Sermon #163                                             Luke Sermons


     Title:                    “He was reckoned

                        among the transgressors

     Text:          Luke 22:31-38

     Subject:     Christ’s Substitutionary Sacrifice

     Date:         Sunday Evening — February 19, 2006

     Tape #       Y-90b

     Readings:   Bob Pruitt and James Jordan



(Luke 22:31-38) “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: (32) But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (33) And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. (34) And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. (35) And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. (36) Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (37) For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. (38) And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.”


There are many things revealed in these verses that we need to read often and lay to heart, asking God the Holy Spirit to graciously and effectually apply them to us continually.


·         Our great enemy, Satan, the prince of darkness, constantly seeks the everlasting destruction of our souls. He desires to have us. — He is “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” — He is “the accuser of the brethren.” — He constantly works evil in the world, among men, and in the churches of Christ.

·         The great and only security of our souls, from the adversary, is our Lord Jesus Christ. — His power, his grace, his sacrifice, his mediation, and intercession. — “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” (v. 32). — “They that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Rev. 17:14).

·         When God’s elect fall, they shall be converted. — “When thou art converted.

·         We, who experience God’s grace, ought to take great pleasure in helping one another, especially counting it our privilege and honor to help those who are fallen. — — “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Gal. 6:1-2).


(Galatians 6:1-2) Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (2) Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.


·         We ought to devote all to Christ, and use every reasonable means at our disposable for our Master, to faithfully serve him (vv. 35-36).


(Luke 22:35-36) “And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. (36) Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”


These words are not to be taken literally, but as a proverbial saying. Until our Savior comes again, we are to make a diligent use of everything God has given us. We are not to expect miracles to be performed, to save us from trouble and labor. We are not to expect bread to fall from heaven into their mouths, if we refuse to work for it. We are not to expect difficulties and enemies to be overcome, if we will not wrestle, and struggle and take pains. J. C. Ryle wrote


“We shall do well to lay to heart our Lord’s words in this place, and to act habitually on the principle which they contain. Let us labor, and toil, and give, and speak, and act, and write for Christ, as if all depended on our exertions. And yet let us never forget that success depends entirely on God’s blessing! To expect success by our own ‘purse’ and ‘sword’ is pride and self-righteousness. But to expect success without the ‘purse and sword’ is presumption and fanaticism. Let us do as Jacob did when he met his brother Esau. He used all innocent means to conciliate and appease him. But when he had done all, he spent all night in prayer (Gen. 32:1-24).”


Those are all very important lessons. We need to be often reminded of them. But, tonight, I want us to focus our attention on our Savior’s statement in verse 37.


(Luke 22:37) “For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.”


Must Be


First, the Lord Jesus says, “that this that is written must yet be accomplished.” The Scriptures speak of many things that simply must be, they must be because the Lord God has ordained hem and declared that they must be. Let me remind you of just a couple of them.


1.    There is a multitude of sinners in this world, who are the objects of God’s everlasting love and grace in Christ, who must be born again (John 3:7).


(John 3:7) “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”


The Lord Jesus was not simply saying to Nicodemus, “You really should be born again,” or “You need to be born again,” or “I urge you to be born again.” Our Savior said to Nicodemus — “Ye must be born again!”


This is not a matter of speculation on my part. John tells us later on in this book (19:38-40) that Nicodemus came with Joseph of Arimethea to beg the body of the Lord Jesus from Pilate, and made considerable sacrifice for his burial. Though he was not here born again, at the appointed time of love and grace, this man was, according to the purpose of God, born again.


I take Nicodemus to be a representative of all God’s elect. The Lord Jesus says, concerning all chosen sinners, “Ye must be born again;” and they shall, every one of them, at God’s appointed time. This is a matter of absolute certainty because it is a matter of absolute necessity.


Why must God’s elect be born again? What necessity is there for this? What makes this thing binding? — SEVEN THINGS…


(1.) God’s elect must be born again because we need it. — Though chosen and redeemed, though predestinated to eternal salvation, none of God’s elect can ever be saved apart from the new birth. We must be born again because we were all born wrong the first time.


(Psalms 51:5) “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”


(Psalms 58:3) “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”


Because we were born wrong the first time, unless we are born again, we cannot…


(2.) Every one of the elect must be born again because God, who cannot lie, promised it, before the world began (Tit. 1:2).


(Jeremiah 31:31-34) “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: (32) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: (33) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (34) And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”


(2 Timothy 1:9) “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”


(3.) All the chosen must be born again because election demands it (2 Thess. 2: 13-14). If even one of those chosen to salvation should fail to obtain salvation, then God’s election is meaningless, his purpose is useless, his love is worthless, and his Word is comfortless! If God cannot be trusted to do this, to save the people he purposed to save from eternity, he cannot be trusted to do anything!


(Ephesians 1:3-6) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”


(4.) God’s elect must all be born again, because predestination arranged it. Predestination is God’s appointment and arrangement of all things from eternity to secure the salvation of his chosen.


(Romans 8:28-30) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”


(5.) Every one of God’s elect must, without exception, be born again because the sin-atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ has obtained it and demands it.


(Hebrews 9:12) “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”


(6.) Every chosen, blood-bought sinner in this world must be born again because our God wills it.


(2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”


Someone may ask, “How do you know that is what 2 Peter 3:9 teaches?” I know because 2 Peter 3:15 tells me so.


(2 Peter 3:15) “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;”


(7.) All the chosen, all who were predestinated to eternal life, all the redeemed, all of them must be born again because the Holy Spirit was sent here to do it.


(John 6:37-40) “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (38) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (39) And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”


(John 6:44-45) “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (45) It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”


(John 6:63) “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”


2.    In John 4:4, we read that the Son of God must go trough Samaria, because the time of love had come for a chosen sinner in Samaria.


(John 4:4) “And he must needs go through Samaria.”


When the appointed time of love has come, the time in which the chosen, redeemed sinner shall be born again, then our great God and compassionate Savior must needs go to where the chosen, redeemed sinner is and give life to the object of his love; and he shall!


·       Election marked the house into which Christ must come.

·       Predestination set the time of his coming.

·       Blood atonement paved the road on which he would come.

·       Providence brings him to the appointed house at the appointed time.

·       Efficacious grace brings him in!


(Isaiah 55:11) “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”


3.    Here, in Luke 22:37, the Son of God tells us of the absolute necessity of his death upon the cursed tree, as our Substitute. — “This that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors.


The Son of God must die as he did because the Scriptures must be fulfilled (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53). The particular passage he quotes here is Isaiah 53:12.


(Isaiah 53:12) “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”


The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into this world with a commission, on a mission of mercy, under the bondage of his own voluntary suretyship engagements, which he assumed for us as the Surety of the everlasting covenant (Heb. 7:22; Matt. 1:21).


(John 3:14-17) “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”


The death of our Lord Jesus Christ was no accident. It was not something which came to pass because of man’s free will, or because the Jews would not let him be their king! The Lord Jesus died at Calvary because he must die at Calvary!


(Luke 9:22) “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.”


The Necessity


The word “must,” means “necessary” or “binding.” It is used to describe that which is absolutely vital. Why? What necessity was there for the death of the Son of God upon the cursed tree? Why must this Holy One be made sin for us? Why must this Savior be put to death? Our Savior has told us that his death as our Substitute was necessary, because the Scriptures, which declared hundreds of years earlier, “He was reckoned among the transgressors,” must be fulfilled. But there are other things that made his sacrificial, sin-atoning death upon the cursed tree necessary.


1.    The Lord Jesus Christ must die at Jerusalem as he did because God the Father purposed it from eternity.


(Acts 2:23) “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”


2.    Our dear Savior had to die at Jerusalem, in order to fulfil his covenant engagements for us. Our Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily assumed all responsibility for our souls in the covenant of grace; but once he assumed that responsibility, he must fulfil it. He is honor bound to do so (Gen. 43:8-9; John 10:18; Acts 13:29).


(Genesis 43:8-9) “And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. (9) I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:”


(John 10:18) “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”


(Acts 13:29) “And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.”


3.    It was absolutely necessary for the Lord Jesus Christ to die as he did upon the cursed tree, lifted up from the earth, in order for the holy Lord God to save us from our sins (Rom 3:24-26; John 3:14-17).


(John 3:14-17) “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”


If God would save us from our sins, he could only do it this way, because



The Lord God was not, in any way, compelled, by anything outside himself, to save anyone. But, having determined to save some of Adam’s fallen race, he could not do so except upon the grounds of justice satisfied. He was not compelled to save us. But, having chosen to save us, he could not do so except by the sacrifice of his own dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. — “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged.


(Romans 3:24-26)  “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”


Have An End


Now, look at the last line of Luke 22:37…


(Luke 22:37)  “For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.”


Our Savior says, “the things concerning me, all of them, all the things written of him in the Old Testament Scripture, all things decreed from eternity, concerning him, he said, “have an end.” That is to say, everything decreed, purposed, and written concerning me have…

·         A Specific Design, Goal, and Intent

·         A Conclusion, A Termination

·         A Predestined Result

·         A Finality.


When he who knew no sin was made sin for us, when he bearing our sins in his own body own the tree was made a curse for us, when he had suffered all the fulness of God’s wrath and justice as our Substitute, our blessed Savior cried, “It is finished!...Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Then, he reverently bowed his head as an obedient servant whose work was finished, presenting himself to the Father, and gave up the ghost. At that moment, all things decreed and written of him had achieved their goal and predestined result with finality, and came to their end, their conclusion, and their termination (Gen. 3:15; Ps. 22:12; Isa. 53:5-12; Dan 9:25-26; Zech. 12:10; 13:6-7).


(Genesis 3:15)  “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”


(Psalms 22:12)  “Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.”


(Isaiah 53:5-12)  “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. (9) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”


(Daniel 9:25-26)  “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (26) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”


(Zechariah 12:10)  “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”


(Zechariah 13:6-7)  “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. (7) Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.”


·         All the requirements of his engagements as our covenant Surety, all his obligation as our Surety, ended.

·         All the shadows, types, promises, and prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures ended.

·         The law of God ended (Rom. 10:4).

·         The fury, wrath, and vengeance of divine justice was ended for him and for all his people. — “Fury is not in me” (Isa. 27:4).

·         Judgment ended for his redeemed.

·         Our sin and guilt before God ended (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 2:13-17; 1 Pet. 4:1-2; Rom. 8:1).


(Ephesians 1:7)  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”


(Colossians 1:14)  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”


(Colossians 2:13-17)  “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (16) Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”


(1 Peter 4:1-2)  “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (2) That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”


(Romans 8:1)  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”


·         The designed purpose of our Savior in coming into this world had its end (Matt. 1:21; Heb. 10:10-14). — “Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him” (John 13:31).


Another Must


In the light of all this, let me show you one more thing that must be. Turn over to John 3.


(John 3:29-30)  “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. (30) He must increase, but I must decrease.”


Christ is the Bridegroom. — “He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom.” Gospel preachers are the friend’s of the Bridegroom.


·         We stand before the Bridegroom.

·         We listen for the Bridegroom’s voice.

·         We rejoice to hear his voice.

·         Our joy is fulfilled when we are used of God to bring the bride and the Bridegroom together.


And the Bridegroom’s friend, every true servant of God, is anxious to turn honor and attention away from himself to Christ. This is the prayer, desire, and determination of every true, faithful servant of God. — “He must increase; but I must decrease.”


·         Christ is from heaven and is heavenly. — We are just men of the earth, and earthly (v. 31).

·         We will soon fade away. — Christ is eternal.

·         Christ is himself the Revelation of God. — We are just his messengers (v. 32).

·         Christ has the Spirit without measure. — We have the Spirit as he is measured to us (v. 34).

·         To believe me is meaningless. — To believe him is to seal this fact to your own heart, that God is true (v. 33).

·         Christ must increase because the Father has put all things in his hands (v. 35).

·         Christ must increase because Christ alone is our Savior!


(John 3:36)  “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”


“He must increase; but I must decrease.” – The more I decrease, the more I delight just to stand before him and hear his voice. And the more I stand before him and hear his voice, the more he will increase before me and I decrease before him.


Oh, let Christ increase and me decrease! We cannot be occupied with more than one thing at a time. Let us ever be occupied with Christ, and not with ourselves! The more we are occupied with him, the less we shall be occupied with ourselves.


Humility is not something we cultivate. Rather, it is something that comes from beholding the Lord Jesus Christ. The more I try to be humble, the prouder I become. But the more I stand in his presence, hear his voice and behold him, the more I am occupied with him, the more humbled I am before him. — He must increase; but I must decrease!”