed guilty without any possible way of proving His innocence!


a.       No civil authorities were present

b.       No accusation was made! They just hated Him!

c.       No defence council was provided

d.       No defence witnesses were allowed - the trial was being held very late at night!


2.        It was a circus-show (26:58)! Peter and John sneak in just to “see” what becomes of Jesus!

3.        It was an act of desperation (26:59-62) - because they could find NOTHING that they could blame this Jesus for! Their whole case was built upon one thing - ENVY (27:18)!

4.        It was easy for the Lord (26:63)


a.       It was easy to keep His mouth shut - There was no need to answer accusations. He did not need to defend Himself! His life had always been an OPEN BOOK (26:63)! May it be the same with us!

b.       But when it came to TRUTH - It was automatic! He answered on the spot! “Are you the Son of God?” Go to Mark 14:61,62 where Christ answers, “I AM” (Cf Ex 3)!!!


1)       Question: If Jesus is NOT the sinless, perfect, Son of God, then He is the biggest liar in history! They lock-up people who think that they are “god,” Jesus, or Moses!

2)       Question: If however, Jesus IS the sinless, perfect, Son of God, then something is very wrong here - He should be released, honoured, worshipped, crowned, praised, loved!

3)       But the people hate Him too much to accept the truth! And they don’t even realize that they are following God’s plan to the letter!


c.       And notice that not only does Jesus answer their question, but He adds an incredible conclusion to His statement:


1)       Yes, I am God come in the flesh - I am the Messiah! I am the Saviour!

2)       But that is only half of it! Hereafter, or “in the future” you are going to see me sitting where no man has the authority to sit, and then coming in the clouds of glory AS GOD to rule one day! What do you think of that?!


C.       The Decision (Matt 26:65-68)


1.        Pandemonium breaks out! They’ve got Him! “Whew! That was easy! Good, we can get Him on the cross tomorrow at high noon!”

2.        The Punishment begins (26:67,68) - It wont stop for 14 more hrs!


a.       THEY spit in His face! Who were the THEY? The religious leaders! Stay away from religious leaders - they would spit in Christ’s face TODAY if He were here! Don’t you see how messed up religion is by now?!

b.       THEY blindfold and buffet Him - punched, slapped, kicked!

c.       Then the false witnesses, and the cleaning crew, and the Roman soldiers jumped into the action!


3.        Then Peter flips-out (26:69-75). He is confused, and drained, and when he sees Jesus just “taking it” he flips completely out! He denies ever knowing Jesus (no longer a popular thing), denies ever being associated with Him (people might mock him, and start ganging-up on him), and starts cursing up a storm like all sailors and fishermen are good at! What a great Christian testimony!


D.      The Reason (26:54,56; Isa 53:5-8) What was going on behind the scenes that Peter forgot to remember?


1.        A spiritual battle was in full force! And this was only the first of seven unlawful trials that Christ would go through!

2.        A sacrifice was being prepared for its slaughter

3.        A substitute was about to be made for every man woman and child on the face of this earth for all history!


III.     Conclusion - The Betrayal of Jesus Christ


A.      Involved an Arrest


1.        Led by Judas Iscariot: A religious covetous, coward, & empty man

2.        Opposed by the Disciples

3.        Yet Accepted By Jesus Christ - He surrendered!


B.       Involved a Trial


1.        It was a religious inquisition!

2.        It was a circus-show

3.        It was an act of desperation! Their whole case was built upon envy!

4.        Yet it was easy for the Lord


C.       Involved a Decision (Matt 26:65-68) on the part of religious leaders


1.        Pandemonium breaks out!

2.        The Punishment begins - It wont stop for 14 more hrs!


a.       The religious Leaders spit in His face!!

b.       They blindfold and buffet Him!

c.       Then the false witnesses, and the cleaning crew, and the Roman soldiers jumped into the action!


3.        Then Peter flips-out!


D.      But there was a great Reason (Isa 53:5-8) All because of us!


1.        There was no other way to break the wall of partition between us and God!

2.        Remember how that this all happens because of the love of God for helpless sinners!


Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church Blarney

29 Westcourt Heights

Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland