7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna[a] to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]
“Hosanna[c] in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?" 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Matthew 21:7-11
They were seeing Jesus as a conquering hero -- the reception they were given him was the exact thing they did for military heroes. The disciples were elated! Finally, everyone sees him for what he is!
The crowd was celebrating Jesus, exactly what the disciples had been wanting.
4 days later they wanted him killed!
20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Matthew 27:20-23
This is that mob mentality. This was a massive betrayal because of persuasion. Doesn't this happen all the time in our present-day society? The right personality, the perfect charismatic person -- opinions are easily swayed by a powerful persona. Jesus expected this betrayal.
Be careful of the mob mentality. Don't get swept away in it. Be careful.
A betrayal from within: Judas
"3 Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.[b]” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it." John 12:3-6
This is when Judas turned. He wanted to be in the powerful circle; in the important circle.
Mary understood Jesus's role. Judas didn't. He was looking at it all with a selfish viewpoint. He wanted what he wanted. Jesus wasn't being the kind of Messiah he wanted. He was focused on himself, not Christ. He wanted his own way. He didn't get it. He wrote Jesus off completely. And what is worse -- he betrayed Jesus looking him in the eye.
"26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night." John 13:26-30
Be watchful ourselves -- don't look to Jesus in a selfish way.
Then, Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss:
"47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”[a]
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him." Matthew 26:47-50
Notice Jesus's reaction to Judas. He calls him friend. Our motivation needs to be like Christ's.
Sin is sin. Are we any better than Judas? He hung himself because he was wrong, not because he was sorry. Do I have that selfish seed in me?
Betrayal out of fear -- Peter:
"15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[a] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it." Matthew 16:15-18
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Matthew 16:23
Peter didn't want Jesus to go away. He didn't want to lose him. He was concerned with human concerns. Not God's concerns.
"31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’[a]
32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same." Matthew 26:31-35
But then, Peter caves to the pressure -- to his fear....
"69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.
70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”
73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”
74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly." Matthew 26:69-75
But Peter came back. If you give in because of pressure or fear, just come back to Jesus.