The most spectacular sin that has ever been committed in the history of the world is the brutal murder of Jesus Christ—the morally perfect, infinitely worthy, divine Son of God. That begs the question, "Which sin in the murder was the most spectacular?"

Was it the driving of the nails? The thrusting of the spear? The expediency of Pilate? The mockery of Herod? The weaving of the thorns and pushing them down on his head with glee? Peter's denial? The abandonment of all the Twelve? Or Judas, who kissed him for 30 pieces of silver?

If you forced me to chose one of those it would be Judas, because of the combination of evils in the heart of Judas. He held the moneybag and he was called a thief (John 12:6). His love of money was so great that he betrayed a man that he had lived with for three years, the very Son of God.

And Jesus had given him power to cast out demons—I believe Judas cast out demons. No reason to think that when he came back along with the others they all looked around and said, "How come Judas couldn't do it?" There is no hint. Judas worked miracles in the name of Jesus. He heard every word that he said when he "loved his own . . . even unto death" (John 13:1). And he sold him for thirty pieces of silver. Then he kissed him as the sign of betrayal.

He is called the son of perdition (John 17:12). He hanged himself to illustrate the horror of his own conscience (and I don't think there was any repentance there).

You measure the greatness of a sin and the spectacular dimension of a sin by several things. One is the one sinned against, and the other is the good that was done to you in spite of which you hurt the other person. And so, in view of all those it just seems to me that Judas had the greatest advantage, and Judas participated in the destruction of the Son of God to the fullest extent.

On the night of the Last Supper, Luke tells us in Luke 22:3-6 that "Satan entered into Judas. . . . He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray [Jesus] to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd." Later he led the authorities to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and betrayed Jesus with a kiss (Luke 22:47). With that, Jesus' death was sealed.

When Luke tells us in verse 3 that "Satan entered into Judas," several questions come to our minds. One is whether Satan simply mastered a good Judas or whether Judas was already walking sinfully in step with Satan, and Satan simply decided that now was the time. Another question is why Satan would do this, since the death and resurrection of Jesus would result in Satan's final defeat, and there is good reason to think that Satan knew that. And the third and most important question is: Where was God when this happened? What was his role or non-role in the most spectacular sin that ever was? Let's take these questions one at a time.

Satan's Power in Judas' Sinful Passions
When it says in Luke 22:3 that "Satan entered into Judas," how are we to think about the will of Judas and the power of Satan? Judas was not an innocent bystander when Satan entered into him. The apostle John tells us in John 12:6 that he was a "thief." When Judas complained that Mary had wasted money in anointing Jesus, John comments, "He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it."