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Judas looked up quickly, glancing around at the rest of the disciples, but nobody was looking at him, no one suspected.

Other than Yeshua.

Judas’ face flushed but then he gritted his teeth.

You’re doing it for his own good.  He´s ready.  He wants to make a statement.  Now´s his chance.  But the arguments that sounded so good when he was alone sounded hollow in front of Yeshua, himself.  Still, Yeshua wasn’t trying to stop him from carrying out his plans.

But he didn’t approve either.  That was clear.

No.   It was too late for second thoughts.

Everything was in place.  Tonight was the night it would happen.

They all wanted it over as quickly as possible and no one was willing to wait a moment longer.  They would know that Yeshua would be with his disciples tonight.  The crowds would be out of the way, celebrating their own Passover Seder in their homes and Yeshua would leave the city later in the evening to find a place to sleep in one of the groves or gardens surrounding the city as he had done every night that week.

It was time.

They had insisted on paying him thirty pieces of silver for his services, his betrayal.  Betrayal?  Is that what it was?  No, he was providing a service.  He was forcing Yeshua to make a stand and declare himself King of the Jews.

He took the money, of course.

Blood money, the elders had called it, but it wouldn’t come to that.  Yeshua was the Maschiach.  He believed it with all his heart.  He would not let himself be taken by the Romans to be crucified, and the Jews had no power to put anyone to death.  It was safe.  No, the money wouldn’t matter once Yeshua took control of the city.  And an extra thirty pieces of silver could be useful.

Still he was uneasy, unaware of the magnitude of the choice that he had already taken, unaware of the foothold that he had given the enemy to encourage him in a direction already decided upon.  Judas looked around the room at his friends, his Master.  He had always felt an outsider here.

Guilt is a difficult taskmaster, but Judas had learned to keep the guilt at bay with his patriotism.

Everything for the Great Cause.

*****

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The Temptations of the Cross by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
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Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.