“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?’ And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.” Matthew 26:14-16
One day, we will know the true motive for Judas’ betrayal. I’m not sure that greed was at the forefront of Judas’ mind as he formulated his plan to give Jesus over to the priests. Was greed involved? Sure, I believe so. Scripture tells us that Judas was a lover of money and often stole money from the group of disciples who followed Jesus (John 12:6). I believe that greed was the foundation upon which Satan sowed the idea of betrayal into Judas’ mind. Judas wanted position and the money that came along with it.
After Jesus and His disciples entered Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week, relations between Christ and the chief priests began to deteriorate rapidly. Several times during the week, Jesus rebuked the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees for hypocrisy. This did not set well with a group whose goal was to subjugate Jesus to their authority and control. Judas watched the deterioration; seeing his dream of the recognition of Jesus by the priests as Messiah and King disappearing quickly down the drain and with it, his goal of power and wealth.
So, Judas devised a plan:
He would betray Jesus into the hands of the priests believing that when Jesus felt the sword of His enemies at His throat, He would either make peace with them or display His power to save His own neck.
As we know, and as prophesy foretold, neither happened. Jesus continued to maintain His stance as Messiah without using His power to save Himself. When Judas saw that his plan had not worked and that Jesus was condemned by the priests to die, he was remorseful, returned the silver to the priests and confessed Jesus’ innocence. All of this unfolded and, unbeknownst to the participants, fulfilled prophesy given many years before.
“And I said to them, “If you like, give me my wages, whatever I am worth; but only if you want to.” So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”–this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potter in the Temple of the LORD.” Zechariah 11:12-13
We know that Judas returned the silver and the money was used to buy the Potter’s Field as a place to bury strangers.
Have you ever heard the concept of “unintended consequences?”
Definition of unintended consequences: A term used to describe a set of results that was not intended as an outcome.
Judas’ plan had consequences he did not intend. His desire to be rich and influential was never realized. Judas never did make it to the King’s palace. His life ended in isolation and suicide.
This account is a reminder that what we allow to override the lordship of Christ in our lives will ultimately be the cause of our demise.
Easter is a time of the release of resurrection power! Don’t end up like Judas who heard of that power and even witnessed it but never experienced it in his own life! The plans that you make that don’t include Christ or that seek to control Him and cajole Him into agreeing with ungodly desires will have consequences you don’t foresee or intend.
This season, make Jesus lord of your life! He will lead you victoriously through the “ups and downs” that lie ahead! Resurrection power will be more than a concept or a theological point of emphasis – to you, it will be what sustains and empowers your life.
Get rid of whatever you sell Jesus out for! Get rid of your “thirty pieces of silver” and accept Jesus’ love and sacrifice. On the other side of your decision awaits newness of life!
Happy Easter everyone!!! May God reveal Himself to you as you press into His Presence!