Judas is probably the most hated disciple. Admit it, at some point, deep down, you have judged or even hated Judas. I mean he is the one that sought out the chief priest and offered up Jesus for a bag of money. What a punk! If he had not done it then Jesus wouldn’t have been found by the temple police, and he wouldn’t have died such a painful death on the cross. It all could have been avoided, if Judas had just remained faithful and not become the world’s greatest betrayer. Ah-ha, this is why we hate Judas . . . it is his fault.
One problem, Scripture tells the story a little different:
3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; 4 he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them. 5 They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present.
Three words change the story we might be tempted to tell, the one where Judas is at fault. Three words. Satan entered Judas. What does this mean? It means that God allowed for Judas to be the “Disciple turned Spy” because it was part of the plan. It means that Judas is actually no different than you or I in many ways. A sinner . . . a wretch . . . a betrayer . . . in need of a Savior.
Here is the bottom line. Judas betrayed Jesus because God allowed it, because it was part of the plan, because Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures that point to the Messiah who came to save the world, the Son of God who died for our sins. So was it because of Judas that Jesus died? No. But it was for him. It was for me. It was for you. It was because we are all sinners in need of saving grace and sacrificial love, embodied in the one true Christ. So before we are too quick to judge Judas for his sin, we might want to take a minute and remember we have our own sin that nailed Jesus to the cross.
Check out the music video below, the remix of an oldie but goodie, to help you worship today.
Community Event: What would it look like if every Christian in our community made amends with someone they have betrayed? Try it today. Take the first step by reaching out to someone you have betrayed. Invest in a broken relationship. Betrayal doesn’t have to involve a bag of silver or result in death. It can simply mean breaking trust or confidence. Maybe this person doesn’t even realize you have done so, or maybe they do and it has caused a huge rift. That can change. Today may not be the day you see healing come to that relationship, but it can be the day you take the first step towards it.