Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people. Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd. Luke 22:1-6
The priests, scribes and Pharisees were desperately seeking a way to get rid of Jesus. Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem was the worst possible nightmare for the Jewish leaders. These leaders had come to a tenuous understanding with Rome, keep the peace in Palestine and Rome would let the priests continue in their roll of leaders of the Jewish people.
When the Romans conquered a people they would let the conquered keep their gods. In fact often the Romans would add the new gods to their own pantheon of gods. After all what is one or two more gods in the great scheme of things? But, and this was important, the conquered people had to put the Caesar as the top god. Caesar was to be the only king of the Roman Empire. Most of the conquered had no problem this this arrangement.
The Jews however were a very different sort of people. They worshiped one God and one God only, the LORD God. They refused to worship any other gods. So rather than annihilate the Jews Rome accepted the Jewish form of worship only as long as the peace was kept. After all Palestine was just a Roman backwater and really only important as a gateway to Egypt.
Then here come Jesus riding triumphantly into Jerusalem with the people proclaiming Jesus the King Messiah. The priest knew this would only lead to trouble with Rome. They had to get rid of Jesus but they also had to keep the crowd mollified. Along come Judas and it looks like there may be a solution to their problem.
Judas seemed to be motivated by greed. Maybe he was still unhappy at the amount of money that had been spent when Jesus was anointed at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper. Or he may have become disenchanted with Jesus for some other reason. What we do know is that Satan entered Judas Iscariot and caused Judas to betray Jesus for a sum of money. They funny thing is that in doing so Satan was helping in his own downfall.
Things are now in motion that will lead to Jesus’ arrest, trial and execution.
Have a blesses day,