73 Luke 22.1-6
An Olive Branch of Peace
v The Many symbols of peace
Ø Peace pipe
Ø “V” fingers
Ø Peace sign
§ Scandinavian folklore:
· After the sun god “Balder” was killed by a mistletoe dart, the plant was feared and hated as a wicked instrument of death and betrayal. But Balder's mother, the goddess Freya, redeemed it in honor of her son, decreeing that mistletoe should become a symbol of peace and reconciliation.
· From that time on, enemies who met under a clump of mistletoe would lay down their arms and declare a truce. That is why it is hung in the doorway, and a kiss of peace and loving kindness bestowed on all who enter.
Ø But perhaps the greatest symbol of peace throughout the ages is…
§ The Olive Branch
· For thousands of years the olive branch has stood as a symbol of peace
¨ From the story of the dove bringing an olive branch back to Noah
¨ To America
Ø Whose symbol is an eagle clutching an olive branch of peace in its right talon
v Today we come to the story of Judas Iscariot
Ø The one who would betray Jesus
§ But in this story I do not see Jesus reacting as most would
· With anger and malice
¨ But instead reaching out again and again to Judas with an olive branch of Peace
v Here we are approaching the final days of Jesus’ earthly ministry
Ø The final Passover of Jesus’ life is imminent
§ The Passover that Jesus said in Jn 22:15
· I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you…
¨ The Passover that he has been waiting 1,500 years to fulfill
¨ The Passover that he has been waiting to explain to the 12
v He has spent 3 years with this ragtag group of men
Ø Performing miracles in front of
§ Preparing them to carry on his ministry
· Yet here we learn that there was one that experienced all of this…
¨ Yet did not believe!
¨ Actually turned against him
v My goodness…
Ø When you look at Judas so many questions surround the man…
v You’ve got to ask…
Ø How could Judas do miracles like other disciples if never really saved?
§ Jesus sends the 12 out and they report back that they healed the sick and performed many miracles
· Even the demons listened to them
¨ The text gives us no indication that Judas was not part of this
Ø How could he have done these things?
· But we learn in Matt 7:21
¨ Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven
v You’ve got to ask…
Ø Did Judas repent of his betrayal and if so, will he be in heaven?
§ Seems to have repented
· Difference between sorrow and repentance
¨ Acts 1:25
Ø Judas went where he belonged
v You’ve got to ask…
Ø Can Judas be held responsible for his actions?
§ After all…
· V. 3 says
¨ Satan entering Judas
Ø How could he be held responsible for his actions?
§ I like what W. Barclay says…
· The door to every man’s heart has only one handle, on the inside
¨ Judas had to open the door to let Satan in!
v Regarding Judas…
Ø You’ve got to ask the hard question…
§ Was Judas predestined for this very purpose?
· Acts 1:16 ~ Peter speaking of Judas says…
¨ “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus…
v But the most amazing and difficult issue surrounding Judas is how Jesus treated him
Ø Here is a man…
§ Who is going to betray Jesus into the hands of his enemies
Ø Here is a man…
§ Who will hand Jesus over to be beaten, tortured, spit upon, slapped, mocked and eventually crucified
Ø Here is a man…
§ That Jesus seems to know what he was going to do all along
· Jn 6:70
¨ Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!
v Yet Jesus continually offers Judas chances to repent
Ø Here, in our text today, we have Judas Iscariot’s betrayal in full bloom…
§ He has told the priests that he will hand Jesus over to them
§ He has been paid 30 pieces of silver
v Here we see in full focus…
Ø His Unfaithfulness
Ø His Treachery
Ø His Underhandedness
Ø His Dishonesty
Ø His Deceitfulfullness
Ø His Deviousness
Ø His Disloyalty
§ Yet what is mind blowing when you look at the whole story is that…
· Jesus gives him the opportunity to turn back
· Jesus repeatedly offers Judas the olive branch of peace
v Let’s look at it together
Ø Turn with me to John 13
§ John fills in details that Luke leaves out
· And we get a fuller picture of Jesus’ love
¨ John 13:1-30
v Here we see that Jesus reaches out to Judas 3 times in the upper room
Ø Explanation v. 1-5
§ Meal is over and Jesus puts a towel around his waist and begins washing the disciple’s feet
v Gets to Peter ~ read v. 6-9
Ø Washing symbolizing cleansing from sin
§ And then Jesus says…
READ Jn 13:10-12
v Jesus Secretly Calls Judas’ out
Ø Kent Hughes says of this text…
§ It was a loving arrow aimed at the waning conscience of Judas
Ø Jesus literally tells Judas he knows what he is going to do
§ He lets him know that he knows
· Here Jesus secretly calls Judas out
¨ You are clean, though not every one of you…
Ø Jesus was extending to Judas an olive branch
§ He was saying…
· I know it is you, Judas…
¨ You still have a chance
¨ You don’t have to go through with it
Ø I also think of Jesus washing Judas’ feet a few minute previous
§ What must that interchange been like!
· What must have gone through Judas’ mind as Jesus came to him, bent down and washed his dirty, filthy, calloused feet?
¨ How would that have made him feel?
Ø Convicted, guilty, choked up?
Ø Jesus again was extending to Judas an olive branch
§ He just showed Judas one of the purest forms of love…
¨ The Humility of love shown in marriage relationship
Ø Eph 5:22
§ Submit (Humble) to one another out of reverence for Christ
Ø The Humility of love shown to enemies
§ Love your enemies (sermon on the mount)
· Rom 12:20
¨ If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
· Here Jesus was humbling himself before his enemy
· Here Jesus is heaping burning coals of love on Judas’ head
· Here Jesus is extending an olive branch to Judas
Jesus reaches out to Judas a second time…
v Jesus returns to his seat after secretly calling Judas out and says…
READ v. 18-21
v Here Jesus Publicly calls Judas out
Ø Although V. 18 is not fully understood by us
§ The disciples would know exactly what Jesus was saying!
· He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me
Ø Quote from Ps 41:9
§ David is lamenting that one of his closest friends has betrayed him
· 1 Sam 15
¨ Ahithophel, one of his closest counselors
¨ Betrays David and joins Absalom’s revolt
¨ Later hangs himself
Ø Jesus is saying…
§ “We have an Ahithophel in our midst!”
v But something very touching happens after he says this…
Ø V. 21 says that Jesus was “troubled in spirit”
§ I can see his voice cracking as he says…
· “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me”
¨ I wonder what Judas’ heart must have felt like?
Ø The silver must have been very heavy in his pocket!
§ Here Jesus is saying…
· There is still time
· You don’t have to do this
¨ Jesus is extending yet another olive branch to Judas
Jesus reaches out even a third time to Judas!
v The disciples do not know what Jesus meant
Ø They look at each other in wonder
§ Peter motions to John to ask Jesus who the traitor is
· Jesus answers…
READ v. 26
v Jesus offers Judas Peace
Ø Jesus was not offering Judas bread to simply identify him
§ It was much, much more then that
· In the middle east sharing a meal together was deep in symbolic meaning
¨ It was an act of Truce
Ø When two enemies came together to forge a peace between them
§ They always ate a meal together to seal the deal
Ø Jesus extends to Judas the truce bread
§ Jesus extends to Judas Peace and Friendship
Ø In his hand Jesus does not only hold a piece of bread…
§ But an olive branch
· Saying to Judas…
¨ “Turn back”
¨ “I love you“
¨ “Have peace with me”
¨ “Take this olive branch of peace”
v And that is what Jesus is to the human race
Ø An olive branch of peace
§ An olive branch extended to
· the Ungodly
· To Sinners
· To Enemies
¨ To You and Me!
v The power of this story is that it is the account of you and me
Ø At the beginning of this sermon we applied some words to Judas
· Can’t the same words apply to you and me?
¨ If you think these words do not apply to you…
Ø Look deeper!
v But the beauty of this story is that…
Ø Jesus over and over again extends to each one of us an olive branch of peace
§ Romans 5:1
· Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
§ Col 1:19-20
· For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross
§ Eph 2:14
· For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility
v Through Jesus Christ, God has extended to every human being the olive branch of peace
Ø Peace with God
Ø Peace with yourself
§ In his heart, Judas refused the bread that Jesus offered
· Today he extends it once again
¨ Won’t you accept it?
v Symbolism in this time for Jesus
§ Dead passed over
Ø Blood on lintels
§ Christ’s Blood
Ø Perfect lamb sacrificed
§ Jesus as the sinless lamb of God
v But Judas took the bread with his intensions still intact
Ø And it was then that Satan entered him
§ Meaning that he was without repentance
· He refused Jesus’ olive branch for the last time!
¨ And he went out into the night
§ Jn 14:27
· Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.