Judas betrayed Jesus. He was selected by The Lord as one of the twelve knowing full well that he would betray Jesus. That was why he was chosen for it was necessary to fulfil the scriptures and prophecy concerning the betrayal.
But in spite of this betrayal, the position Judas held as one of the twelve was an important role. The twelve did not simply become the eleven when Judas went out and killed himself. There were twelve positions appointed by The Lord and they needed to be filled for the purpose of the ongoing ministry that would soon follow.
To that end all of the disciples with the eleven met as a group, about 120 in all at that time, and they elected a replacement for Judas, a man by the name of Matthias. And as it says in these scriptures, Matthias was enrolled with the eleven to take his place as an apostle in the ministry.
When Jesus had been taken and arrested by the mob, he was bound and brought before Annas who was the father in law of Caiaphas the high priest. This was only the first of the indignities Jesus would endure at the hands of those who were reputed to be the leaders of the Jews and the religious men of Judaism.
Jesus was questioned by Annas concerning His disciples and the teaching he was spreading among the Jews. His answers are interesting as is the reaction from the Jews. There are many things we can see and learn from this kangaroo court, for the examination of Jesus could never be considered “a fair trial.”
Jesus was arrested. Bound and taken away from the garden. All of His disciples fled the scene and He was taken away alone to be dragged before the chief priests and the Roman rulers who eventually sentence Him and put Him to death.
All of this was in accordance with the plan of God and His will for this had to happen so that salvation would be made available to all mankind. It is interesting though how this event unfolded, especially when we look at the precursors that led to the arrest of Jesus.
There are many names given to children born each day. Some are the common names that are evergreens and are popular from year to year. Others are fashionable that come and go based on popularity. And the range of Bible names are perennials that crop up year after year.
But in all my years I have never met or heard of anyone that has been given the name of Judas.
Prior to Jesus’ death it was not an uncommon name as we see in the likes of Judas Maccabeus and Judas was also the name of one of Jesus own brothers, better known as Jude the brother of James who also wrote the letter of Jude in the New Testament.
But in the days after Jesus death we see that the name Judas has been shunned. It resonates more with words like traitor, deceiver and untrustworthy. And all of this because of the event that took place in this section of scripture.
Judas! The very name causes an emotional response in many people. It is sometimes used to curse those who have done wrong and especially those who betray a friend or associate.
Judas! The word is used in derision of anyone who betrays. Often spat violently at the betrayer with an invective that could cut between body and spirit. A hateful retort against another designed to inject as much enmity, anger and wrath against a person who has wronged another.
Such emotion. Such wrath and such anger. Is there any other name among men that can inspire such vehemence and hatred? Let us look at the roots of this feeling by looking at the man and what he did.
As I was studying this section of scripture, I became fascinated by one verse, which I had never taken much notice of before. This section talks about Jesus being led away to die and provides the detail of how Simon of Cyrene is compelled to assist carry the beam for Jesus and Jesus discussions with others. I have written about those points previously and the links are at the foot of this post.
However the scripture that struck me here was verse 31, which says, “For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” It is this that we will look at today.
In one of the worst travesties of so-called justice in history we see here the exchange of the life of the Lord and Saviour of the world for a sinner accused of insurrection, murder and mayhem. And the decision was not based upon truth or justice, but jealousy, envy and the sway of public opinion causing the governor to make this worst of all decisions.
Here we see the betrayal of Jesus when Judas led a crowd against Him and betrayed him with a kiss. Jesus was in the garden at Gethsemane waiting for them to come for he knew the hour of His betrayal was at hand. He had just been praying that he would not be tempted to escape this hour asking the Father if this cup could be removed, but now the time had come when the powers of darkness would prevail for it was their time.
This section of scripture contains what I believe is one of the most misunderstood or badly translated parts of the Bible. The translators have done the best they can, and I am no expert in translation, but there is something wrong with this piece of scripture in the translation from the Greek to English.
This section of scripture relates to Jesus in the garden at Gethsemane where he is later betrayed by Judas. But prior to that He goes off with several of the disciples to pray. But the disciples fall asleep and when Jesus comes to them he says, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Verses 40 and 46) This is the scripture that appears to be in error.
The scribes and Pharisees were seeking an opportunity to condemn Jesus and put him to death, but they found none. They wanted to arrest him but were unable as they could not lay hands on him for fear of the people. They were afraid that during the days as Jesus preached in the Temple if they arrested him the people would turn on them violently.
So in true form of all who seek to do evil they sought to capture him under cover of darkness and somewhere that the people would not be able to defend him. They took out a contract of betrayal that would be a contract of blood. And that contract was under the power an direction of Satan himself.