Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?"This moment preludes Judas' actual betrayal of Jesus, which in turn leads to many events that lead Jesus to the cross. There is intrigue, suspense, and an impending sense of disaster... for it all leads to a clash between the powers of good and evil - and it all happens through the betrayal of this one young man.
So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (Matthew 26:14-15)
Again - this is more than a moment in the Bible or human history. This is the daily struggle each of us faces when we toss around whether we will follow Jesus or trade Him for something else.
Some believe Judas made the arrangement with the Pharisees to betray Jesus on purpose because he'd grown tired of following Him; others believe Judas was a true "patriot" to the cause and was trying to force Jesus into a situation where He could exert His power, thereby revealing Himself to the world; still others think that Judas was simply greedy.
No matter what the reason was, Judas chose not to do one one simple thing - follow Jesus "as is."
How often do we want to trade the real Christ for a different version? Whatever our motive may be, we seem to want the Jesus who nods and smiles when we do nice things, but who is somehow blind and whistles while looking away when we intentionally and selfishly break away from Him.