Jesus was betrayed by His disciple, deserted by His friends, taken in by the religious leaders, arrested, tried by the Roman governor, given over by the Jewish crowd, tortured and mocked by the Roman soldiers, crucified, died and buried. This is holy week and I thought as we approach Easter Sunday and the celebration of our risen Savior and all that means for us; we would explore some of the players in the historical account.
We begin with Judas Iscariot.
One of the twelve disciples, Judas kept the money. He was the treasurer of the group.
But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?" Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.
All of Jesus' disciples were from the Galilee region except for Judas Iscariot. He was from Judea. I don't know if that has any significance, but it is definitely interesting.
Jesus predicted Judas would betray Him.
As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, "Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me - one who is eating with Me."
And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself."
Luke 22:3 and John 13:27 suggest Judas was controlled by Satan.
Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin in exchange for thirty pieces of silver.
Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?" and they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.
From that point on Judas began to look for a good opportunity to betray Jesus. And he found it when Jesus had finished praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss and by calling Him "Rabbi." (Matthew 26:46-50) The Greek word for "kiss" here is a word used to refer to deep affection for another. Why would Judas do this to his friend and teacher? The biblical accounts do not give us the answer.
Afterwards, Judas had remorse for betraying Jesus. He tried to return the money. He went out and hung himself.
Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to that yourself!" And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.
The chief priests knew the silver was tainted (blood money) and so they used it to buy the Potter's Field as a burial place for strangers. (Matthew 27:6,7)
Peter's sermon in Acts 2:23,24 tells us this was all part of the redemptive plan.
this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
Jesus was betrayed by one of His own disciples for thirty pieces of silver, with a kiss and a declaration of "Rabbi." The account is so powerful that even to today the name "Judas" is synonymous with "traitor."
Judas' betrayal set the events in motion. As we continue this week with the various people involved in the biblical account, let us look towards Easter and remember the empty tomb speaks of Jesus as the Victor.