Judas Betrays Jesus

(Matthew 26:14-16)

The chief priests could find no way to accuse Jesus and arrest him. Their opportunity came when Judas offered to betray the Lord into their hands. In this section Judas betrays Jesus, which was prophesied and was done to fulfil prophecy as another proof that Jesus was the Messiah and Christ.

It was prophesied by Zechariah that the Lord would become the great Shepherd of the flock and he would be betrayed for the sum of thirty pieces of silver. (Zechariah 11:7-14) All of this relating to the betrayal and death of Jesus was prophesied and recorded in the words of the old prophets. There were no surprises. The Lord had planned this to happen this way and once the plan of the Lord was set in motion nothing would prevent it coming to a conclusion.

Why would Judas betray Jesus? We saw that Judas was a thief and stole from the moneybox. Even though he had been with Jesus since the beginning of his ministry it was clear he did not have the faith to follow Jesus. He used this position as an apostle, false though he was, to line his own pockets. He saw that by being with the Lord there was an opportunity for personal gain. He was corrupt in mind and did not have faith. Thus we see in another version of this scripture that Satan himself entered Judas to carry out the betrayal and deception that would hand Jesus over to the priest for execution. (Luke 22:1-6)

The priests could not take Jesus by force and they could not arrest him, as they feared a tumult amongst the people. They may have succeeded but the people would have revolted and they would have lost their own power base. So in order to take Jesus they needed to do it with stealth. Thus when Judas approached them with a proposition to betray him, they gladly offered him the thirty pieces of silver for his service. Judas as one of the twelve knew the movements of the Lord and could lead the priests to him at a place where there would be no crowd to with which to contend.

Judas was operating true to his form, which was ordained from the beginning and which was the task for which the Lord selected him. He was clearly well disguised as when Jesus told the disciples that one of the twelve would betray him, the other eleven did not immediately look at Jesus. And this is just like the nature of Satan who is the great deceiver of mankind. Satan does not appear in the form of a devil as shown by Hollywood or in the imagination of man. He does not come with horns, a pointed tail and a pitchfork. Satan is a deceiver and masters of deception do not stand out from the crowd. They are well disguised and hidden and work their deception in secret and by small degrees. This is how Judas worked to betray the Lord when Satan entered into him for this purpose.

Satan could take over Judas for he was not walking with Christ. His ways were not the ways of the Lord. He did not have the spirit of the Lord and the nature of the Lord being formed within him. He rejected the Lord and thus Satan was at liberty to do with him as he pleased.

Despite all of these things we must remember that this was all in accordance with the preset plan of God. His plan was formed and followed so that we could receive the gifts of grace and life through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ death was ordained so that we may live. When we enter into the death of Jesus Christ through baptism we come to God to have our consciences cleaned and prepared to follow the Lord to salvation. The betrayal of Jesus, although one of the most heinous actions of all time, was necessary so that we may have life.

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