Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. 2 So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. Matthew 27:1-2
The religious leaders were actively plotting Jesus’ death. They were murdering Him and felt justified in doing so. They believed that handing Him over to Pilate would wash their hands of His blood.
Getting into the minds of those who think evil good and good evil is difficult for most of us. The evil, though, have unlimited ways of justifying their actions.
Yes, Judas was culpable for handing Jesus over to them.
The leaders, however, were fully responsible for His death. Spilling innocent blood was (and still is) condemned strongly in the Law: Proverbs 6:16-19, Exodus 23:7, Isaiah 59:7-8. The leaders knew the Law inside and out, and so they knew what they were doing.
They obviously didn’t have the Holy Spirit to show them they were wrong. Though with something like murder, that’s clearly not a Holy Spirit action but a legal and moral one.
How and why do people veer so far from the truth? Make no mistake, these leaders knew the truth but rejected it for their own gain.
For Believers, it’s not difficult to let one sin slide, and then another, and another, and so on. You can easily get weighted down if you’re not careful. That’s why we need to daily give our sins, burdens, hurts over to Christ.
It’s really the only way to live.