14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests
15 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.
16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
The major event of Holy Wednesday is Judas' decision to betray Jesus. The betrayal doesn't actually take place until Thursday night but the Gospel reveals Judas speaking to the priests the day before.
The betrayal is already a sad reality... but I believe it's even worse when the text reveals Judas seeking to make money off of it. It's like Judas is going there to say,
"Hey, I heard you guys are looking for Jesus... well, I know him and I can point you to him. But how much are you willing to give me for doing so?" How sad!
But the question is why? Why did he do it?
Was it because he no longer believed that Jesus was indeed the Messiah?
Was it because he was afraid of what might happen to him if he continued to follow Jesus?
Was it because of his greed for money?
Was it because he was tired of following Jesus with nothing to show for the last three years of his life?
Was it because Jesus said he was the Son of God but now he's talking about being killed and Judas became disillusioned with it all?
What do you think...? Why did he do it?
It is possible that Judas—motivated by greed and ambition—and driven by rising anger at Jesus’ failure to accomplish his mission— betrayed him because he had become thoroughly disillusioned.
I'm not certain of why Judas betrayed Jesus. But I'm sure that the spirit that was in Judas that led him to do this is still alive today in the church. It lives in all those who play the religious game. It lives in those who come to church for what they can get out of it. It lives in all those who are pretending to have a commitment with Jesus Christ but it isn’t real in their hearts. It lives in all those who just go through the Christian motions. It lives in those who come to church, give their money, follow the rules and yet don’t love the Lord Jesus.
Those who think that their attendance, service, and giving is a way to benefit themselves are in danger to be known as the Judas's in our midst. Is that you?
I make a new commitment with you today.
A commitment to sacrifice whatever I have to in order to follow you.
A commitment to put you first!
Forgive me for when I've questioned that you are real.
Forgive me for when I thought following you was actually about me.
I commit to follow you until you return or call me home.
In Your name. Amen.
1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.