Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Matthew Section 7: The Passion of Christ

The pinnacle of Matthew's gospel his recording the last week of Christ's life on earth. In this section, he does not spend time detailing the whole week as the other evangelists do. Instead, he focuses in on the night before the crucifixion, the crucifixion, and briefly on the resurrection. Therefore, we have a short story about Judas' betrayal and the institution of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper.

An interesting characteristic found in this section is that there is no major discourse found. In all the other sections, Matthew records a major discourse or sermon from Jesus. In the Passion section, Jesus needs no sermon as his sacrifice on the cross says more than any words can capture. And I think Matthew intended to capture this idea. Each section, Jesus preaches, teaches, rebukes, or something. In every section a powerful discourse to remember what Jesus said. But this section records the most powerful, loving, amazing thing Jesus had ever done: sacrificed Himself for us. Therefore, the real discourse of this section, and of the whole gospel, could be considered Matthew 27:32-56.

Here is the visual aide for this section (Click picture for larger image):

I anticipate maybe 20 sermons from this section. However, knowing that this is the purpose for the gospel to be written, and since this part of the gospel is the crux of the Christian faith, I could see possibly moving slower through this section.

While there is a brief section Jesus' resurrection, which is the real hope for believers, Matthew focuses mostly on Jesus sacrifice. This makes some sense. As he was writing to Jews, he paints Jesus as the ultimate Passover Lamb. What an amazing God we serve and how thankful I am that Jesus did pay the price for us!