Sometimes we don’t see God’s hand on the surface and that might discourage us. Take heart. When we don’t see the power and authority of God at work, it does not mean he is silent or inactive. Even in the betrayal of Jesus, we see today that God was in control…
1 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
The evil desire of the chief priests and teachers of the law crossed paths with the Devil who was prowling around looking for someone to devour, and Judas, who was a willing pawn and betrayer of his own leader… It must have been common knowledge that they were looking for a way. Was there a bounty? Were they making offers to Jesus’ followers to trap him?
Whatever it was, Judas went to them. They didn’t go to him. Judas made the offer to betray Jesus. They gladly accepted. In fact, they were overjoyed. Delighted. The chief priests and officers of the temple guard were delighted.
The very people whose role it was to protect and serve the holy things of God cut a deal to betray and capture the holy one of God.
The deal was sealed with money. Judas was motivated by money. Judas “was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it,” (John 12:6). What’s your sweet tooth? What area of your life can be used by the Devil so that you will make a deal with him against the things of God?
The condition seems to be that Judas would watch for an opportunity in which no crowd was present. The leaders didn’t want this to turn into a revolt. They needed time to deal with Jesus in a kangaroo court before bringing him before the people. They needed to manage the situation.
I have been impressed with the sovereignty of God this week, and as I read this, I don’t see God’s hand on the surface. You might be discouraged by that. Take heart. When we don’t see the power and authority of God at work, it does not mean he is silent or inactive. This was God’s will. Jesus knew that he had to be arrested and had to go to the cross. Our salvation depended on it.
And so, as Jesus explains later to Pontius Pilate, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above,” (John 19:11). God is in control. Not Judas. Not the priests. Not Pilate. Not Satan.
Have confidence in God, even when it appears that things are out of control…