Traditionally the Church has spoken of Jesus as our Prophet, Priest, and King.
He is our prophet – he is the one who speaks the word of God to us. Much like the Great prophet of the Old testament Moses – who was also persecuted and exiled at birth, who also taught Israel, and who was sent by and brought the salvation of God, Jesus comes to us with the words of God. In fact that has been the focus of what we’ve seen all the way through Matthew’s Gospel isn’t it? Jesus declaring God’s words and God’s way. However, now we’ve come to transition in the Gospel itself, where Matthew moves away from focusing on Jesus’ ministry as Prophet, to his ministry as Priest.
Jesus not only offers the sacrifice for the sins of men, he becomes the sacrifice. One of the things that screams out to us from the pages of Matthews gospel is the fact that Jesus’ death is no mistake, but rather all part of a plan, a divine plan where by the Holy God himself would make a way by which sinful fallen man could be reconciled to Him. Throughout this Gospel we’ve seen Jesus foretelling his crucifixion, and as we read through the rest of Matthew’s gospel and see the passion of Jesus, we see God is in control of every detail.
26 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him.5 “But not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
We see in this transition to the passion of Christ, movements in the drama –
I. The Handing Over Foretold by Jesus
II. The Arrest and Murder Planned by the Leaders
III. The Anointing for Burial by the woman.
IV. The Handing Over set in Motion by Judas