Judas cupped his hands while one of the leading priests poured thirty pieces of silver into them. Judas’ eyes quickly scanned over the coins in his hands and then threw them at the priest’s feet. “You want me to betray the Son of God on the weekend of the Passover and it is only worth thirty pieces of silver to you! How dare you waste my time!”
The high priest watched Judas turn around to leave and put his hand on Judas’ shoulder, “Don’t go yet, son. My companions are of weak mind and do not realize the value of your actions. I cannot place a monetary value on what you are willing to do for us. Name your price.”
“Two-hundred pieces of silver,” Judas replied without turning around.
The high priest paused for a moment, then walked in front of Judas so that he could face him. “I will oblige, but only if I can witness the betrayal.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Judas said.
With that, the high priest went into another room of the temple. When he came back, he handed a heavy bag to Judas saying, “Here is your payment. You have three days to deliver one who calls himself ‘The Son of Man.’ If you do not, you will hang on the cross in his place.”
Judas smiled and replied, “You’ll have him tomorrow night.” With that, he gave them the plan. Judas returned to the place where Jesus and the disciples were staying, and told several disciples of his plan.
The next night, at the end of the Passover meal, a young boy ran up to Peter and whispered in his ear. Peter jumped up from his seat and began to cry, pacing back and forth. Several of the disciples tried to comfort him, but Peter would not talk to them.
Finally, Jesus said to him, “Peter, what has taken you aback so that you would run from our last meal together?”
“Rabbi,” he said, “I need you to perform one last miracle. Please. I need you to leave with me and perform a miracle.”
“Ah, Peter,” Jesus said, “the scriptures must be fulfilled and tonight is the night that it is to be done.” As Jesus was saying this, Judas, James, and John disappeared, but nobody noticed.
“But Rabbi,” Peter replied, “Are you not the Son of God? Can you not ensure that the scriptures are fulfilled? The scriptures do not specify a date. It does not have to be tonight, but if it is tonight, I will not be able to carry out Your will as I will have to tend to my family. My father is ill and he needs Your help.”
Jesus knew that by leaving with Peter He would fail to fulfill the scriptures, but He also knew that His Father would allow man to exercise free will, even if it would lead to his destruction. With a heavy heart, he went with Peter.
Moments later, James and John returned with the high priest. They told him, “Jesus is at the river praying with Peter. We have instructed Peter to bring him to us so that we may introduce you. Judas is just over the hill and will come give the signal once Jesus is here.”
An hour passed and the high priest turned to James and said, “Where is the one you call Christ? What is taking so long?”
James replied, “He devotes much time to his prayer. We must be patient.”
The high priest was unsatisfied with this response and began to raise his voice towards the disciples. While he was doing this he felt a hand on his shoulder.
Judas turned the high priest around and said, “Greetings teacher,” giving him a kiss on the cheek.
The high priest saw the mob behind Judas moving closer to him. Panic set in. They were armed with clubs, axes, and torches. “I am not the one who calls himself the ‘Son of God!” he exclaimed. “You have been deceived!” Out of the corner of his eye he saw a shovel and everything went black.
Days later the high priest drifted into consciousness and realized that he was hanging on a cross. He took his last breath and passed away.
Immediately, the sound of a gate being locked could be heard all across the world. Then, the ground opened up and swallowed the Earth into a pit of flames.
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