The fig tree answer was so simple, so clean, so easing to my heart that I looked up the next. That gave me some weird answers, but I felt confident that the second was the actual situation.
But then I looked up Judas… It seems that many people don’t like Judas as the betrayer.
The Rejection of Pascal’s Wager has a lot of interesting stuff on it. Including the discussion of Matthew misquoting an Old Testament prophet. (He said Jeremiah, when it was actually Zechariah.)
Apologetics Press offers a simple response to that. Jeremiah was the name of the scroll that Zechariah was included in. That is a reasonable answer that others of the day would have understood. I don’t mind if I have to have it explained. That happens with any writing. (It is why my students have such a hard time with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland but like it after we’ve read it in class, with explanations.)
Apparently, though, my question of why Judas told the guards to lead Jesus away safely isn’t a common one. I can’t find an answer on the first few pages of googling.