Why did Jesus have to be betrayed? Judas betrayed Jesus, turning Him in to the religious leaders for thirty pieces of silver – that was equivalent to the price of a slave during that time.
Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant (slave), and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.Philippians 2:6-7
Jesus was on a mission to to destroy the devil’s work, restore man to God – to bring man ever closer than before, to know God as their own Father. We understand the sacrifice of Jesus was necessary to pay the price for man’s sin – but why was there a need for Judas? Why the close betrayal from someone within His intimate circle of twelve disciples?
The answer is found in the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden – when Adam betrayed God Himself. Adam and Eve had the most intimate relationship with God. Adam had been entrusted with the stewardship of the garden and held the keys of authority in the earth as God’s representative.
When Adam broke covenant with God he betrayed the relationship. It was ultimately Adam’s betrayal of God the made it necessary for man to be rescued from the dominion of darkness – for when he disobeyed God he chose another “lord and master”. (Col. 1:13) Adam became a slave of sin turning the keys of his God-given authority over to the devil. In order to see all things made right from the rebellion in the Garden of Eden – a “Judas” was necessary.
The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.Matthew 26:24
For Judas, as Jesus said, it would have been better if he had not been born – but it had to happen this way. There had to be an equivalent betrayal as Jesus stood in our stead. Once God was betrayed, now man had to be betrayed to bring full justice. Jesus represented all mankind as He died on the cross and as He was betrayed “as man” – even the second Adam.
The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.I Corinthians 15:47
Just as God was betrayed once before, so now He was betrayed again – except in the form of man. Man was now betrayed the same way God was betrayed. This is the glory of Jesus Christ. The picture is God taking our punishment for everything – all the betrayal, all the judgement and all the condemnation. Every aspect of the mess that Adam’s sin had caused in this world Jesus took upon Himself – even becoming the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.
The Perfect Man
On the cross, God put all the sins of the world upon Jesus as He was the perfect man, the Lamb of God without sin and without blemish. He took our punishment upon Himself. Every detail of the needed judgement upon man was accomplished on the cross. He literally became sin.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.2 Corinthians 5:21
The very entity and power of sin was broken as Jesus gave His perfect life and was raised from the dead. The cross became the epicenter of God’s glory when Jesus surrendered His life for us.
Since Jesus was perfect and without sin, He could take the judgement, but as a perfect man without sin death had no power over Him. He was resurrected by the “spirit of holiness”. (Romans 1:4) He Himself had the power to lay down His life and raise it up because sin had no place in Him.
No one takes it (my life) from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”John 10:18
Now He lives as the Lamb of God – glorified forevermore. Jesus is set in the highest place above the heavens because He paid the highest price for us to become his own and to inherit eternal life.
For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.Hebrews 7:26