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Lesson 7: Holy Week

Judas heard all Christ’s sermons.

– Thomas Goodwin

Devotion: Read Luke 22:1-6. Why does Judas betray Jesus? Some claim Satan forces him to act against his will. That sounds possible, since “Satan entered into Judas.” However, this interpretation removes Judas’ guilt. How can he be accountable for actions forced on him (Jn 6:70)?! Perhaps Judas acts out of anger when he realizes Jesus is not the military/political leader he desires. If that is the case, why is Judas upset at Jesus’ arrest (Mt 27:3-5)? A common interpretation of this passage is that Judas still believes Jesus is a powerful military leader who can destroy the Romans, but, for whatever reason, the Messiah is waiting to act. If so, Judas’ betrayal is an attempt to force Jesus into a confrontation and begin the war. If this is correct, Judas is unwilling to set aside his own desires and submit. Many of us are like Judas. We try to persuade God to do what we want rather than allow the Spirit to lead us. “Satan entered into Judas” suggests every time we try to act as god for ourselves, rather than seek Jesus’ desires for us, we allow the demonic into our lives. How does such an idea impact our view of ignoring God? What are the implications of this teaching for prayer? For confession of sin? Is there such a thing as a “small” sin?

Personal Worship Option: Read the following prayer: Merciful God, I confess that my spirit has not been that of Christ. I have failed to love others as he has loved me, where I have pledged loyalty to him with my lips and then betrayed, deserted, or denied him, forgive me I pray; and by your Spirit make me faithful in every time of trial; through Christ our Sovereign….continue on with the remainder of your personal confession.

Dig A Little Deeper:

22:1 The festival of Unleavened Bread and Passover are two different celebrations (one following the other), but in Jesus’ day they have merged for all practical purposes into one major celebration that consumes Jerusalem. Jewish pilgrims would arrive from all over the nation and world.

22:2 The priests display the fear that drives their actions. They fear the people will revolt if they arrest Jesus, now well-known in many circles. Any revolt might initiate harsh retaliation by the Roman authorities. Their fear of Jesus is probably based on an assumption his teachings will diminish their own power and/or eventually lead to revolt against the current status quo, including a revolt against Roman oppression.

22:3 Compare this passage to John 13:2, 27. If the phrase “Satan entered into Judas” is symbolic of giving into temptation, when does John’s account tell us Judas’ decision to betray Jesus is made?

22:6 Judas is not only a betrayer but liar/conspirator. He gives the religious authorities information to be used against Jesus, and then he returns to Jesus and the twelve for fellowship and meals until a better time arises.

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