Three and a half years before the crucifixion Judas Iscariot became one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, leaving his home behind and following Jesus throughout Israel on his travels. He became a trusted member of the disciples, rising even to the position of treasurer. However, he had one big weakness - his love of money. He even criticised people for spending money out of love for Jesus. An example is when a woman used an expensive pot of perfume to clean Jesus’ feet as an example of her love to him.
“But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.” John 12:4-6
Judas’ love of money and power was his downfall because it moved him to betray Jesus.
The chief priests and Pharisees hated Jesus, and were looking for a way to get Him. Judas knew this,
“Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.” Matthew 26:14-16
Judas was going to betray the man whom he had followed for the last three and a half years, the Son of God, for thirty pieces of silver, only a month’s wages.
Although Judas thought he was doing this betrayal in secret, Jesus knew that Judas would betray him and allowed it. Throughout the gospels Jesus told his disciples about how He was going to die on the cross. At the last supper He told the disciples “one of you is a devil”. He knew He had to die and it was prophesised that,
“Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” Psalm 41:9
One night, a crowd came with swords and clubs, with Judas among them. Judas told the crowd that Jesus was the man whom he would kiss. Then he went up to Jesus and kissed Him. This seeming act of friendship betrayed Jesus into the hands of the ones who would crucify Him.
Judas loved money more than he loved Jesus and this led to Jesus’ betrayal. In the world today, people let things get in-between them and Jesus. Don’t let this happen to you. Jesus loves you and can give you more joy than wealth, power or possessions can. Come to Jesus this Easter.