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Treasures of the Fathers: Eve of Good Friday of the Holy Pascha

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The Jews, Judas, and Satan

Let us see the course of the devil’s spite and the result of his crafty plans against Christ. The devil had implanted in the leasers of the Jewish synagogue envy against Christ, which even leads to murder. This disorder always leads, so to speak, to the guilt of murder. At least, this is the natural course of this vice. It was the way with Cain and Abel, and it clearly was so in the case of Joseph and his brothers. The divine Paul also very clearly makes these sins neighbors and relatives of one another. He spoke of some as full of envy and murder. [Rom. 1:29]

The Jewish leaders sought to murder Jesus at the instigation of Satan, who had implanted this wickedness in them and who was their captain in their wicked projects. Satan is himself the inventor of murder, the root of sin and the fountain of all wickedness.

Why did Satan rather not enter blessed Peter, James or John, or some other of the rest of the apostles? Why Judas Iscariot? What did Satan find in him? Stan could not approach any of these we have mentioned here, because their heart was steadfast and their love to Christ immovable. There was a place for Stan in the traitor. The bitter disease of greed, which the blessed Paul says is the root of all evil [1 Tim. 6:10], had overpowered him. Satan is crafty in working evil. Whenever he gains possession of anyone’s soul, he does not attack him by means of general vice. He rather searches for that particular passion that has power over him and by its means makes him his prey.

Judas lost heaven for a little silver. He missed the crown of immortality and the desirable honor of the apostleship. He missed to be numbered among the twelve to whom Christ somewhere said, "You are the light of the world." [Mt. 5:14].

+ Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke, Homily 140.

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