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September 6, 2017: Satanic Betrayal

Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 14-16Proverbs 12:1-16Luke 22:1-13Hebrews 4:1-11

Luke 22:1-13:

(22:1) It is almost Passover and Jesus is making preparations, not just to eat the Passover with his disciples, but also to be the fulfillment of that Passover in his own death for the sin of the world. Note: all of these Old Testament types and figures find their landing place in none other than Christ and him crucified. Note also how planned and prepared Jesus is for each of the events that will unfold. He is the master of ceremonies even at his own death, which he entered into willingly for the sake of us whom he loves.

(22:2) The chief priests and the scribes are trying to put Jesus to death—which in God’s sovereignty will be the means he uses to be put to death to save sinners. But why are they so opposed to Jesus? “They feared the people.” They cannot come right out and kill him because Jesus is popular. So they seek underhand, hidden ways to undermine him. Those who work in the dark usually have a goal which they do not want brought into the light. We who are children of the light are to live always in the light, open and clear in our methods and aims.

(22:3-5) Why would Judas betray Jesus? It is unfathomable. We are given here two answers, the one more prominent and explicit, the other more implicit. Implicitly, Judas gained monetarily by his betrayal. People will do things for money that beggar belief: beware the love of money for it is the root of all kinds of evil. Money is a useful tool but a devilish master. Use the things of this world as if you do not belong to this world, for the world will very soon pass away. Invest your resources in heaven where you will spend eternity, not in this world whose clock ticks away your mortality.

Explicitly, we are told that “Satan entered into Judas.” There is a supernatural reason for this betrayal. We are to avoid both kinds of errors when it comes to the devil. We are to avoid the reductionist error that denies there is a devil, or diminishes his reality to such an extent that he might as well not exist. On the other hand, we are also to avoid the error that denies the devil is defeated, and so become fascinated with his evil and fearful of it. We, in Christ, have power to overcome all the works of the evil one. We simply resist him, and he will flee from us. Satan entered into Judas, though, and the explanation for many otherwise inexplicable evils is found in this reality: not the excuse “the devil made me do it” (for Judas is culpable in his betrayal as it was his decision made for monetary gain), but that there is a deeper malevolent spirit at work. The Nazi regime, with all its horrors, was fascinated by the occult. We therefore, as Christians, are to wage war, not as the world does, but with spiritual weapons against spiritual foes—using the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, putting on the whole armor of God, and praying in the Spirit on all occasions. And when the day of evil comes, simply stand, and he will not be able to overcome those of us who are in Christ and wearing the armor of God.

(22:7-13) The preparation for the Passover is made possible presumably because (as John’s Gospel records) this was not the first time that Jesus had come to Jerusalem and so had forethought ahead in his preparation. Note: while we must not deny the spiritual realm or the spiritual dynamic, we are also to be practical in our preparations and our planning, as Jesus was here.

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