This is an exposition of Luke 22:31-38. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, December 10, 2017.
Happiness is an elusive thing. The harder you chase it the further away it seems. That’s why C.S. Lewis said, “Happiness is like a cat. If you pursue it, it runs away. If you call to it, it ignores you. If you ignore it, it hops in your lap!” Lewis’ point being, you don’t pursue happiness. You live your life, go about your business seeking to live in obedience to God and happiness will find you.
Of course our real desire is not happiness but joy. Deep, profound and abiding joy. Happiness demands everything is as it should be. Everything must line up. Joy, on the other hand is constant no matter the circumstance. Where does one find joy? Joy is found in Christ.
Our Lord was gathered in the upper room celebrating the last Passover and the first communion with his disciples. During that meal he broke bread and said, “This is my body, given for you.” He took the cup and declared, “This is the new covenant in my blood.” While they were trying to wrap their minds around what he had just said, our Lord stunned them with the announcement, “Behold, the hand of him who betrays me is on the table with me.” Betray him? One of us? Never! Accusations flew around the room as each in turn presented the case for how they could never do such a thing. Then the unthinkable, there talked turned to which of them was the greatest. With sorrow and disappointment our Lord said, “You’re acting like Gentiles.” You’re behaving like those who know nothing of the things of God. They worry about such things. They lord it over others. To them greatness has to do with power, position and prestige, not so with you. Things are different in the kingdom of God. Greatness is a matter of humility and service. Humbled and more than a little embarrassed the talk quieted down. But he wasn’t finished. His next words are both frightening and encouraging. Our text is found in Luke 22 beginning with verse 31.
Text: Luke 22:31-38
It was a very revealing night. Our Lord is revealed as a humble servant as he dons a towel and washes the feet of his disciples. He is revealed as the Passover lamb as he instituted a new memorial meal. He then reminded them of God’s sovereignty, the necessity of a godly perspective and the wonder of his grace. Now, in our text, he is revealed as the sinner’s Savior.
It is in this text we learn that…
Thesis: Our hope, our joy, our peace rests in the atoning sacrifice and on-going prayers of our gracious Savior.
There are two things I want to note as we work our way through this text.
- We are kept safe by our Savior’s effectual prayers. (22:31-34)
- We are ultimately delivered by our Savior’s atoning sacrifice. (22:35-38)
In his saving work, the Savior of sinners took the guilt of our sin upon himself, and once he did that, he was obligated to pay the death penalty that all our sins deserved. He did this for all the sins of all of his people, all of our idolatry, our adultery, our thieving and dishonesty. Whatever kind of sinner we are, Jesus was counted as that kind of sinner on the cross. He of course was not a sinner but he was dying in the place of sinners, therefore he was counted a sinner on the cross. In terms of God’s justice, he died as a lying, lazy, thieving sinner. He did that to pay the debt of your sin. That is the wonder of the Gospel.
He died so that you could live.
Joy, lasting, sustained and abiding joy is to be found in Christ and in Christ alone. Why is that? Because we are ultimately delivered by his atoning sacrifice and we are kept safe by his continual, effective prayers.
Take heart troubled believer Jesus died for you.
Take heart beleaguered saint he is praying for you.