Monday, September 24, 2007

Bitter/Sweets: Judas Iscariot

For the Son of Man is going as it stands written concerning Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good (profitable and wholesome) for that man if he had never been born. {Mark 14:21 AMP}

Yes, it is of Judas Iscariot that the Lord Jesus Christ is referring; and in all fairness: it could be argued that Judas was getting a raw deal. For his betrayal was in fulfillment of Scripture{1}.

The Scripture in question? For it truly is as it is written: Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.{2}

Furthermore: there is also the little matter of the devil being given influence over him{3}; and even going as far as to enter into him in order to insure that the wicked deed would be done. For it truly is as it is also written: As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him.{4}

No, the Apostle Peter certainly does not seem to have much sympathy for Judas. For it truly is as it is written: In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) and said, "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus—he was one of our number and shared in this ministry." (With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) "For," said Peter, "it is written in the book of Psalms," ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,{5}’ and, ‘May another take his place of leadership.{6}’”{7}

Yes, it could be thought that Peter sure has a lot of nerve. For it was not all that long before he made that announcement that he was denying ever knowing His Lord and Savior{8}.

On the other hand: did this not give the good apostle a unique perspective on the matter? For as it was with Judas{9}: Satan was also involved in Peter’s shame{10}.

There is, however, a rest of the story for both; and it is in this that there is a big difference between the two{11}. For Judas refused to accept the amount of grace afforded him{12};and it is for this reason that it was said and written for our benefit{13}: “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”{14}

Yes, there appears to be a discrepancy between the account given through the Apostle Peter in Acts and that of the Apostle Matthew about the physical death of Judas that should be addressed while we are on the subject. For in Peter’s: (With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.{15} Whereas in Matthew’s: So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.{16}

No, I cannot offer any explanation other than the one personally revealed unto me by our Heavenly Father, which is plenty good enough for me. For He was there when it happened{17}; but unless He does the same for them{18}: I cannot really blame anyone for being quite skeptical.

Nonetheless: it does make sense. For the absolute truth of the matter truly is that Judas did indeed hang himself; and that it was during the process of cutting him down that his belly burst after being dropped head-first onto the ground.

Alas, is that not sufficient proof in (and of) itself that the devil and his demons are still a force to be reckoned with? For the more they can get us to focus our attention upon things like apparent Scriptural discrepancies: the more likely it can be that we will miss the point being made; and in this particular case: the point is that our Heavenly Father’s grace is sufficient for all who will but want to accept it{19}—regardless of the offence {20}.

[{1}John 13:18; {2}Psalm 41:9 NIV; {3}John 13:2; {4}John 13:27 NIV;
{5}Psalm 65:25; {6}Psalm 109:8; {7}Acts 1:15-20 NIV; {8}Luke 22:54-62; {9}Luke 22:1-6; {10}Luke 22:31-32; {11}John 21:15-19; {12}Romans 5:20; {13}Romans 15:4; {14}Mark 14:21 NIV; {15}Acts 1:18 NIV;
{16}Matthew 27:5NIV; {17}Psalm 139:7; {18}Jeremiah 33:3;
{19}1 Peter 5:8-11; {20}Romans 8:28-39]

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