Preparation for Good Friday and Easter

Luke 22:1-6, “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover.  And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.  Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.  So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them.  And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.  So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.

As we prepare for another Easter season, let us look at one of the events that occurred prior to the death of Jesus.  The event that I chose is the start of the betrayal of Jesus.  The man who betrayed Jesus was Judas.  But there is more to the story than just names.  Let us begin.

It was Passover time and Jesus was preparing for His departure from the Earth.  Jesus was continuing to teach His disciples to prepare them for a life without His physical being there.  Jesus needed to get all His affairs in order so that He could leave the Earth to prepare a place in Heaven and take His seat at the right hand of God.

Enter the chief priests and scribes.  The Pharisees and the Sadducees.  Firm opposers to Jesus and the disciples and followers of Jesus.  These people were devout followers of the old law handed down by the Old Testament fathers.  They did not recognize Jesus as the Son of God, in fact, they tried to have Jesus tripped up and killed multiple times for calling Himself God.  During this particular Passover time, these men decided to once again have Jesus killed on crimes of blasphemy.  They were getting especially afraid due to the popularity that Jesus was getting.

Jesus had 12 disciples or close friends that followed Him around.  One such man was named Judas Iscariot.  He was the treasurer of the group and handled all the finances for the men.  It was this man who Satan decided to enter and try his hardest to split up Jesus’ mission.  Satan was trying to subvert all the Jesus had done on Earth.

Judas then took him away from the group.  He went to the chief priests and scribes and asked them how he could help in taking down Jesus.  Satan manipulated both Judas and the group of men into believing that what they were doing was right.  What they were doing was justified.  Judas did not do this for free though.  Like a paid assassin, Judas accepted the price of 30 pieces of silver for turning over Jesus.

After his talk, he looked for ways to betray Jesus and ways that he could do it.  It had to be at the right moment as this event would be unpopular to the other 11.  Satan, though thinking that he was in control, was actually playing into God’s plan.  God allowed Judas to betray Jesus at the correct time so that Jesus was arrested at the correct time according to God’s will.

The rest of the day went like this: Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane, prayed to His Father to not go to the cross to die, accepted that this must happen, came back outside the garden, kissed by Judas, and then arrested as the kiss was the sign that Jesus was the one to be arrested.  In the end, after Satan left Judas, Judas was so beside himself about betraying Jesus that he killed himself by hanging.  He did not have a chance to spend the money he made.  There is no account of whether Judas was forgiven of his sin that he committed.

The day before Jesus’ death was certainly filled with action.  Several events happened prior to the death of Jesus.  Tomorrow I will cover the day of crucifixion of Jesus all with the trial and His death on the cross.

Heavenly Father,

As we approach Easter, we are reminded that You sent Your only Son to die on the cross to save us from our sins.  We are also reminded that this did not happen easily.  There was a lot of pain and suffering involved to bring salvation to the whole world.  We are so grateful and thankful for the gift of salvation that cannot be earned, bought or repaid.  Your Son, though hesitant to go to die, did so because it was Your will.  Your will is done.  Not our will, because with our will, we all die without eternal life.  We live this life and that is all.  With Jesus, we can go on to live with You, Lord God.  Thank You.  We long to live with You in Heaven above.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

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