Judas Plot to Betray Jesus

No treachery is worse than betrayal by a family member or friend. Julius Caesar knew such treachery. Among the conspirators who assassinated the Roman leader on March 15, 44 B. C. was Marcus Junius Brutus. Caesar not only trusted Brutus, he had favored him as a … More

Betrayal

Jesus reminded the disciples that the Passover feast was only two days away and that He would be handed over to be crucified (vv. 1-2). He had an exact timetable for accomplishing his purposes. This was demonstrated by His announcement of the time of His betrayal. The feast of the Passover was the first feast on the Jewish calendar and was kept in observance of the national deliverance from Egypt in the exodus under Moses. Passover gets its name from the Death Angel “passing over” those who applied the blood to the door posts. Each year thousands of Jews flocked to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Jesus spoke these words on the Mount of Olives late Tuesday evening, which, by Jewish reckoning, would be the beginning of Wednesday. Passover began Thursday afternoon with the slaughter of the Lamb.

During this time a meeting of the Sanhedrin is taking place at the palace which is the residence of Caiaphas the High  Priest (v. 3). Opposition to Jesus had been rising for some time. Earlier that day the leaders had wanted to arrest Jesus but were afraid to do so for fear of the people. They were trying to decide what they would do with Jesus (v. 4). Now they decide to do away with Jesus, recognizing that they must do it quickly so as not to start a riot. At this point Judas Iscariot goes in and strikes a deal with them. He said “What will ye give me, and I will  deliver Him unto you” (Matt. 26:15.)? They agreed to pay him thirty pieces of silver which was about one month’s wages.

Since many of Jesus’ supporters from Galilee would be in Jerusalem during this time, the leaders didn’t want to upset them, whose emotions would be at a high (vv. 4-5). Jesus actually spoiled their plan and died at the very hour of the slaying of the Passover lambs.

Application

How do you think many of the religious leaders of our day are like or unlike the religious leaders of Jesus’ day? I wonder what I would have done if I had been there when all of this was happening?

Matthew 26:1-5 (English Standard Version)


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