I'm going to slow the readings down considerably this week so we can focus on the events that lead up to Good Friday.
Reading: Luke 22.1-23
Scripture: "Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present." - Luke 22.2-6, NIV
Observations: Judas agrees to betray Jesus. Why? Neither Luke nor the other gospels tell us why. Luke says only that "Satan entered Judas." Was Judas angry at Jesus? Some think he was trying to help Jesus by putting him in a position where he had to exercise his power and bring in God's kingdom. Or, was Judas simply in it for the money and he realized that following Jesus was getting him nowhere? We don't know. Luke doesn't mention Judas' remorseful suicide (Mt. 27). He only mentions that Jesus was aware of the betrayal and was resigned to the plan, for Jesus knew that this Passover meal would be far more meaningful than usual. And from then on people have gathered around the cup and the bread... "in remembrance of [him]."
Apply: I don't understand why Judas did what he did, and I don't think we're supposed to understand. What I do understand is that Jesus didn't stop him, for Jesus willfully went to the cross, and in that awful event he offered himself as a sacrifice for all who, in small ways and sometimes great ways, like Judas, would betray him.
Prayer: How can I ever say "thank you" enough, Jesus, for forgiving me for the ways in which I too have betrayed you? May my deep gratitude be evident in the way I live for you and in the way I treat others, especially when I may feel betrayed.