Two thousand years ago, a group of highly intelligent men got together and planned a murder. It would require the coordinated efforts of various rival factions from within the nation, and the assistance of enemy forces occupying it. The saying goes, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
A traitor would need to be found within the enemy’s inner circle. The chain is as strong as its weakest link. One had to be found. There had to be at least one that was prideful and vain and therefore easily manipulated. Of course there was one who was weak in conscience and extremely strong headed. There always has to be one. One who considers themselves as having been bruised, scared and hurt; yet unwilling to admit that they themselves have scared, bruised and hurt so many by their sarcasm, hypocrisy, and downright lies. The authorities would never go to him: to risky. After all, the Lord was still loved and appreciated by many. The entire plan could be a wash, scrapped, if they picked the wrong man. No, this person would have to come to them, to the Chief, the boss, and lay it all out - all his hatred, bitterness and resentment towards The Target. They knew fallen human nature very well; they lived it on a daily basis! They knew that one of them, one of his disciples, would eventually seek his own pitiful interests above the interests of goodness, righteousness and holiness.
Still, they must have been shocked when they saw the traitor approach them for the first time. I am sure they were at first speechless to see who it was. It was not a disciple; it was one of the Twelve; one from His inner circle. But of course! After all, who would know better than anyone else the target’s humanity? Who else would have seen him exhausted, hungry or even sick and begin to doubt his divinity? Of course it would be one of the Twelve that would spill, spew and vomit his guts and tell them all that they wanted to hear. Regardless of their pleasure in having found their traitor the Chief must have asked himself, "Why in the world would The Target have accepted this person? Why in the world would he have agreed to take this person in his inner circle? He should never have accepted him in the first place! We know the answer. We know why the Lord would have taken someone like this guy in the first place. It was all out of love.
Now, all that was required was a sign and the right moment. A network of spies, manipulators, and deceitful men had been gathered, groomed and highly encouraged to testify against The Target. Collaboration in their stories was a top priority, but not a show stopper. It couldn’t all be perfect; otherwise, someone might suspect that it had been a setup; that it had all been planned. We now know that it was all planned, not from evil men (surprise), but from the God who can take evil and transform it into Good. The Chief priest had prophesized without even knowing it.
Those who plot will end up (along with their victim) very lonely. But their endings couldn't be more different. The Lord will rise. These men will never see daylight again. The conspirators have expired.
O Lord, may I never fall in this trap, of wishing harm upon my enemies, upon those who hurt me. May I never seek the death of the sinner, but rather their conversion. Amen.