Summary: Fifth in a 12 part series examining THE most important week in all of history: The Passion Week, when Jesus fulfilled Mark 10:45. Judas' betrayal, unholy partnering on unforgettable Passover fulfilled an unbelievable prophecy teaching unchanging principle
The Passion Week of Christ: A Study from the Book of Mark
Week 5: The Servant Suffers - He Is Betrayed
A. We're continuing in our Passion Week series, exploring the greatest week in all of human history during which God's Suffering Servant "came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." To recap: Saturday = Day of Anointing, Sunday = Triumphal Entry, Monday = Temple Cleansing, Tuesday = Day of Teaching. And so we come to Wednesday, the Day of Betrayal, and Thursday, the Day of the Last Supper. On Tuesday, April 8th, 7pm, we all will get an amazing opportunity to experience firsthand what occurred that Thursday in the Upper Room when Stephen Katz with Jews for Jesus will present "Christ in the Passover" here at Crossway. So what I want us to focus on this AM is that Day of Betrayal.
B. Now when I say betrayal or traitor, who or what pops into your mind? Marcus Brutus? Julius Caesar's nephew who led assassination attempt, "Et tu, Brutus?" Benedict Arnold? American general shifted allegiance to British, "turncoat." The Rosenbergs? American couple convicted and executed for selling atomic secrets to Soviets during The Cold War? Mir Jafar? Nawab of Bengal, helped British defeat the Army of Bengal in Battle of Plassey, key step to eventual British domination in India? From obscure to well-known, from religious to secular circles, THE greatest act of betrayal in all of human history? Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus' 12 Disciples, he betrayed the Son of God for 30 pieces of silver and with the infamous "Judas kiss."
C. 2000 years later, Judas betrayal of our Lord and Savior has much to teach us. In it we see an Unholy Partnering...on an...Unforgettable Passover...which fulfilled an...Unbelievable Prophecy...that teaches us...Unchanging Principles.
II. Scripture Reading & Prayer
A. Stand with me to honor the reading of God's Word. Read Mark 14:10-21.
B. Pray - Father, we affirm that All Scripture is God breathed and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. Bless the preaching of YOUR Word to accomplish just that. We love you.
III. An Unholy Partnering (Mark 14:10-11)
A. Jesus' betrayal came about through an Unholy Partnering, what I call an Unholy Trinity. Let's look at that unholy trinity's members, mission and motivation.
Judas Iscariot - Judas, "Judah," as a name obviously has noble OT associations. It was a common name in Jesus' day - the famous Judas Macabbees who led Jewish revolt in 165 BC, Jesus' own brother and author of Jude, and a second disciple, Judas son of James. It's an honorable name, until Judas Iscariot comes along. 20x his name appears in the Gospels and 20x he is identified as Jesus' betrayer. In each listing of The Twelve, Judas Iscariot is always LAST. And with good reason, for he was unlike any of the other disciples! Iscariot means "man of Kerioth," which was a small town in Judea about 23 miles south of Jerusalem. Thus, Judas is not a Galilean like the other disciples. Scripture tells us a lot more about him that was unlike the other disciples as well. Read John 12:4-6. He was the treasurer, in charge of the moneybag, and a thief, he used to help himself to what was put into it. He was hypocritical, he said this not because he cared about the poor. He is the original Insidious - causing harm in a way that is gradual or not easily noticed. All four evangelists refer to him as one of the twelve. Even to the last, they did not know Judas true nature - read John 13:27-30. Which leads us to a great question - why did Jesus select Judas? Did Jesus have foreknowledge that Judas would betray Him when he selected him to be an apostle? It seems so - read John 6:64-65, 70-71. Add unbeliever and devil to Judas' list of qualities! So, why would Jesus choose him. Scripture doesn't tell us why but from Luke 6:12-16 we know that Jesus selected him after much prayer and consultation with His Father. Scripture is clear that on this fateful Wednesday, Judas is a man on a mission - to betray the Lord. So, what was Judas' s motive? Let me just say trying to guess someone else's motive puts us on some pretty thin ice! Only God knows the heart. Many speculations have been floated around through the centuries: MONEY (almighty dollar!), DISULLUSIONMENT (with Jesus' ministry and cause), HATE, PRIDE, JEALOUSY (not in the inner circle), ZEALOT (invoking Roman intervention would force Jesus' hand to take action as Messiah and lead the nation to political and military victory). Of all of these, only one has Biblical evidence - MONEY. Mark and Luke tell us generically that Judas was given money. Matthew records the exact amount - 30 pieces of silver - the OT price for a slave accidentally gored to death by an ox (cf. Exodus 21:32), which fulfilled the prophecy of Zech. 11:12-13.