Tuesday, January 7, 2014

And it Was Night

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus' side,[e] 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus[f] of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
“And it was night.” The words are ominous. Jesus knows who is going to betray him. Until the very end he offers peace and friendship. He sops a piece of bread. He offers it to Judas. We can learn that Jesus is tireless in his love. Jesus offers friendship to his enemies, to the very end in the face of betrayal and being given over to murder Jesus offers friendship, he offers love. But within minutes Satan has entered Judas and Jesus gives him an order. “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
Jesus is in control. He knows what is going to be done, and he orders it to be done. He doesn’t go unwillingly, but willingly. He goes to his death. He knows it must be done. He doesn’t try to thwart Judas. His will is that the evil will of Judas is accomplished. Judas doesn’t act against his will, even if Satan possesses him at this time. His will works evil willingly. And Jesus uses his evil will for good. Judas means it for evil, just as Josephs brothers meant evil selling Joseph into slavery in Egypt, but God used it for the salvation of many. So Judas will sell Jesus to accomplish his own evil purposes, but God will use all things for good for those who love him, even his death. Judas leaves immediately, and it was night.

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