HOLY WEEK – WEDNESDAY

Scripture References: Matthew 26:3-16, Mark 14:1-11, Luke 22:1-6

See Holy Week 2014 – Wednesday – Jesus Received Something Beautiful

I know this is a simple thought but everything that is written for today deals with Jesus’ death; the priest and Judas and Jesus being anointed. It has amazed me how many great stories and teachings take place in this week.

There is one thought has I just don’t buy even after hearing learned preachers and others have given their thoughts- Judas was not a poor misunderstood individual. I have put him into a play and just study him and his types and shadows from the Old Testament and I believe that the rebuke (yes, I think Judas was complaining) and the fact that he could not get his hands on the money for the perfume just sent him over the top. Please see my blogs on Judas and Judas in the Old Testament.

Matthew 26:3-16Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Judas in the Old Testament

Finding foreshadowing of the New Testament hidden in the Old Testament has been a study I always enjoy. This year I marked out months just for that in my study plan so here is the first. What I would attribute to Judas being like is found in several Psalms. I will mention the Psalm but also where I think the inspiration for that Psalm came from in scripture and who was the shadow of Judas.

Psalm 52David was writing this about Doeg the Edomite from 1 Samuel 22. He was the instrument of destruction for an entire branch of the priestly family; this was part of the sentence handed down from the Lord because of Eli and his wicked sons in 1 Samuel 2.  The final part of the story is found in 1 Kings 2:27.  Psalm 52:1 – 4 gives a look at what I think he was like: boasted of evil, practiced deceit, loved evil and spoke harmful words. Verses 5 -7 talks of his downfall and how he is remembered: in everlasting ruin, uprooted from the living, destroyed others.

Psalm 55 – Verses 12 – 14, 20 and 21 also talks about Judas’ character. “My companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked to the house of God”, Psalm 55:13,14 (NIV). And in verse 20 +21, “My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant.”  A possible point when this was birthed is 1 Samuel 22:3 when David is hiding his parents from King Saul.  But as I thought about it, it could be referring to his cousin Joab the commander of the army and a consistent problem for David or even his son Absalom.

Psalm 41:9 Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. This verse is quoted in John 13:18.

Psalm 109:1 – 20 – verse 8 is quoted in Acts 1:20 May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership. (Matthias) I think this Psalm was written because of Nabal in 1Samuel 25:35. The reason for this is in vs. 16 – 20 and describes both Nabal and Judas – never thought of doing a kindness, hounded the poor, needy and broken hearted, loved to pronounce curses and wore them like a garment.

Psalm 69:25 is also quoted in Acts 1:20 “let there be no one to dwell in their tents.”

Zechariah 11:12 – If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not keep it. So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. (Matt. 26:15)

So as expected Judas has some of the worst guys in the Bible providing his foreshadowing: Doeg the Edomite (priest killer), Nabal (the selfish fool) and possibly Joab (under minding cousin) and Absalom (son with ambition).

Judas

Several years ago I was part of an Easter play; I got to play Judas.  Not much of a start to an acting career but I played the bad guy as best as I could.  In the final scene I was already off stage and standing behind the tomb with Jesus getting ready for the Resurrection.  My view was Jesus leaving a dark tomb going into a bright stage; that is when this short piece got birthed.  I had to image Judas dead as Jesus came to get the keys to hell. (This is part of a play I have been writing.)

Judas- five minutes after

(kneeling, as the lights slowly come up)

The heat, why is it so dark?

Where am I?

There is light, coming toward me, man it is hot, that light is a man?

He is coming straight toward me.  Its Jesus, he is coming, Jesus, here I am.

(turning as if following motion) He is going straight to that door. Why didn’t he stop, why is it so hot?

(standing up, proudly)

I am Judas Iscariot; the most important of Jesus’ twelve disciples.  Jesus had me keep the moneybox.

(lower voice)

There was never was enough in it to keep me satisfied.

(sniffing) 

That smell. That’s the perfume Mary poured on Jesus.

(growling) She would be remembered but still I am the most important, it was worth a year’s wage.  Instead of selling it and giving me the money,

(lower voice) I had to go talk to the High Priest.  Oh, that smell, it needs to go away.

The heat, that smell, where did Jesus go?  What is crawling in my leg?

(just grabbing leg)  It feels like a worm, crawling inside my leg. (now hitting his leg)

That money, I could have, I mean we could have used it for the poor.

(lower voice) The priest gave me more than a year’s wage,

(crying) why didn’t they take it back.   He was innocent.

They should have listened to me; I am one of the Twelve; I have authority!

(turning quickly) Who is laughing at me?  What do you mean no authority here, why I cast you demons out.  Stop laughing, why is it so hot!

You should have seen me leading the army to get Jesus, I was the man; everyone listened to me.

( perplexed voice) His eyes, He knew, He was never angry.  Love in His eyes.

That parade into Jerusalem should have been for me, I am important you know, one of the Twelve.  Stop laughing; the heat.

The kiss, everyone was watching, watching me.

(grabbing stomach) That worm is crawling, when will this thing die.  What do you mean never? (looking around)

I saw the miracles; I heard His words.

(lower, talking to self) I was the one; the old prophets had talked about me.  Jesus knew all the time; He never said a word, just love.

I had the bread and wine of Passover. I am ok; nothing wrong with me,

(looking around) you sound like children singing songs.  Mothers were always bringing them, we were busy, we had no time for them.  He should have never told me to leave them alone.

I was the one who started the fight at dinner. That was pure genius; they stopped wondering who was going to betray Jesus.  It was so easy they were so caught up in that kingdom stuff.   I had the moneybox, and I would have been the leader.  Stop laughing.

(looking around, holding his head)

I should have been sitting on that donkey, not leading it. That fragrance; I smelled it for whole ride into Jerusalem. He knew, even then.

“Not me”, I said.  Made it sound just like everyone else asking that question. That piece of bread he gave me, never did finish it.  The voice telling me to leave, yelling at me that it was time to go.  How did Jesus know?  I was so careful, no one saw me go to the High Priest.

Water, that is what I need, water.  Just like He washed my feet with.  He knew, those eyes, He never told.  Just a tear.  They all thought I was going to help the poor.  I could do as I pleased; I had the money.  More than most of them had ever seen, thirty pieces of silver.

His touch as He washed my feet, He could have stopped me.  All He ever did was love me.   He trusted me with the money.  I threw it at them; they should have let Him go. He never did anything wrong.

(screams) Stop laughing.  When will it get cool, cool like the water on my feet.(slumps to ground)

(looking up) The door is opening, Jesus.   Oh that smell: what is rattling?  Sounds like keys, we’re going now, right!  Jesus, Jesus where are you going? (sobbing)

(standing up proudly) I am Judas Iscariot.

 (lights go out)The most important of the twelve disciples.