Matthew 26:14-25

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests

15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.

16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

17 Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’”

19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve.

21 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”

23 He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me.

24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.”

The account of the meal also appears in Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13; John 13:1-29.

Thirty pieces of silver (v.15) — about a month’s wages — Prophesied in Zechariah 11:12. — The price one had to pay for killing or making useless another’s slave (Exodus 21:32).

In keeping with the previous decision (Matthew 26:5), Judas sought an opportunity to betray Christ secretly so as not to start a riot. Judas’ unexpected offer changed the timetable arranged by the Sanhedrin. They had thought it necessary to plan the death of Christ after the Passover. If it had not been for Judas’ offer, the arrest of Jesus in all likelihood would have been postponed. But now that an accuser had presented himself, the Sanhedrin moved with haste.

Judas offered to do more than merely identify Him. Identification would have been unnecessary, for all the Sanhedrin were very familiar with Christ; all had seen and heard Him many times. Judas agreed to fulfill a point of Roman law, a necessary requirement if the Sanhedrin was to proceed with their plot to execute Christ. A person could not be brought to trial before a Roman court until an indictment had been officially lodged against him, charging him with a crime. This indictment had to be signed by witnesses who, by signing the indictment, agreed to appear in order to give testimony for the prosecution against the accused. Thus Judas offered himself as a witness against Christ. He agreed to go before the Roman courts when Christ was brought to trial on a yet undetermined charge. — Pentecost, page 415.

betray (v.16) — The same word in the original is translated “deliver” in vs. 15

first day of the feast (v.17) — the 14th of Nisan, beginning at sundown on the 13th

The day referred to, the 14th of the month Abib or Nisan (Exodus 12:6), was only in a loose and popular sense the first day of the festival. It was strictly the preparation day, when all arrangements had to be completed for the commencement of the festivities, immediately after sunset. As however these arrangements were, so to speak, the inception of the festivities, the day was sometimes, as here, spoken of as the first day of the festival. Hence in Josephus’ Antiquities, we read, “we keep a feast for eight days, which is called the feast of the unleavened,” while in the same Antiquities, he says, “the feast of the unleavened falls on the fifteenth day of the month, and continues seven days. — Pentecost, page 416.

On Thursday morning Peter and John, according to the custom, would go to the Temple and provide for the lamb, which they must purchase and take to the priests who had to pass upon it. Early in the afternoon the lamb would be killed in the Temple court, offered at the altar, and, after the blood was poured out at the altar and a certain part of the Lamb was reserved for the sacrifice, the rest would be wrapped in the skin and taken home. Before sunset, the carcass would be roasted in barbecue fashion and made ready for the meal at the blasts of the trumpet just at sunset. The apostles must provide also for the wine, unleavened cakes, bitter herbs, and the charosheth or paste of crushed fruits moistened with vinegar — symbolic of the clay with which the Israelites made brick in Egypt. — Pentecost, page 424.

The dipping of a piece of bread was a significant part of the Passover ritual. In the course of the paschal meal, the master of the feast would pick up some unleavened bread, which was a flat cake. He would put bits of lamb on the piece of bread, sprinkle some bitter herbs on it, and then roll it. Then he would dip the bread containing the meat and herbs into a bitter sauce. This bread would then be handed to a guest. The ritual would be repeated until a piece of bread had been provided for each guest.

In preparing the bread with the meat and herbs dipped in sauce, the master of the feast was reminding the participants of God’s promise to provide salvation. In receiving the piece of bread, each participant acknowledged his sin. Each also reaffirmed his faith in God’s promise that He would send a Messiah to take away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and each professed his willingness to receive the salvation which Messiah would offer.

Since the giving of the bread was in effect an offer of salvation, Christ was offering forgiveness to Judas if he would accept the offered salvation and put his faith in Him. Judas took the bread, but there is no record that he ate it as a sign of his acceptance of the Messiah’s offer of salvation. Rather, it seems that the moment he took the bread “Satan entered into him” (John 13:27). Judas left the bread untouched and went out from the Lord’s presence. He rejected the gracious offer of salvation. — Pentecost, page 430-431.

Judas probably asked (v.25) because the other apostles asked and would have noticed his silence. He was probably seated to the immediate left of Christ.

Rabbi (v.25) — Judas, alone, didn’t call Christ “Lord.”

You have said it (v.25) — an emphatic “Yes!”

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