Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Plot of Treachery and Betrayal


Mark 14:43-46 

Google Art Project


"And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 

And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. 

And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. And they laid their hands on him, and took him."
 
It was apparently on Wednesday morning, perhaps when Christ and His disciples were awakening at their location where He had chosen to retreat, for it was apparent He was facing His death; He had warned them very abruptly about it, "Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified."
 
Notice Christ had knowledge of His betrayal. The disciples hardly conceived of the reality of their Master's death; but the horror of a crucifixion could not, in their minds, be measured.
 
The Passover was drawing near.   The chief priests and scribes were plotting how to capture Christ and kill him, but not on the day of the Feast, for fear that there would be an uprising of His followers. ( Matthew 26:2-5 )

"Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said,

What are ye willing to give me, and I will deliver him unto you?

And they weighed unto him thirty pieces of silver.  And from that time he sought opportunity to deliver him unto them."    (Matthew 26:14-25)
 
Judas would transact the murder plot before the Feast. He had joined the forces of the chief priests, made his bargain, and set his price.  He as much as said to them, "I'll do whatever it takes to deliver him to your hands."
 
In turn, they promised him thirty pieces of silver in Jewish currency, shekels, the gospel writers tell us, enough money in that era to purchase land, and it was national currency from the Treasury. The chief priests will take back this money, but it will be their judgment to do so, since it had been the price of blood.  (Matthew 27:6) 
 
"Now when even was come, he was sitting at meat with the twelve disciples;
and as they were eating, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began to say unto him every one, Is it I, Lord?
And he answered and said, 
"He that dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
The Son of man goeth, even as it is written of him: but woe unto that man through whom the Son of man is betrayed!
good were it for that man if he had not been born."

And Judas, who betrayed him, answered and said
Is it I, Rabbi? 
He saith unto him, Thou hast said.
Matthew 26:20-25



Image: The Last Supper - Valentin de Boulogne
"The painting shows the most dramatic moment of the Last Supper, when Jesus reveals to the disquieted apostles that one of them would betray him. Beside Christ, St John rests his head on the table and sleeps, in keeping with an iconographic tradition popular in Emilia. Meanwhile Peter, to the left of Christ, raises his hands in a gesture of astonishment. In the left foreground, Judas can be seen holding a purse behind his back: this contains thirty coins, the price of his treachery."


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