Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 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. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
With these words, the greatest betrayal of all is set into motion; things will begin to happen rather quickly. The Jewish leaders found themselves in a precarious position at that moment; they simply had to find a way to get at Jesus in a secluded setting. As had been the case for quite some time now, they feared their own people who seemed to like Him. He had been right there in the Temple more than once in recent days, but despite their best attempts to turn the people against Him, Jesus always seemed to make them look foolish. Needless to say, this made their predicament more and more precarious; what if He would incite the people to directly act against them?
So they plotted in secret…
…and then the greatest of gifts fell right into their laps.
Let’s stop and think for a moment: If you are the religious elite, the best and the brightest, the most righteous and pious of God’s servants on earth and you find yourself in a quandary like this, what is the best thing that could possibly happen?
Treachery, of course.
Luke tells us that at this precise moment, Satan entered into Judas, and Judas went to the Leadership with a proposition.
If you are Satan, you must know that the time has come to destroy the Son of God, for if you do not take your chance now, He might well redeem all of Israel, and then where would you be? No, this was a moment for decisive action, and he took decisive action.
Naturally the Jewish Leaders are thrilled for such salvation for their plans, and they quickly strike a deal with Judas, who will betray Jesus for money at the earliest possible moment.
The die is cast, the stage is set and the pivotal climax of human history is about to unfold just as Satan has desired it to. Will Jesus pull the iron out of the fire one more time or will they finally be rid of Him?