“And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” —Luke 22:47-48
It is appointed that he must die, but how shall he fall into the hands of his adversaries? Shall they capture him in conflict? It must not be, lest he appear an unwilling victim. Shall he flee before his foes until he can hide no longer? It is not meet that a sacrifice should be hunted to death. Shall he offer himself to the foe? That were to excuse his murderers, or be a party to their crime. Shall he be taken accidentally or unawares? That would withdraw from his cup the necessary bitterness which made it wormwood mingled with gall. No; he must be betrayed by his friend that he may bear the utmost depths of suffering, and that in every separate circumstance there may be a well of grief. One reason for the appointment of the betrayal, lay in the fact that it was ordained that man’s sin should reach its culminating point in his death. God, the great owner of the vineyard, had sent many servants, and the husbandmen had stoned one and cast out another; last of all, he said, “I will send my Son; surely they will reverence my Son.” When they slew the heir to win the inheritance, their rebellion had reached its height.
—Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, February 15, 1863 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 9 Sermon No. 494, “The Betrayal”