Reading this account is like reading a screenplay. It has all the exciting elements of a movie culminating in the prelude to the death scene: the loud and angry crowd wanting blood, the betrayer suddenly feeling extreme remorse and the innocent, quiet victim.
As I watch this scene play out in my mind, I wonder who is to blame for the decision to crucify an innocent man. Is it Judas, the friend and constant companion, who identified Jesus as the one for the soldiers to arrest? Is it all the knowledgeable chief priests? Maybe the elders of the people trusted to be discerning leaders?
I can hear the loud and angry cries for the decision to dispose of Jesus in verse 1 All the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. Their angry voices, ugly faces wanting to remove this threat.
I see an anxious Judas, suddenly so overcome with remorse at what he was seeing unfolding for his friend. Did he think that they would not put Jesus to death? Did his greed for silver coin overwhelm his thinking? To be suddenly dismissed by the chief priests and elders must have been the last straw for him in his guilt. They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” I see and hear the 30 shiny pieces of silver burst from their bag as it hits the floor with a loud crack.
Who is the guilty party?
The contrast in the scene is with the quiet figure of our Lord. He was bound and lead away, roughly handled I imagine, but unprotesting. He knew what was ahead for him but was prepared to submit himself to it all.
I pray that today as I replay this scene in my mind I am reminded of what Jesus suffered for me. Would I have been one of the people calling out to take him away, swept up in the anger of the crowd and identifying with them? Would I have stood up for him, boldly protesting his innocence in front of the large number of accusing people?
There is so much more to say about the people who are unfairly treated or victimised in the world. Do I stand up and support them? Am I one of the guilty ones by not speaking up?
Dear Lord Jesus, words cannot express the thanks I feel for what you did for me on the cross. Please help me live the way you want so I can be a blessing in some way to others, no matter who they may be.