Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples, spent intimate time with Jesus listening to Him and seeing with his own eyes the power of His testimony. The day came where he would have deep regret. He allowed the enemy to lead him down a dark road. A road that he thought was the right road but wasn’t.
The enemy continues leading everyone and anyone who will disregard God in some way down the dark road.
His tactics have not changed. In Matthew 27:1-10, you see how Satan operates. This passage reveals the enemy’s finest hour. Jesus was in Satan’s hands.
Notice the time of day. In verse 1 it says, “Very early in the morning.” I have heard from many sources that the side of evil in the spiritual realm is the most active in the middle of the night. I believe this to be true for I will awaken in the night and have to battle swirling, negative thoughts.
Pay attention to who is gathering to make plans to execute Jesus. The leading priests and elders are plotting to destroy the work of God; see verse 1. Shouldn’t they be following and praising the King of kings? Are they not believers in God? Are they not the ones who lead people to faith in God and walk in His ways?
These leading priests and elders allowed their hearts to disregard God in the most subtle ways. They couldn’t see Truth two feet in front of them. They believed incorrectly. Their flesh (their mind and soul) was for God, but their hearts were not.
When your heart is not for God, nothing matters. You will sell Truth for a lie. When your heart is for God, everything changes. You will follow Truth whole-heartedly when you open your heart to Jesus. Look at Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, and Luke 10:27 to learn more. The religious leaders sold Truth for a lie.
The work of the devil is the same today as it was back then. It is vital that you remain alert to his tactics or else he will lead you away. Since God gives free will, you choose if you want to follow His Son or not. Satan knows this and he takes full advantage of it.
Look at how he persuades unsuspecting souls:
1. Jesus was bound up; see verse 2. Once truth is bound, the father of lies can begin his work of destruction. You see, Satan hates God. He has a vengeance against Him. Those who choose to follow God over himself, well, he will take you down any way he can. He knows he’s been defeated when Jesus conquered the power of death by resurrecting from it. Satan, forevermore, has to remain under Jesus’ authority. So, if he is going down the with his ship, aka this world, he is going to take whomever he can with him.
Embrace all of the truth that is found within the pages of God’s Word. Believe and be changed by it.
2. Also in verse 2, Jesus was led away. Evil cannot reside with godliness. They are like oil and water. They will not mix together. When you follow the enemy, you will be led away from the presence of God.
Learn to live God’s way and separate yourself from worldly ways.
3. Ignorance is a subtle tool in Satan’s arsenal. Verse 3 shows how Judas didn’t realize that Jesus was going to be put to death. When he did realize, how did he react? You do not have to follow blindly like Judas.
You have the Bible. Study it, memorize it, know it well. It is your hedge of protection against evil.
It is important to realize who you are dealing with. Satan and his demons are as real as the Trinity and the angels. There is a fierce battle going on in the spiritual realm for your soul. Death is Satan’s number one goal.
When Judas realized what was happening, he changed. He had a change of heart. You see this change in verses 3-4. He gave back the 30 pieces of silver that was payment for Jesus’ life to the priests. He then did what is crucial for every person wanting to get their life straight with God. He confessed his sin. “I have betrayed an innocent man.”4 You cannot enter into the presence of God without the confession of your sins. Proverbs 28:13 says, “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” Also look at Romans 10:9, Acts 17:30, and 2 Peter 3:9.
Judas took ownership of his sins.
4. Another tactic of the enemy is being uninterested in spiritual things. Look at how the priests and elders responded to Judas in verse 4. They should have shown mercy and grace, but instead they were uninterested. They simply didn’t care. Verse 5 reveals the damage done to a soul who comes clean and receives harshness.
Great damage is done when unforgiveness is allowed to simmer. Satan’s number one goal was achieved. I am greatly saddened when I hear people committing suicide, especially children. Satan is convincing way too many people that life isn’t worth it.
Are you uninterested in spiritual things? Does sitting in the presence of Christ bore you? Is reading the Bible monotonous and unapplicable to your life? If so, you are living like the priests and elders, or Judas.
5. Murder is the name of Satan’s game. The priests knew it. Look at verse 6 for they admitted what they did. Their consciences wouldn’t let them use the blood money for their church. That would be appalling, so they used the money to buy a potter’s field which got dug up often for clay and used it as a cemetery for foreigners who aren’t from that area. They remained unrepentant.
God will reveal your sins. Will you embrace His convictions? Do you see them from your loving Father who wants what is best for you or a god that wants to ruin all your fun?
This passage ends with a nugget of truth to hold on to as you walk with God. The events that took place were spoken of way before it happened. What was spoken by Jeremiah in 32:6-9 and Zechariah 11:12-13 were precursors to the Matthew passage. All of God’s words come true. There has never been a time in history where God has been wrong or has made a mistake. His Word is infallible.
In this season before Easter, may you allow God to take you deeper in your faith. Embrace His sacrificial love as He helps you to fall in love with Him. Your soul will be very happy.