Luke 22:1-13 The Betrayal of Christ
We enter now into the last 24 hours of Jesus life before His death on Friday at 3pm in what are called the Passion narratives. I feel a great weight of responsibility as we enter this section. I am deeply aware that everything in the Bible leads to and from the moment of Christ dying on the cross. Thousands of years of expectation, with prophecies and promises and types are all pointing to this moment. Pray for me as we proceed that God will give me the ability to bring the weight of these things to bear. As we look at Luke 22:1-13 a good question to begin with is who killed Jesus? This question forces us to reckon with who is in control of what is about to unfold. There are many people involved and many forces at play, there are the religious leaders acting like politicians who are trying to make the practical choices that will secure their own and Israel’s future, as well as the people of Israel themselves. There is Judas who is driven by his own vices. There are the 12 disciples. There is Pilate, Herod, those on the Sanhedrin like Nicodemus who do not want Jesus to be killed. Of course under it all there is satan; and there is Jesus Himself and God. The complexity of people, ambitions, desires and agendas remind us of the complexity of the world that we live in. We can feel overwhelmed as we observe the unifying march of Leftist ideology, the desperate and scrambling attempt of conservatives to resist, we see those grabbing for power, for influence, for wealth. We see false justice, no justice and little true justice. With situations like the present war in the Ukraine and its impact on the world there are many temptations to anxiety, depression, a sense of impotence in the face of obvious evil, anger at injustice and many other things. It will be good for us to see how God’s sovereignty works over evil.
We come to the greatest crime ever committed. The very people of God who had been foretold and promised the coming of their Messiah would choose Caesar over their own Christ like the people in the wilderness seeking the meat pots of Egypt and the oppression of Pharaoh. This is their greatest sin as a nation. This story has the greatest traitor in all of human history—Judas. But we will also be seeing the greatest enemy—satan. He will finally have God within his grasp, in the form of the God-man he can inflict pain, torment, contempt and death upon Him. But what we will see in these opening verses is that though it may appear that evil triumphs, that goodness is undone, that justice is perverted, and the worst of all things we could conceive of happen, God is in control, God is making His good plan for our salvation come to pass, God makes good come out of evil.
As we look at the betrayal of Christ, we will look at the timing, the plotting, and the planning.