"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."
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."
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)
Painting: The main figures are pushed to the left, so that the right-hand half of the picture is left to the soldiers, whose suits of armor absorb what little light there is, and whose faces are the most part hidden. At the right of the picture, an unhelmeted head emerges from the surrounding darkness. This is often regarded as the artist's self-portrait. Caravaggio has also concerned himself here with the act of seeing as one of a painter's task. The three men on the right are there mainly to intensify the visual core of the painting, underscored by the lantern. On the left, the tactile aspect is not forgotten. Judas vigorously embraces his master, whilst a heavily mailed arm reaches above him towards Christ's throat. Christ, however, crosses his hands, which he holds out well in front of him, whilst St John flees shrieking into the deep night. His red cloak is torn from his shoulder. As it flaps open it binds the faces of Christ and Judas together - a deliberate touch on the artist's part.