When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:…
You will observe the testimony which Judas bears to Christ and His religion. Had Christ been a deceiver Judas would have been aware of it; how valuable his testimony would have been against our Lord. Yet it is evident Judas had nothing to communicate. It is evident from the narrative of the evangelists that the devil had much to do with the treachery of Judas. In no case has Satan power over the individual except as that individual shall furnish him with advantages. It was the unrestrained covetousness of Judas which opened an access to the tempter. We must not excuse ourselves by accusing the devil; but it is distinctly said that he "put into the heart of Judas Iscariot," etc. How Satan succeeded in working up Judas to this treachery?
I. We may give it as in a high degree probable that the devil suggested to Judas that by placing Christ in the hands of His enemies he should ONLY AFFORD HIM AN OPPORTUNITY OF SHOWING HIS POWER BY DEFEATING THEIR MALICE. HOW easy for the traitor to argue "No harm but good will arise from the betrayal; he would actually be doing Christ a service!" In this way professing Christians comply with the customs of the world, fancying that they will disarm prejudice and recommend piety. Satan dealt with Judas as a man with a conscience that had to be pacified.
II. We may also suppose that, in place of suggesting to Judas the probability that Jesus would escape, SATAN PLIED HIM WITH THE CERTAINTY THAT JESUS WAS TO DIE. The prophecies attested this. Your treachery is needful, and so cannot be criminal. Men imagine that if their sins contribute to God's fixed purpose they cannot be guilty. The purpose would have been accomplished without the sin.
III. There is something very affecting in the fact THAT JUDAS GAVE HIMSELF UP TO DESPAIR ON SEEING THAT JESUS WAS GIVEN OVER TO DEATH. The moment a sinner is brought to see his own work in Christ's death, then is the moment for showing him his life in Christ's work. Only feel that we crucify Christ, and we are ready for being told that Christ was crucified for us.
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: