21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.” (Luke 22)
Judas is perhaps the most enigmatic character in the Bible. It is intriguing that Jesus chose him to be his disciple despite knowing that he would eventually betray Him. We could argue that proximity to Jesus would have been the only hope for Judas to break free from the destructive path that he had chosen. But it was not to be. His tendency to steal and his love for money do come across in the gospel narrative, which finally culminated in his decision to betray Jesus to the chief priests.
In the above passage, Jesus does seem to indicate that the state of Judas was nothing but woeful. However many in Christian literature have sought to justify Judas and show him in favorable light. Some cite the fact the he was remorseful after the betrayal. Others mention the fact that he was one of the twelve who experienced the proximity of Christ and demonstrated his power, a state of the elect, from which falling away permanently is not possible.
But that does not take into account the free will of man that coalesces with the sovereignty of God. Like in the case of Judas, God will influence but not coerce. Judas was in the best place possible- seeing and experiencing Christ first hand, a privilege most believers would gladly have any day. Remarkably, all the other disciples who had that privilege, except John, went on to be martyred for the sake of Christ and his gospel. But not so with Judas! Despite the powerful influence of Christ, he allowed Satan to have a foothold on him and at the Passover feast, when Jesus was in the midst of a most solemn ceremony, Satan entered Judas to hasten the destructive path that he had chosen for himself.
Finally Judas committed suicide.
3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. (Mat 27)
This act should not fill a reader with inappropriate sympathy and declare him innocent. The choice before Judas was to live and repent of his sin and humbly place himself before the Lord in obedience to him. This was Judas’ last chance. But for sure, it would have been the most difficult choice for him- the shame of what he had done, the pain of repentance, and the self denial that would have been necessary to effect that choice was simply too difficult for him. He chose the easy path- one of suicide and in doing so, threw away the last opportunity he had to escape eternal damnation.
It is important to note that Judas was not the only one to betray Christ. All the other disciples did the same when they disowned Christ at the cross. Yet they all chose the difficult path of repentance and made their lives count for eternity.
- DEFERRED PASSOVER
- FORGET THE PAST