We usually say that Judas betrayed Christ. While it is true, this does not depict the entire life of our Lord on earth.
In fact, the life of our Lord on earth was between betrayals: He was betrayed shortly after He was born and He was betrayed shortly before His death.
While the last betrayal is more known, now we will focus on 1st betrayal: When the magi came from the east and asked “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him” then King Herod and all Jerusalem was disturbed. Why? Because there was a prophecy saying that “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.” (Genesis 49:10). King Herod (Herod the Great) was from Idumea, hence he was not from Judah. He was the first one who was not a Jew – he being the one who defeated the Hasmonean dynasty. So, the prophecy must happen during his reign. In this climate of expectation of the Messiah, the magi appear giving more strength to this expectation.
Besides that, Herod the Great was quite tyrannical (he executed several members of his own family including one of his wives) and had a lot of sons who he wanted to reign after him and not some foreign “king of the Jews”. In fact three of his sons (Herod Archelaus, Herod Antipas and Philip the Tetrarch) reigned after him.
So, there were a lot of reasons from which one can deduce that Herod would kill this new “King of Jews”.
However, when Herod asked where is this King, then all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law betrayed Him, revealing the location based on a prophecy, proof that they knew the prophecies.
As we see the life of the Son of God Who came on Earth to save us started with a betrayal and ended with a betrayal. Let us think deeper what we have done.
In these photos you see moments from the Vigil of Nativity.
Click to listen to Katavasia of 2st Ode chanted during Christmas Vigil (2015 – live recording of the monks).