John 18:1-3 – “When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.”
The scene for the betrayal of Jesus is haunting. Under the darkness of night, as more than six hundred soldiers were preparing a military operation against Him, Jesus and His eleven disciples cross the Kidron Valley. Kidron means dark and the spiritual and literal darkness converged. The time of year was the Passover when perhaps 200,000 lambs were slain. This caused a river of blood to flow through the Kidron Valley alongside the Temple.
One of the ways that Satan works is to form an unholy alliance. To murder Jesus Christ, the unholy alliance was brought together by Judas Iscariot whom had welcomed Satan to control him (John 13:27). It included political leaders from the Roman Empire, and religious leaders from the chief priest and Pharisees. These two groups absolutely despised one another and had constant tension and friction. But, they came together led by Judas their common leader and against Jesus their common enemy. This is how Satan forms an unholy alliance.
Jesus often met with His men in a beautiful garden that was likely owned by a supporter of Jesus’ ministry who gave them access. Knowing that private place, Judas leads the armed militia as the place for meeting with God was now going to be the place for murdering God.
Judas is the prime of example of a covert person. Sneaky, dishonest, and self-serving, he has been stealing from Jesus’ ministry and obviously been plotting and planning the betrayal of Jesus for a long time. To organize religious and political leaders along with their armed soldiers to collaborate for an evening raid at an appointed meeting place was a well-coordinated political, religious, legal, and military operation.
How devastating this must have been for Jesus and His 11 men. Just hours earlier, they had eaten the Last Supper Passover meal with Judas and now he was in the process of destroying their ministry and Messiah.
Have you ever been a betrayer like Judas? Have you even been betrayed by a Judas?