And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Truly I say to you, One of you which eats with me shall betray me.…
I. The first is, THE FACT SPECIFIED. "The Son of man is betrayed to be crucified." Do any ask, as those of old did, "Who is this Son of man?" This Son of man is none other than the very person, of whom the apostle spake as possessing in Himself "the great mystery of godliness;" He is "God manifest in the flesh." There is, first, the heinous character of the traitor that betrayed Him; secondly, the importance of hunting out and exposing the imitators of his black deed in the present day — and, God helping me, I mean to be faithful here; and then, in the third place, the sufferings of Him who was betrayed and crucified. Let me invite you to pray over these three things.
1. The heinousness of the traitor. He had made a glaring profession. He had attached himself to the disciples of Christ; he had become a member of the purest Church that ever was formed upon earth — the immediate twelve around our Lord. He was looked up to, a leading man. I beseech you, weigh this solemn fact — for a solemn one it is — that neither profession, nor diligent exertion, nor high standing among professors, so as to be beyond even suspicion, will stand in the stead of vital godliness. And there may be Judases even now, and I believe there are not a few, that are as much unsuspected as Judas Iscariot was. So artful was his deception, that none of the disciples suspected him. Nay more; the first feature of his character that is developed, the first view we have of him in his real character, is, that he was the last to suspect himself. All the others had said, "Lord, is it I?" — and last of all, Judas drawls it out, "Master, is it I?" Yet after all the standing he gained, after all the miracles he observed, after all the attachment he professed, this wretch, for thirty pieces of silver, is content to betray his Lord. Ah! only put a money bait in the way of the Judases, and you soon find them out; that will find them out, if nothing else will. Of course, His enemies are glad to have Him seized; but who would believe it possible, especially among those who have such a high opinion of the dignity of human nature, that this wretch, after eating and drinking with Christ, after following Him all His ministry through, can go and betray Him with a kiss? can say, in the very act of betraying Him, "Hail, Master?" — carrying on his devilism to the last.
2. But I want a word of interrogation with regard to imitators of Judas in the present day. Have you thrown "the bag" away? Have you done with carnal objects and pursuits? Do you scorn the idea of marketing about Christ, and selling Him — bartering Him? Are you really and honestly concerned about the truth of Christ, the interests of His cause, the purity of His gospel, the sacredness of His ordinances? Oh I try, try these matters. I would not for the world have a single masked character about me, of the Judas-like breed.
3. Let me now invite your attention for a moment to the other point — the sufferings of this betrayed and murdered Lord. "The Son of man is betrayed to be crucified." Is not this enough to make a man hate sin? If you do not hate sin in its very nature, you have never been to Calvary, and you have never had fellowship with a precious Christ. Wherever the blood of atonement is applied, it produces hatred of sin: oh that you and I may live upon Calvary, until every sin shall be mortified, subdued, and kept under, and Christ reign supreme!
II. I pass on to the second feature in our subject: THE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF THIS FACT BY THE SUFFERER HIMSELF.
III. I pass on to the third particular of our subject — THE RESULT. "The Son of man is betrayed to be crucified;" but the matter did not end there. "The Son of man is betrayed to be crucified;" and then the powers of darkness have done their worst. "The Son of man is betrayed to be crucified;" and even death shall lose its sting, hell shall lose its terrors for all Mine elect, Jehovah shall get the glory of His own name, and I shall go through the valley of the shadow of death to My exaltation. To be brief I will just name three things as the result anticipated; for you know it is said, that "for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross." And what was it? The redeemed to be emancipated; Christ to be exalted; and heaven to be opened and peopled. These are the results; and I said, when I gave you the plan of my sermon, that He should not be disappointed in any of them; nor shall He.
(J. Irons, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.