Passion Week: What Judas Missed!!
Let me start with some humor. So I decided to find out how many people have named their child "Judas" and this is what I found: "...The apostle, Judas Iscariot, betrayed Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver. As a result, the name Judas is used as a synonym for 'traitor' and is not often used as a first name." Lol.
A little background on Judas in case someone has not heard of him. He was one of the chosen twelve disciples of Jesus. We do not know much about his origins but we know he was the keeper of the moneybag of Jesus' ministry-the treasurer, the accountant. In John 12 he was upset that Mary washed Jesus feet with expensive perfume which according to him was worth a year's wages and could have been sold and the money given to the poor. That sounds altruistic until we learn in verse 6 that "He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it." Jesus also called him "a devil" in John 6:70.
Jesus knew Judas would betray Him and Peter would deny Him. He told them so during the Last Supper on Thursday evening. Right before the Last Supper, according to Matthew's account, Judas went to seek out the chief priests and negotiated a price to deliver Jesus to them. In the end they agreed on thirty pieces of silver and handed the money over to Judas. "From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over." Matthew 26:16. Finally the opportunity presented itself in the garden of Gethsemane. Judas came to Jesus with armed men provided by the chief priests and kissed Jesus to point Him out. Jesus is arrested, tried several times and ultimately crucified.
The next morning, as Judas saw His master, teacher and friend condemned and bound, he realized the enormity of his actions and attempted to return the money as remorse overtook him. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” ..." Matthew 27:4. They refuse to take the money so Judas, confused, sad, deeply distressed "... threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself." Verse 5.
Many reasons have been given for why Judas betrayed Jesus, but that is not my focus. My focus is on what Judas missed. By choosing to hung himself, Judas missed an opportunity to repent, be forgiven and restored. Judas' action was in sharp contrast to Peter's.
Simon Peter, the enigmatic, outspoken, bold man who was in Jesus's inner circle; was on the mount of transfiguration with Jesus; was in the room when Jesus raised the little girl; even walked on water. Peter who said he would die in Jesus's place, the one one who cut off the ear of the chief priest's slave in the Garden. Peter who seemed to be the only one with the revelation of Jesus' messiah-ship. That Peter. He blatantly denied knowing Jesus not once but thrice in the space of a short time in the presence of Jesus. When he came to himself, Peter went outside and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:75. Peter did not kill himself, he hung on and continued to stay in close fellowship with the other disciples and when the savior resurrected, He restored Peter.
Judas must have thought his sin was so great he could not be forgiven and did not deserve to live. Do not turn your back to Jesus because you think your sin is so dark that Jesus cannot forgive you. Some have abandoned church because they feel too unclean to come into the presence of God. If that is your story then you have missed the mark.
The whole purpose of Easter was that our sins would be atoned for once and for all. The blood Jesus shed is powerful enough to erase any sin, iniquity and transgression if you repent of these. God says He will wash your crimson (rich, deep red) sin with Jesus' crimson blood and make them as white as snow-untouched, virgin snow. Just come.