The timing of Jesus’ arrest and death at the Passover feast is significant. The Passover was an annual festival to remember that the blood of the lamb that had been sacrificed rescued the Israelites from slavery. Jesus is the Lamb of God whose blood, shed and applied in our lives rescues us from slavery to sin. Hallelujah!
Satan entered Judas
Demonisation has become a hot topic for some in the church recently, so is worthy of further comment. “Possessed” is a poor translation of the original Bible word and so talking of demonisation is better. Demons can be in, on, or oppress people to differing extents. In Isaiah 61 Jesus talks of captives and prisoners being set free by the anointing of the Spirit. The word captives implies people who have been taken captive through no fault of their own. Trauma, defilement by others through things like sexual abuse can (but definitely not always) be entry points for oppression by demons. The term prisoner implies that the person has done something wrong – so occult involvement, persistent sin or attitudes like anger and hatred are often entry points for demonisation. Demons can therefore gain influence (either in, on or by oppression) over people to a greater or lesser extent because of doorways that have been opened by things that have happened to us or things we have wilfully participated in like lust or occult involvement.
Don’t be frightened. He that is in us is greater than he that is the world! God is large and in charge.
Jesus won the victory over Satan and demons at the cross, disarming them and making a spectacle of them (Col 2:14-15). They no longer have any legitimate authority over you as a believer and only gain it because of those doorways mentioned earlier, that have been opened or left open. You can tell them where to go! The truth will set you free. Often by believing the truth, the door is shut and they have to go. Sometimes prayer ministry is required.
Verse 3 is a special case. “Satan entered Judas” is pretty extreme. What Judas opened himself up to do is arguably the second worst sin ever (after Adam & Eve). Judas was empowered by Satan himself to betray our Lord. Even though Satan is empowering Judas, he is responsible for his choices: “he went out”, “he conferred”, “how he might betray”, “he consented”, “he sought an opportunity.” Jesus has a better plan up his sleeve though!
The ultimate Passover is about to happen. Jesus has no home of his own, but has made some prophetic preparations to arrange the Passover feast for Him and His disciples. The series of meals that makes up the book of Luke is about to be climaxed with the Lord’s supper. When we follow Jesus’ example and Paul’s exhortation to keep doing it until Jesus returns, we are keeping the cross central and the power of the cross to forgive sin, heal the sick and set us free uppermost in our minds.
Straight after the first Lord’s supper we see an example of how spiritual growth is frustratingly slow in us as well as the 11 disciples. They start arguing over who is the greatest. They need baptism in the Holy Spirit and repeated ongoing infillings to empower them for holiness and service just as we do!
The last paragraph is somewhat perplexing and seemingly contradictory to other more pacifistic passages. Why does Jesus tell them to buy a sword and why is two swords enough for the 12 of them about to face the angry mob. Clearly it is not enough and Jesus doesn’t want them to use them anyway. Two swords is enough for the quoted prophecy of Isa 53:12 to be fulfilled. Jesus is numbered among the transgressors. Peter misunderstood Jesus’ words and used his sword to cut off the Chief Priest’s ear. Not a hugely helpful start to a knife fight! Jesus rebukes him and heals the ear (Matt 26:52-53) because he doesn’t want violence. Jesus is thus sinless and numbered with the transgressors fulfilling Old Testament prophecy.
Thank you Jesus that you became sin for us and took all our sin away. It’s enough! Amen