It’s Wednesday, April 1, AD 33. All seems quiet. It’s the calm before the storm; it’s the eye of the hurricane. Maybe the crisis could be avoided. Compromise may be an option between Jesus and the religious leaders. It’s not too late to have peace. Though few and seemingly insignificant, the events remind us again that the cross was not an accident but an appointment written down at the foundations of the world. Matthew and Mark both tell the story of the anointing at Bethany. On Wednesday, there is no public appearance or teaching of Jesus. However, while Jesus was quietly going through His day, Satan and His demons were working hard, planning on how to kill the promised seed from the Garden.
Judas is an interesting story. He had the same opportunities as all the other Twelve. He was in close proximity with Jesus and was even empowered to do miracles. He sat under Jesus’ teaching and even had his feet washed by the Messiah. Yet, he never understood all Jesus was doing and succumbed to the influence of Satan through compromise. He was living a double life. On the one hand, he was a disciple, and on the other hand, a thief (John 12:6). In times of distress and pressure, the true you will always surface. Judas may have considered himself a disciple, but he proved himself a pawn in Satan’s hand. But Judas going out from the Twelve proved he never really belonged to them (1 John 2:19).
In this light, we learn that Satan entered Judas (Luke 22:3), and he met with the chief officials to conspire with them to betray Jesus. As we consider the Passion Week, keep in mind that Jesus always knew Judas would betray Him. It was always part of God’s plan. You can see this well when comparing the Gospels to the Prophet Zechariah.
‘Then I said to them, “If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” So they weighed my wages, thirty pieces of silver. “Throw it to the potter,” the Lord said to me — this magnificent price I was valued by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw it into the house of the Lord, to the potter” (Zechariah 11:12-13).
- They negotiated over the wage – In Luke’s account, we see where Judas goes to the chief priests and the officers and discusses with them how he might betray Jesus. Note, “They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented …” Luke 22:4-5a).
- They paid him 30 silver coins. “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you [negotiations]? So, they counted out for him thirty silver coins” (Matthew 26:15).
- Zechariah also said he took the thirty pieces and threw it into the house of the Lord. After Jesus was arrested, Judas became remorseful. According to Matthew 27:5 where did Judas throw the money? You guessed it, into the temple.
- Finally, notice the money is thrown into the house of the Lord, to the potter. Let’s continue with Matthew’s account. In 27:7, Scripture tells us the chief priest “decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field.”
Satan was not in control; God is sovereignly in control over all of history. Compromise with the world is never an option. Let me challenge you with this thought: Who are you when no one is looking? Are you Christlike in the secret place? Use these days to draw near to God. Prepare your heart to worship.
Wednesday is relatively quiet. But make no mistake, Jesus will die; Satan will be defeated. But just not on Wednesday. For a few more moments, “darkness reigns” (Luke 22:53).