Summary: In teaching about Judas' betrayal of Jesus, we learn about how to handle it ourselves
Anatomy of Betrayal
CCCAG April 2, 2017
Scripture: John 13:21-30
One of the most famous betrayals in history was the betrayal of Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar was a general and politician in Rome during it’s years of being a Republic prior to becoming an empire. He is responsible for conquering parts of Germania and France and even had a few excursions into the British Iles.
After a great deal of drama and political strife, Caesar led his army into the city of Rome, and wrestled power away from the current leader, Pompey, and set himself up as the Dictator of Rome. This initially was not a normal dictatorship where a person rules for life, but one that was elected on a yearly basis.
Initially, this move was very popular with the people. He was a much loved figure, and for the most part his rule was fair.
Then Caesar got the Roman senate to declare him Dictator for life.
This was very concerning to many of the senators who valued the freedom that Rome represented being a democratically elected government. They formed a conspiracy that assassinated Caesar on March 15th, 44 BC. The Ides of March if you remember your high school reading.
These events were immortalized in William Shakespeare’s play that we all probably had to read in High School.
I read the account of this assignation from a historian that said Julius Caesar, being a soldier and general before he became a politician, fought back against his assassins ferociously, until he saw the face of his friend Brutus. Seeing the face of his most loved friend, and faced with this betrayal, it is said that Caesar cast his robe over his head allowing the knives to fall while uttering the famous Latin words, “Et Tu Brute?”
Even you Brutus? Caesar couldn’t face the betrayal of one of his closest friends, and let the knives fall.
I was reminded of this incident this week when I was reading about Judas Iscariot.
What immediately comes to your mind when you hear that name-
Traitor- traitors are always evil!
Benedict Arnold- served the British against Americans
Richard Ried- the shoe bomber
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg- sold the secrets of the nuclear bomb to the Soviets
Even considering all of these people,
Judas’ betrayal of Jesus dwarfs them. Judas betrayed God Himself for his own selfish gain.
Or was that the only reason?
Let’s read this morning from John’s account of the moment Judas decides to betray Jesus-
21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
Recently, I was told that the Trempealeau County Coroner is going to be contacting me about a very part time job. I would be assisting her and the Sheriff’s Department in doing death investigations and ordering forensic autopsy’s. Kind of like CSI Trempealeau County.
I like figuring things out- poking around and looking under the surface of things for what really happened.
I want to do that this morning with Judas, and go beyond the surface we all have heard about- that he was some kind of scum and sleazy guy that betrayed Jesus and see if we can discover the full anatomy of his betrayal.
We are going to be crime scene investigators this morning investigating what lead up to the most famous murder in history- We are going to study the betrayal of Jesus Christ, but looking at the man behind it.
Let’s look at some of the background information we have to consider about Judas before he left the upper room that night to meet with the Jewish authorities.
The first piece of background information is this- how did Judas get into the inner circle of disciples?