Read Mark 14:10-11 and John 13:21-30
Two days before the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which began with the Passover meal (see Luke 22:1,7), we are told of something sinister going on in the background. It is on this day, Wednesday, that Judas Iscariot goes to the chief priests and officers and makes a deal to turn over Jesus. This action is such a powerful betrayal that it is a well-known and often employed plot twist (e.g. Matrix and Maleficent).
In two of the gospel accounts, it says that “Satan entered into Judas.” Early in Luke’s gospel we are told that Satan, after tempting Jesus in the wilderness, “departed from him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). Satan would have felt the effects of the King of Kings exerting the authority of the Kingdom of Heaven over his kingdom. Multitudes over the course of three years experiencing true freedom and healing from the bondage of the devil was most likely frustrating for him. It is during this time that Satan finds an opportunity to attack again. We are not told how or by what means that Satan was able to enter Judas. We only know that Judas was not acting alone.
Acts of betrayal by ones that we love dearly can wound us the deepest. Judas is one who was with Jesus, day in and day out for three years. He saw the miracles, he saw the deliverances, he saw the joy of those being healed. How do you betray someone who has loved you so much? How do you betray someone who provided plenty of evidence that he is the long-awaited Messiah?
In thinking about Judas, it is a reminder of how dangerous our hearts can be. Each of us have the capacity to betray Jesus. Yet, Jesus, knowing that Judas would betray him, still called him to be one of the twelve disciples. He still went to the cross for Judas.
In thinking about Satan’s role, it is a reminder of God’s ultimate reign. God is able to bring about good from any act of evil. Though Satan tried to literally deal Jesus a deathblow through Judas’ betrayal, God is the one who ultimately succeeded. Satan will never win. God loves you so much and is so good, he can redeem and will redeem any mistakes or regrets that you have, including times you have deeply hurt others.
5-Minute Suggested Order of Prayer
(1 min) Pray: “Holy Spirit, I present my heart before You. No matter what wrongs I have done, You are able to bring about good for Your glory.”
(3 min) Confess and agree with any sin that is recalled. Allow yourself to receive the forgiveness found in Jesus alone through His work on the cross.
(1 min) Pray: “Holy Spirit, I offer You the rest of my day and set it apart as sacred. I am covered in your authority in the name of Jesus. Your authority is able to provide a way out of every temptation from the enemy and from my heart that I may face today.”