Lynn and I have three children and Lynn has put a lot of thought into each one of their names. Michelle is actually named after me but her middle name is tied to Lynn, her first name being Lynn-Marie. Kaitlin is named after Lynn and her middle name is a darivitive of my mothers name, Rose. And Hunter is actually the translation of my middle name which is Cacador and his middle name is after my father-in-law middle name. Many poeple put a lot of thought into name their children and even if they don't put a lot of thought into name their children there are still some names people really shouldn't name their children. For example Cain, who killed his brother, most people wouldn't name their son Brutus either. He is very well known for stabbing a close friend and emperor of Rome in the back. Then there is the name Benedict which for the British I guess it is a fine name but every time I hear it, I am reminded of Benedict Arnold which is synonymous with treason. There is one name, however, that if you look it up within a list of traitors throughout history comes up number one and it is a name you don't hear much today. It is the name Judas.
I don't know about you but when I hear the name Judas, there are a few words that go through my mind that discribe Judas. For one pity, sadness, and the reason why those emotions run in my heart for him is because of what he is most known for, Betraying Jesus Christ with a kiss. Now this betrayal didn't happen all at once, his turning on Jesus didn't just occur on the night of the Last Supper. In fact this betrayal of Judas' was not a solo act. We are going to take a look at Judas' betryal of Jesus and we will examine this morning the forces that were at work and even the motive of Judas' betrayal and in the end we will see what our role is in this grand Betrayal of Jesus Christ.
We will explore these truths in our text this moring in the Gospel of Luke. Turn with me to Luke 22:1-6, Luke 22:1-6.
As you turn there remember Jesus has just provided a lengthy lesson on what is in store for His disciples. Following after Jesus isn't going to be easy and He has never painted it as a cake walk but at every opportunity to instruct His disciples, Jesus has told them about the difficulties that lie ahead. He tells them they will be persecuted and many will die and people will hate them even their own families. With such a dismal future the only hope you have is in following Jesus to the bitter end even if it means you will die while following Him.
This is not an easy truth to accept, which is why Jesus encouraged His disciples to guard their hearts. To watchful anticipate His return because even though the world is going to hate them because they love Christ the reward of following Jesus and guarding your heart and prayerfully anticipating His return is so much sweeter than anything this backwards, evil, dark world has in store for us.
Now it comes as no surprise that in God's providental plan was to place this section next. God the Holy Spirit worked through Luke to pen the event we are about to look at next. This event is placed here not by accident but by the will of God so we can see a man who didn't gaurd his heart and what happened to him. Let's go ahead and look at Luke 22:1-6 and Luke writes;
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people. And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. They were glad and agreed to give him money. So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd.
Luke opens this chapter with the word "Now." With this word Luke is changing the scene. He is moving us from looking into Jesus' public ministry to providing the events that lead up to the cross. The first event we will see is the background story to the very well known betrayal in the Garden. This betrayal colminated in the garden but it was an event that was a long time coming. As we look at this event here we will first see the forces that are at work in the betrayal of Jesus Christ.
Luke goes on to tell us, "the Feasst of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching." Luke provides both the names of this all important Jewish festival. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a seven day festival that begins with Passover. Both of which the Passover and the entire festival have its roots in the Exodus account. It is called the Feast of Unleavened Bread because they were commanded to cook bread without yeast because there was no time for the rising of the bread. They had to be ready to leave quickly. It is also called Passover because the 10th and final plague come on the Egyptians that night, death of the first born. God provided specific instruction to the Israelites if they wanted to escape this plague they had to paint the lentiles and door posts with the blood of the lamb and the Angel of Death would Passover their houses and spare their children.
This festival commemorates this event. It is a time of looking back on God calling His nation Israel and delivering them from slavery in Egypt. Even though the first born of Egypt died that night, the passover actually commemorates life and redemption. It was God's means of delivering His people from their bondage to Egypt and at the same time God judged the nation of Egypt for their treatment of God's people. So the Passover just like Easter is to us is actually a celebration of life and redemption. Which is also the most opportune time for God to chose to have His Son die on the cross as our substitutionary sacrifice to pay for the penalty for our sins. That said God is the first force at work in Jesus' betrayal.
Even when God called His nation Israel and delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians God had this future redmeption in mind. The Exodus from Egypt was a foreshadow and a picture of the Exodus that would happen at the cross. Don't think for a second God didn't kno what was going on here. In fact God had this all planned out from the beginning. God was working in this event entire event.
The second force at work here was the enemies of Jesus. Look at verse 2 with me. "The chief preiests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death." Luke now shifts from Jesus and His disciples to the chief priests and scribes. They have been testing Jesus during His public ministry and the testing has intensified ever since Jesus has entered the temple earlier this week. The entire time Jesus has been teaching in the temple these religious leaders have been unsuccefuly trying to trap Jesus in something they could use against Him.
They are not happy with His teaching because His teaching is infringing on their own power and influence over the people. They are very disturbed or should I say very jealous over the fact that Jesus has such a positive influence with the crowd. Luke is setting up Jesus' last hours and these men are instrument in this last hours of Jesus' life.
From the introduction of the chief priests and scribes to their intentions. Luke tells us here they were seeking to put Jesus to death. This is not new information this has been mentioned on more then one occasion. Luke is not only providing a summary of what the religious leaders were thinking and planning but he is also using this as a way to introduce the events that will lead to the cross. I see here God is actively working in this entire plan.
There is such irony here. During a time where the religious leaders of the day should have been focusing on God and His dileverance of the nation of Israel and looking forward to the coming of their Messiah. They were planning the death of the Messiah. Instead of having their hearts in tune with God's power they are more conserned about their own power. Instead of celebrating the life and redemption of His people from the oppression of sinful man they are conspiring to kill the One who has come to bring life and redemption and deliver them from oppression of sin.
Notice the one thing stopping them from acting on this desire to put Jesus to death. It is the people the crowds that have been following Jesus. These leaders are so concerned with power and the opinion of the people they are meant to lead that they fear losing their power and prestige because of Jesus' authority and influence. The religious leaders knew they had to do something that would exalt themselves in the eyes of the people and discredit Jesus, His Word and His influence. Their biggest problem is they have no evidence against Jesus and they are unable to find anyone to accuse Him because He speaks with such love and power.
Then enters the third and fourth force in the betrayal of Jesus, look with me at verse 3. Luke contiues, "And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve." You see here Satan plays a huge part in Jesus' betrayal. The last time we actually saw Satan was in Luke 4 when Satan tried to tempt Jesus into following him instead of the Father. Satan failed to turn Jesus from His mission and now Satan is a very active force in bringing God's plan to fruition.
Luke tells us that Satan was active in the events leading to the cross. Luke doesn't say a demon he doesn't say Judas acted on his own but that Satan was working in and through Judas to bring Jesus to the cross. Judas was always a part of God's plan to betray Jesus. Luke even made it very clear who this was. Judas was a popular name in that time in fact there were two disciples with the name Judas so he was known as Judas Iscariot.
This brings us to the fourth force in the betrayal of Jesus Christ, Judas. Luke makes it very clear Judas was one of the twelve. Why would Luke say this? Well it's not just for a description. There are two important reason, I believe Luke writes this. The first is to show Judas, the one who betrays Jesus, is one who was selected by Jesus. Jesus hand picked these twelve men and they were selected for a purpose and a reason and this poor guy was chosen to follow Jesus but follow at a distance. Even though Judas was hand picked by Jesus, he was never destined to be one of the church father's his destiny has always been to be utilized by Satan to bring about God's righteous redemption. This is sad but never the less this brings glory to God.
Job understood this truth he says this to his wise friends in Job 21:30,
“For the wicked is reserved for the day of calamity; They will be led forth at the day of fury.
Solomon understood this truth about God as well,
The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.
Paul even teaches this to the Roman church in Romans 9:14-24
What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
Judas was hand picked by Jesus and the selection of Judas was to betray Jesus Christ to the religious leaders and to the crowd so Jesus can fulfill what God has planned all along, to redeem mankind through Jesus' substitutionary sacrifice in our place.
So as Satan is going in to possess Judas and is going to be the driving force behind his betrayal of His Messiah it is Judas who is destined for this terrible action. God had destined Him for this. Satan played a part but Judas was still responsible for his own actions.
This brings us to the reason for Judas' betrayal. The motive of Judas' betrayal.
Judas, even though he was destined for this horrable act, still had a motive behind his betrayal. There were factors and things that had happened for Judas to betray Jesus. Listen it was the Judas was this really sincier follower of Christ. Judas may have been hand selected to be one of the twelve but his heart was never in it. Judas while sharing the Last supper with Jesus didn't just on a whim get up and run off to betray His Lord. No in fact it probably came on little by little as Jesus taught and as he saw how much the religious leaders didn't like Jesus.
He may have been a follower of Jesus but his heart was never really been following Him because even as other gospel writers have written, Judas was the treasurer but he was also a thief who would steal from the ministry.
Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 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.
So you see Judas heart was never in following after Jesus but following after his own intentions. Even those who seem to be close to Jesus on the outside can still be far from Him on the inside. That is why it is so important for us to gaurd our hearts. Judas didn't gaurd his and because he didn't it was easy for him to turn agaisnt Jesus. You also have to keep in mind what was Jesus just teaching His disciples. He was teaching them about the things to come. Jesus painted a picture of hardship and difficulty, persecution and hatred and death for following after him. If a persons' heart is not gaurded if a person is not a true follower of Jesus but only going through the motions or looking to see what is in it for them then the end result is when difficulty arises or fear of being killed comes into play a person will turn and run from Jesus. Judas was only in it for himself and the reason for him going to the religious leaders was to fold, save his own hide and to see what Jesus was worth to them.
Verses 4 and 5 tell us this, "And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and offecers how he might betray Him to them. 5 They were glad and agreed to give him money." Judas was after money and his life. He had the leverage in this situation and he used it to his own advantage. Luke tells us the relgious leaders were glad, I think they were overjoied at Judas coming to them. This gave them theyir opportunity to take down Jesus without the crowds being around. Judas being with Jesus would be in the know of when Jesus was in private and when he could bring in the relgious leaders to bring Jesus down. Noticce they are not looking for a testimony from Judas all they want is an oppurtunity to arrest Jesus and put him on trial to try to show the people how wonderful they are and to denigrate Jesus and His word and His power.
These crowds the relgious leaders are afraid of are the same ones who will in just a few hours sout "Crucify Him." This all happens because of the forces at work in this event, God the ultimate authority over this event, the religious leaders who wanted to hold on to their own power, Satan who wants to usurp God's authority and Judas who wants to safe his own hide for some worldly possessions that only drive him away from God.
So what is our role in all of this. Simple it is because of our sin that all of this had to happen.
Our role is our sinfulness. Listen when it comes to the betrayal of Jesus Christ, God put these events into motion, the religious leaders put HIm on the cross, Satan help orchatrate it, Judas handed Him over and it was all because of our sin. We had just as much a role in betraying Jesus as Satan, the religous leaders and Judas. It was because our hearts had wandered from our creator to begin with and God wanted to redeem us back to Himself. Our sins are what made this betrayal possible and it is the reason for the betrayal.
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.
Do you know what propitiation is, it is God's wrath being poured out on Jesus Christ and God was completly and fully satisfied in pouring His Wrath out on Jesus in our place and this was because of our sins. Jesus need to be betrayed so God's wrath which we deserve would come on His Son and He was our substitue, He took our place. Our role is our sins placing Him on the cross, and His death has cleansed of this sin. Each time we fall into sin do you know what we are doing, we are turning from Jesus, which is the equivalent of betrayal. Does this mean when we sin we lose our salvation, may it never be, then that would mean Jesus' sacrifice was not enough and we have to work for our salvation. All this means is we have to gaurd our hearts against following after the world and stay focused on the Lord who has taken our sin away and who sits as our mediator before a Soveriegn and holy and righteous God.
He is the Passover lamb who has taken away the sins of the world. He has redeemed us and He has called us. If He has placed faith in your heart to follow after Him, gaurd your heart against