>(A post from Nov. 2006)
In my study time I stumbled across something that has blessed me immensely…
I (right or wrong) am an avid defender of Judas…Kierkegaard says that every generation of Christians can be measured based on how they treat Judas…I think that that is an interesting assertion…for too long the church is quick to condemn him…so here are a few of my thoughts!
Let’s begin in Matthew 27 v.3,4:
“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. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
Okay…what I find interesting about this passage is that Judas’ response to Christ being condemned is guilt for betraying innocence…so is that to mean that Judas had an epiphany at the moment of Christ’s conviction? Or could it be (and obviously this is only a hypothesis) that Judas (may I remind you a religious zealot) thought or convinced himself that if he turned Christ over to the Pharisees and Sadducee that during their interegation of him that he would demonstrate to them that he was indeed the Messiah…but what transpired was that Jesus didn’t defend himself and he did declare that he was the Son of God and they didn’t believe him…Then they condemned him – When Judas saw this he realized that his plan had backfired and now he was guilty of the death of an innocent man – that he never intended to see killed!
Sidebar: Now I know that it says that the devil entered into Judas – but anytime someone does something that is meant to deceive they are referenced as either having the devil possess them or are called sons of the devil or are referred to as the devil himself (think Peter)…this was a way of saying that you are deceiving those around you…and rabbis used this language on a fairly regular basis (some of the Pharisees accused Christ of the same thing)
Now check out John 15 v. 13,14:
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
Okay roll that around for a moment…and now read this verse – picked up at the moment that Judas hands Christ over to the Sanhedrin…
Matthew 26 v. 50:
Jesus replied [to Judas], “Friend, do what you came for.”
Read this! From the book of Zechariah!
4 This is what the Lord my God says: “Pasture the flock marked for slaughter. 5 Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the Lord, I am rich!’ Their own shepherds do not spare them. 6 For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” declares the Lord. “I will hand everyone over to his neighbor and his king. They will oppress the land, and I will not rescue them from their hands.”
7 So I pastured the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favor and the other Union, and I pastured the flock. 8 In one month I got rid of the three shepherds.
The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them 9 and said, “I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.”
10 Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. 11 It was revoked on that day, and so the afflicted of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the Lord.
12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord to the potter.
14 Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984), Zec 11:4-14.
What are your thoughts? How do you view Judas?