Summary: A sermon about the dealings of Jesus and Judas at the Last Supper (3 sources; 1) Christology class 2) The Longest Night by James E. Smith 3) Outline from Bob Russell at: http://bobrussellsermons.org/judas-who-betrayed-him?filter_name=Judas)
Benedict Arnold was once a respected name in America. He was a general in the Revolutionary Army. He was a friend of George Washington. For approximately $20,000 Benedict Arnold betrayed his country and surrendered West Point to the British. No one wants their child named Benedict in America since that time. By far the worst betrayal was by Judas against Jesus.
The crucifixion of Jesus was not an afterthought of God. Since the Jews rejected him, then God came up with Plan B. No way! The main reason that Jesus came to earth was to be, as John the Baptist said, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29. We find that Jesus knew a lot about the details of the plan to provide atonement for mankind.
Last time we talked about the events of the days before the Passover where Jesus died. On Sunday it was the Triumphal Entry where Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey and the people were saying, Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna to the Son of David (reference to Messiah)!
Monday and Tuesday Jesus was teaching in and around the Temple in Jerusalem. Wednesday we have no record of Jesus doing anything that day, probably resting.
Last time we also mentioned that Judas Iscariot, a few days before Thursday evening, went to the Jewish religious leaders and conspired with them to betray Jesus.
Some say that Judas was a scapegoat and that he was predestined to betray Jesus. That is the reason he was born they say. Not true, because we find that throughout that evening, Jesus offered Judas many opportunities to abandon this conspiracy and to repent of this sin. Jesus knew Judas’ plans and he wanted Judas to change his heart and actions.
Thursday night and Friday morning has been called the longest night in the Bible. Same amount of time like other nights, but so many important words were spoken that night, so many important events took place, that it must have seemed the night would never end.
This night is where many things came to a head, to a climax. Jesus orchestrated the details of that evening to allow himself time to with his disciples before his passion.
Focus on John 13:
John 13:2- Because of this Jesus used a “secret code” to direct Peter and John to the location when he sent them to make preparations for the Passover. “Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked. He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.” They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.” Luke 22:8-13, NIV. This was done so that Judas did not know where this Passover was going to be. Only Peter and John knew beforehand where they were meeting.
John 13:18- Jesus knew the spiritual condition of everyone in that room. Jesus knew that there was one there who was not his disciple even though he was one of the 12 that he had chosen. To lift up the heel against someone means to act treacherously.
John 13:21- It was very difficult for Jesus to accept the fact that one of the 12 was about to betray him. The knowledge of Judas’ crime did not relieve the Lord from the sting of it. Jesus foretold the betrayal, not only for the sake of the rest of the disciples, but for the sake of Judas himself, that he might take warning and repent. It was not too late to walk away from the snare of the devil. Most traitors nix their plots when they have been exposed, but not Judas. Even today Jesus continues to extend to sinners his offer of salvation even though he knows that many will reject Him and continue in their sin.
John 13:22- No one suspected Judas. Those who are involved in hypocrisy can deceive their closest friends. They were troubled to hear that one of them would commit this. These men had bonded over the years of ministry. Godly souls grieve for the sins of others.
John 13:23-25- To understand this part we need to be aware of the seating arrangements at the table. This disciple talked of in vs. 22 is John. At this time people ate at low tables as they reclined on cushions (unlike the famous painting of the Last Supper where it makes it look like they are in chairs). Jesus, the host, had the favored position. On Jesus’ right side was John this beloved disciple. On his left side was Judas. Judas and John were close enough to talk with Jesus without being heard by others. Why was Judas in this position of honor? Could this have been an attempt by Jesus to get through to Judas before he committed his betrayal? Simon Peter was in the last seat (I’m sure he didn’t like that). The disciples were anxious to get the Master to explain himself, and to tell them whom he meant. From across the table Peter motioned to his friend John to get him to ask Jesus to identify the betrayer. John asked the question that was on everyone’s mind.