Intro: Attending the Festival of Unleavened Bread—Passover—was mandatory for Jewish males ages 12 years and older. This was a very important time in Israel’s history to remember; multitudes would have faithfully attended this seven day festival. In the midst of what should have been a joyous and holy time drawing near to God, the religious priests and teachers are planning to kill Jesus. These wicked leaders are not afraid of killing the Son of God; they are afraid of the people’s reaction. So, they look for earthly political leverage to manipulate what they want to do.
In our passage today, Satan enters Judas which tells us evil thought the death of Jesus would end God’s mission and plan for redemption. Maybe when Jesus starting talking about his death, Judas decided he wasn’t the real Messiah; therefore, he decided to make his betrayal of Christ financially lucrative. Little did Satan/Judas know he was playing right into the righteous plan of God for the salvation of the world.
Be aware of the tactics of Satan. First, Satan uses a false religion to work in opposition to God. Secondly, people may think they are right with God because they attend a worship assembly, but it is possible they do not even know the true God. Third, if we really know Jesus, we understand He invites us to come and die to our selfish and rebellious ways against the commands of God. “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Mat 16:24-25). To live any other way and think we are professing Christ is to betray him.
Luke 22:1-6 (NLT) Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
22 The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. 2 The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction.
3 Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, 4 and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. 5 They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. 6 So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.
Prayer: Lord, Satan is always trying to get your people to betray you, but help us to remain faithful to leave our selfish desires behind and surrender to your will and way. In Jesus name. Amen.