Last Updated on July 9, 2021 by Nicky Johnson
There’s a lot that we know about the crucifixion story (if not then please click here). We know that Jesus was betrayed. We know who betrayed him. But I’ve always wondered why Jesus needed to be betrayed.
Put another way, why did the Pharisees ask for Judas to betray Jesus? Why was Judas necessary?
Why did they need Judas to help them with their evil plot? Well if you’re wondering the same thing then I hope this post will help you understand why things went down the way they did.
First of all, if you don’t know about Christianity.stackexchange.com please go take a look-see. It’s a treasure trove of information and answers to questions that people have about Christianity.
The people there give deep biblically-based exegetical answers. It’s one of my favorite resources for gaining a deeper understanding of the word. If you have a question about the Bible it’s probably already been answered there.
Anywho, I just wanted to drop that bit of info on you just in case you didn’t know.
In John 18:20-21, Jesus said:
20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”
And of course (like always) Jesus was right. The Pharisees had seen Jesus all the time speaking teaching and healing people.
Why did they need Judas to be involved in the arrest?
Well based on the research I’ve done here are some important things to keep in mind about the arrest of Jesus:
1. The arrest had to be done at night so they wanted to be sure they had the right man.
The arrest had to be done at night (I’ll mention why in the next point). So think about the time period. They don’t necessarily have the bright city lights that some of us have in our cities. So in order to make sure they had the right man, they needed someone in Jesus’ inner circle who could positively identify him.
Enter Judas. He was in Jesus’ inner circle but didn’t have a problem throwing him under the bus in order to get paid. So Judas was close enough to Jesus to ID Him but not close enough emotionally to care what happened to Jesus once He was arrested.
2. It happened at night so the Pharisees could do the arrest with the least amount of blowback and criticism.
There’s a reason why most criminals do their deeds at night. Most people are sleep, relaxed, not out in the streets.
See: Last Days Of Jesus
Remember all of this happened super late like around midnight. The Pharisees didn’t want too many obstacles standing in their way because they knew what they wanted to happen ( Jesus on a cross) and they knew it was illegal the way they were doing it.
Just think about it.
Say you get accused of something heinous in America and you get arrested, tried multiple times, convicted, sentenced to death and executed all in a matter of hours. I mean has this ever been legal in any country or government anywhere at any time?
If so please tell me where so I’m sure not to go there.
3. Many men had a similar look back then.
Ever seen members of a family and thought they all look alike?
I’m thinking many of the Jewish men looked similar in first-century Jerusalem. Darker colored skin, darker hair, darker eyes, beards. Probably not a ton of variation in how the men looked and the Bible says that Jesus didn’t stand out as handsome so he was average in looks.
So Judas ( or someone) definitely needed to help them figure out who Jesus was. It would have been easy to arrest and execute the wrong man without the identification by Judas.
Did this answer your question?
I hope this post answered a few questions you had about Jesus’ arrest. I wanted to share this with you in case you too had wondered why Jesus needed to be betrayed.
Regardless of the reason, I’m so grateful for the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. Because bottom line He certainly could have put a stop to the whole thing as soon as Judas betrayed him.
But then where would we be as a human race? Lost. But thank God he didn’t leave us to our own evil devices. If you don’t know the gospel you can click here and find out more about Jesus and who He is.