The Concerns of God

Matthew 16:21-23

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Approximately forty percent of the gospels are about the last week of Jesus’ life up through the Resurrection! Obviously, this is the most important thing that Jesus has come to accomplish!

During the Easter season, which focuses on this time in Jesus’ life I often get one sermon behind. On Easter we want to preach about Resurrection, on Palm Sunday we want to preach about the triumphant Jesus. But we really need to talk about the Crucifixion of Jesus too! I don’t want to leave any of these issues out.

So, today I will get ahead and preach on the Crucifixion of Jesus and what God intends to accomplish through it and why it is necessary.


Let’s begin with the events as they are recorded in the gospels. It was important to God that Jesus experienced this personally!


  1. The Historical Reality


  1. The arrest and trials

Summarize the arrest and trials of Jesus.

Jesus is falsely arrested. You can tell because they come to arrest Him at night. Perhaps they are afraid of the twelve disciples, or maybe they think there will be a large crowd. But Judas has resolved this issue for them. Judas has given up Jesus to the Jewish leaders at a time when there are just a few men. And the Jewish leaders have brought enough people to keep a fight away.

He is arrested and then brought to the Jewish leaders so they could decide what the charges are that should be brought against Him. This is obviously a conspiracy. The Romans won’t kill Jesus because of Sabbath regulations that they find silly. And that is the main area of contention during most of Jesus’ ministry. At Jesus’ trial He is forced to testify against Himself. And this is so they can bring a charge against Him. This is why He is silent much of the time. They are breaking the law. At Jesus trial they have a multitude of witnesses that do not agree. This is obviously a problem.


Finally, here is what gets Jesus charged with a capital crime:

Matthew 26:

62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent.

The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus has used the term Son of Man concerning Himself precisely because it is ambiguous. In Ezekiel it is often used, more than any other place in the Bible, and it is a reference, like a pronoun for the prophet. But in Daniel, there is much more to the term. And here Jesus identifies Himself with Daniel’s Son of Man!

Mark 14:

Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”

They all condemned him as worthy of death.

Luke 22: 66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”

Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”

70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”

He replied, “You say that I am.”

71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”

Why does Matthew include the Son of God statement? Look at Daniel 7!

Jesus quotes Daniel 7 and applies it to Himself. Daniel 7 says:

13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

  • Given authority, glory and sovereign power.
  • All nations and peoples of every language worshiped Him.
  • His dominion lasts forever and will never pass away.
  • His kingdom will never be destroyed!


The trials of Jesus are confusing because they go on and on and on!

  • First the Jews bring Jesus to Annas who is not the high priest.
  • Then from Annas they go to Caiphas the high priest and the Sanhedrin.
  • From the Sanhedrin Jesus goes to Pilate,
  • from Pilate He goes to Herod and then
  • from Herod back to Pilate.
  • After all of this, Pilate seeks to release Jesus because He sees through the charges of the Jews. But the Jews stir up the crowd enough that for his own expediency Pilate has Jesus killed to pacify the crowd.


  1. The suffering

The Concerns of God!

Talk about the necessity of Jesus’ suffering. Obviously whatever Jesus endured it was the will of God. Isaiah 53 says:

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

The suffering of Christ is directly because of sin. The atonement of Jesus begins before He is nailed to the Cross.

Isaiah 53: He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

  • Jesus is blindfolded and beaten and told to prophesy as to who hit Him.
  • Jesus is repeatedly mocked.
  • Jesus is struck with fists.
  • Jesus is spat upon.
  • Jesus is scourged by the Romans. Beaten with a whip to the edge of His life!
  • Jesus has a crown of thorns placed upon His head and is beaten on the head repeatedly with a staff.


Isaiah 52: 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him— his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness


  1. The crucifixion scene

* Jesus is marched to Golgotha carrying His own cross.

* Jesus is stripped naked and nailed to the cross and hoisted up in the air.

* Jesus is crucified between two other men, commonly identified as thieves.

* Jesus is hung on the cross at around 9am.

* Jesus dies at about 3pm.



  1. The Concerns of God Versus Man

Whenever we speak about the Crucifixion, we have to agree with Jesus that the events of that day are about the Concerns of God. We know that God is concerned to see Jesus die on the Cross because of…


  1. Prophetic pictures

Jesus’ death fulfills huge OT pictures

Passover Lamb

The Rock that “was Christ” First struck and then spoken to!

Abraham’s ram: Adrian Rogers: The ram is caught by its horns in         a thicket of thorns. (It wears a crown of thorns)

Suffering Servant of Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Suffering Psalmist Psalms 22

He is everywhere in the tabernacle and holy of holies


  1. Sin’s debt must be redeemed

God will not leave sins unpunished. If we see nothing else from the suffering and death of Christ, we must see that it was absolutely necessary from God’s point of view. Gal 2:21 If righteousness could be gained through works of the law, Christ died for nothing!!!!

God does not grade on a curve! God maintains His standards perfectly without exception. Jesus’ death provides protection from our sin. Only Jesus’ death.


God is righteous and just


God loves people and does not want them to perish because of their sin!

God takes the initiative in relationship to cover sin!

Genesis 3: Adam and Eve sin and they go from being naked and feeling no shame in

Genesis 2: 25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. This is the final verse in the chapter. It is a summary that precedes the fall.

Genesis 3: “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

With the advent of sin, we have the arrival of shame and the need to hide from each other and from God! And so Adam and Even sew fig leaves to hide their shame, their vulnerability and guilt and shame.

After God’s confrontation with Adam and Eve and the pronouncement of the curse we have this simple statement:

Gen 3: 21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

God killed an animal and gave Adam and Eve a covering for their shame and guilt that will last a lot longer than fig leaves! But it cost an animal its life! This is the first sacrifice for sins. But it would not be the last!!

God takes the initiative. God covers shame. God loves you and seeks to cover your shame and He does this through the death of Jesus on the Cross: This is the last sacrifice for sin!!!

Hebrews 10: 11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.


  1. Death must be conquered

Genesis 3: 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Romans 3: 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Romans 6: 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


III. Our Lives and the Concerns of God

Three concerns of God for you today!

  1. We follow in Jesus’ path to Calvary

We must die to what is not from God. But every death is resurrected to life.


Many Christians today strive to follow Jesus but don’t follow His pathway to life! Deny self, take up your cross, follow Jesus. What is your cross? It is that aspect of life that you must leave behind in order to follow Jesus.


  1. Our role as messengers of the Cross

Peter’ role goes from rebuking Jesus in this passage to being Jesus’ preacher in Acts 2 and 4!

Acts 4: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”


  1. We have a sure and secure future

You cannot be any more saved than you are in Christ. Who is greater, you or Jesus? Who has more power? Who has more ability? Who is stronger? Jesus is able to save you! You may think that you are uniquely broken, and in one sense you are. You have a unique set of sinful traits that are yours. But, Jesus knows that and He loves you. And if you will come to Him, turning from your sin, He will give you life. He will save you. The consistent NT call in the sermons in Acts is a call to repent and believe the gospel. We must turn from whatever we are pursuing in life and pursue life in Christ! We must follow Jesus!