Luke 22 v 3. “Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.”
Just days before the Passover event Christ’s enemies met to look for a way to get rid of him. The plotters were the chief priests and the teachers of the law. How ironic this is. These were the very people who should have been teaching the people about the Messiah and the values of God’s Kingdom. Here they are going clean contrary to their own laws and worst of all not recognising the Messiah. The other Gospels add other little details to the plot, but it makes no difference for at last a break came for Jesus’ enemies. None other than Judas Iscariot, our Lord’s disciple, appears and offers to lead them to Jesus in exchange for money.
It seems unbelievable that one of the disciples would do this and of course, we must ask, why would he do it? The answer is simple, stark and terrifying: “Then Satan entered Judas” (v 3). This fact is repeated in John 13 v 27. The Gospel writers are not interested in synchronising their timeline. They simply want you to get the fact – Satan entered into him.
We must not ignore the role Satan played in the sufferings of our Lord. The Destroyer was out to stop the progress of God’s plan of salvation. We know he did not succeed, but we should remember his involvement.
However, this does not let Judas off the hook. There is much that could be said about Judas, there is no time to do that here. Suffice it to say that he seemed a suspect character for a long time [See for instance John 12 v 6]. Nevertheless he was a specially privileged person to be part of the Jesus’ group of disciples. We must not think Jesus was taken by surprise by this turn of events, for this was how the Father planned it all. Nevertheless Judas was given ample opportunity to turn from his avaricious ways. Yet he did not.
For months Judas had lived with this unsurpassingly powerful, wise, compassionate benefactor of people. Yet he sold him to the enemy for thirty pieces of silver. It is not surprising to read in verses 5 and 6 about their delight and covert watchfulness to take him as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
The irony was they thought Jesus never knew what was happening but they were simply playing out the prophesies regarding the Messiah of which they of all people should have been aware.
Here is our Savour, beginning his journey to the Cross. O, what love is this?