Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. Matthew 26:14-16 NIV
Matthew 26 opens with a meeting between Jesus and his disciples. The Lord has just finished teaching some hard truth—truth about personal responsibility and awareness of God’s power and His holy expectations for his children. Across town, the chief priests and elders of the Jewish people are assembled. They’ve chosen a high and lofty location for their meeting and as they’ve come together, they’ve been scheming about how they might secretly arrest Jesus, and then kill him. “But not during the festival.” Oh, no, because the people might riot if it were done during the festival, and what a mess that would be!
These two meeting recorded in Scripture draw a sharp contrast between righteousness and hubris as we walk along the Lenten road. In his meeting, Jesus was preparing his men to accept that right thing he must do to please His father once the Passover had begun. Caiaphas and his henchmen, on the other hand, were scheming about a way to end the attraction the bloated city of Jerusalem had with the carpenter’s son. What strikes me about these meetings and people, is that both sides thought they were doing the right thing.
How could they both be doing the right thing?
Were they both doing the “right” thing?
“What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” -Judas, the Betrayer
I don’t know about you, but I’m grateful to have God’s Word to light my way as I journey on to Easter.
I’m glad to have access to those passages that point out the self-denial it takes to serve God in truth and righteousness.
I’m even glad for the hard verses that highlight my responsibility and the awareness of God’s expectations for me.
These portions of Scripture help me determine who was right and who was evil in their actions two days before Passover those many centuries passed. To do right, Jesus denied himself and bowed to the High King of Heaven. Doing evil, Judas took a bribe and treated himself to a purse full of blood money.
Both Jesus and Judas died horrible deaths that week, but only one of them was raised again and saved millions for eternity, because of his selflessness. Jesus did the right thing for us and in so doing, he saved our souls.
Thank you, Lord Jesus!