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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Week: Wednesday, The Betrayal of Judas

Some traditions call this day, "Spy Wednesday" most likely referencing the betrayals and plotting that filled much of this day in the Savior's life. This is the day that the leaders are plotting to kill Jesus. They are very mindful of two things in their plan: first, they don't want the multitudes to be aware of the plan or the actual event and second, they don't want it to occur on the day of Passover- ironic that though they have a plan to kill Jesus, they are worried about the religious traditions. This is the day that Judas goes to the leaders in Jerusalem and offers to betray Jesus to them away from the multitudes.
One thing I didn't point out yesterday was that during the week of Passover, the Priests in Jerusalem would have traditionally been analyzing and inspecting very carefully the lamb that would be used as the Passover sacrifice. Instead, their time this week is spent analyzing and inspecting the Savior for blemish and flaw. When their attempts to cause Him to stumble fail, they prepare to be rid of Him. Little do they understand that by doing so, they are participating in the ultimate sacrifice of all time.
John records that in the council of Pharisees and Priests, Caiaphas (the High Priest) made a prophesy that one man must die so that the entire nation would not perish. This is interesting because Caiaphas was justifying the death of Jesus as a way to save the Jews from destruction at the Roman's hands. Yet his statement is true in the eternal perspective as the plan of Salvation required One who was flawless to sacrifice so that we all could return to our Father in Heaven.
Not a lot is said about Judas' decision to betray the Savior. The two possible reasons in the scriptures are money or greed and that Satan influenced Judas' decision. Regardless of why it happened, I have tried to understand what would put a person in the mind set to not only betray to death a friend, but the man you believe to be the Son of God? I keep coming back to a teaching of Joseph Smith about true faith. The prophet taught that to have true faith you had to have 1) you have to believe God exists, 2) you must have a correct idea of His character and 3) a knowledge that your life in according to His will. My assumption is that Judas didn't have a deep rooted testimony in one of these areas, so he was able to betray the Lord. 

The Hymn that I liked for today is.....I Believe in Christ

In light of the fact that Judas betrayed Him and the leaders of Jerusalem were plotting to destroy Him, I can imagine His followers singing their devotions and belief in Him.

Scripture Experience:
      * The plot to kill Jesus (Mark 14:1-2; Matthew 26:1-5; Luke 22:1-2)
      * The anointing (Mark 14:3-9; Matthew 26:6-13)
      * Judas agrees to betray Jesus (Mark 14:10-11; Matthew 26:14-16; Luke 22:3-6)

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