New Hope Church

Day 37 – Lenten Devotional


The Wednesday Plot of Betrayal – Decisions

Luke 22:3-6  3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

We live in a world of a continuous stream of exercising options, always asking ourselves the constant question, “What do I do now?” You have before you the ability to choose and what you decide to do, how you decide to act, can have good or evil consequences of very small or very large proportions. Theologians have wrestled with this concept of “freewill” for centuries and is beyond the scope of this devotional (read this Norman Geisler article for more on freewill).  Therefore, we will confine our time here to the Biblical account of what happened on Wednesday, two days before the Passover, where the ultimate decision of humankind was made, “Do I accept Jesus Christ as Savior or not?”

The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us that “Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him.” (Mark 14:1) The religious leaders were witnesses of Jesus Kingly entrance three days before, saw Him overturn the money changer’s tables in the Temple on Monday, and were on the receiving end of theological chastisement on Tuesday. They also were brought information on His various miracles including the healing the blind man (John 9) and raising Lazarus from the dead (John 12:9-11) that inform us of the evil jealousy and contempt in their hearts.
They had a choice, “Do we accept Jesus as King, Savior and Lord and ignore these evil thoughts of jealousy and contempt?”
or “Do we deny Him and get rid of this dangerous false teacher and carpenter from Nazareth?”
They were unwilling to accept Jesus as Christ and made the evil decision.

As it turned out they had a willing accomplice, Judas Iscariot. Even though he followed Jesus for over three years, witnessed His many miracles, teachings, and prayers, He was enticed by Satan to go to the Jewish leaders and set a plot to betray Jesus. Many have speculated the reasons for Judas actions, but we simply do not know for sure. What we do know is that Judas had a decision to make when the diabolical thought came up in his head.
Judas had a choice, “Do I accept Jesus as my King, Savior and Lord and ignore these evil thoughts of betrayal?”
or “Do I deny Him and go to the Jewish leaders and betray Jesus?”
Judas made the evil decision.

In these circumstances of choice is an example of the most important decision you can make in your life, a choice that will save you and give you new life in Christ!

REFLECT: If you do not know Christ then ask yourself, “What choice have I made about Jesus?” If you are a believer ask yourself, “What guides my choices every day, me or God?” What decisions are before you today? Make the right ones!

REPENT:  Change your ways. Pray to God about the choices before you today and the decisions you will make. Give your life to God today.

RESTORE:  Perhaps a way to act is asking “What would Jesus do?” However, the more you know the Word of God in Scripture by the power of the Holy Spirit, the more you can ask, “What would Jesus think?” Do that!

Romans 12:1-2  Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Pastor Tom Bellhy