Day 4: Conspiracy

Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard

"'What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?' So they weighed out 30 pieces of silver for him" (Matthew 26:15).

Wednesday of Holy Week was a quiet day.
But that doesn’t mean nothing happened.

This is Day 4 of Eight Days that Changed the World. The key word today is conspiracy. The church has traditionally called this day “Spy Wednesday,” as the plot to trap Jesus races forward.

Seeing the crowds flock to Jesus, the religious leaders bide their time, looking for an opportunity to arrest him. Filled with hatred and envy, they have already decided Jesus must die. But how will they do it?

Enter Judas, the most mysterious of all the disciples.

As far as we can tell, Judas saw all the miracles Jesus performed. He was in the boat when Jesus calmed the storm. He saw the Lord turn water into wine. He helped pick up the leftovers after Jesus fed the 5000 with five loaves and two fish. He must have been standing there when Lazarus came out of the tomb.

He heard it all.
He saw it all.
He walked with Christ every day.
He was one of Jesus’ handpicked men.
He knew the Son of God personally.

Make that list as long as you like. Add one other fact. No one ever suspected him. Peter never said to John, “Hey, Judas seems a little shifty to me.” Bartholomew evidently never wondered about his motives. James never suspected he was pilfering from the money bag. As late as the Last Supper, when Jesus predicted someone would betray him, no one pointed at Judas and said, “He’s a traitor.”

What happened to him could happen to me. What he did, I could do. If I think otherwise, I have missed the point of this story. Judas is a lot like us, and we're a lot like him. He was as "in" as any person could ever be, and yet he betrayed our Lord.

What would it take for you to sell out the Son of God?

Would you betray him for money?
Would you betray him for a better job?
Would you betray him to keep the job you have?
Would you betray him to save your own skin?
Would you betray him to save your family?

These searching questions are easier to ask than to answer. Do not to take them lightly. There’s a little Judas in all of us. If we think anything different, then we’re more like Judas than we know.

My Lord, I pray for a faith so real and so deep that it cannot be bought or sold for any price. Amen.

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Originally published April 08, 2020.