April 4 & 5, 2020
The Week Before Easter
The final weekend before Easter is called Palm Sunday. We will learn about this time leading up to Easter by examining:
- The sequence of events during that last week.
- How Pilate tried to substitute Barabbas for Jesus.
- The interruption by Pilate’s wife.
- How God treated Jesus like Barabbas so He could treat Barabbas like Jesus.
- The week before Easter was a purposeful sequence of events.
Matthew 21:9 describes the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem where the crowd cheered Him as the King who would free them from Rome. Rather, He came to free them from sin.
On Monday, Jesus wept over the brokenness of the people and cleansed the temple.
On Tuesday, Jesus did some teaching and Judas began his betrayal.
On Thursday, Jesus celebrated the last supper and went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.
On Friday, Jesus was crucified, died and was buried.
- Pilate tried to substitute Barabbas for Jesus.
In Matthew 27:11-18, Pilate tries to gain Jesus’ freedom by having the people choose Jesus, an innocent man, to be released.
Pilate offered a man named Jesus-Barabbas, which means “son of the father” in comparison to Jesus the Messiah who is the “Son of God.”
Mark 15:7 shows how Barabbas was a known criminal deserving of punishment.
- Pilate’s wife tried to warn her husband to not hurt Jesus, an innocent man.
In Matthew 27:19, Pilate’s wife tries to get her husband to have nothing to do with Jesus’ persecution because of a dream she had.
There is a big contrast between the Jewish leaders who are wanting Jesus’ death and a Gentile woman who believes that Jesus is truly innocent.
God sent a warning through Pilate’s wife, but he didn’t listen.
- God treated Jesus like Barabbas so He could treat Barabbas like Jesus.
In Matthew 27:24-26, Pilate washes his hands of the responsibility. Instead of doing what was right, he releases Barabbas and gives Jesus to the leaders to be flogged and crucified.
John Stott says, “For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be.”
We can substitute our names into the equation. For God so loved _______ (John 3:16)
God treated Jesus like _______ (our names) so He could treat _______ (our names) like Jesus.