And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.
Behind closed doors and in dark hearts, men may scheme and plot. But God was involved even in this part of the plan. The chief priests wanted to kill Jesus, but they couldn’t figure out how they were actually going to be able to do that. They couldn’t legally arrest Jesus and put Him to death. And the people would never accept that, because many had not only believed, but the multitudes sought Jesus for healing and to see His miracles and hear His Word.
But there was someone among Jesus’ own camp who would be willing to betray. He had within him the capacity to turn on his Lord and to be influenced by Satan. But Jesus had chosen Judas as one of the 12 knowing exactly what would happen a few years later. So though it seems like the Pharisees’ plan came together and they were able to work out all the details to bring about Jesus’ death, beneath the surface, it was all being orchestrated by God Himself. Judas would have never been part of the group if he wasn’t part of the plan.
Though we can mourn Jesus’ death, the tragedy and injustice of it all, though we can pity Jesus for the pain and suffering that He endured, we also rejoice in the good that resulted from that event. Jesus secured our salvation. God’s will was done. And God brought all of that about and accomplished it in an unlikely way through unlikely people. No one can do anything outside of God’s will as He allowed all of these things to happen and uses what they meant for evil for an ultimate good.
If we stop and look, we can see God’s hand in everything. If we look back on the timeline of history, if we compare those events, if we understand Scripture, we’ll see that God is in control. He is working. He is bringing things to pass. And He uses even those who reject and betray to bring about what is good and best for us. In every situation, even the darkest, the hardest, and the worst, may we look for how God is working. May we seek to understand what His purposes are. And may we remember that God can truly use something for good that men meant for evil.