Experience - Day 5

Acts 1:15-20 NLT

15 During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them. 16 “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. 17 Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.” 18 (Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines. 19
The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”) 20 Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’”

If ever there was a tragedy in the gospels, this is it. Someone who heard all the stories the other disciples heard, witnessed the miracles and the power of Jesus, and sat at His feet day after day after day, yet this was his end; alone, dying by suicide. I know Judas fulfilled prophecy. I know someone had to give Jesus up. I also know the other disciples don’t have anything good to say about Judas. But I don’t believe Judas was all bad.

Judas wanted what the other disciples did; He wanted Jesus to sit on the throne of Israel. He wanted Jesus to put the Jews back on top. He wanted those things that the prophecies spoke of - peace, prosperity, justice. But what Judas couldn’t let go of was…himself. He couldn’t allow the first to be last, and the last to be first. He couldn’t deny himself, take up his cross, and follow. He couldn’t lose his life to gain his life.

I believe Judas betrayed Jesus with mostly good intentions. He thought he would force Jesus’ hand. Surely, Jesus wouldn’t let them arrest him. Surely, Jesus would finally become the king and Messiah they all believed him to be. But when the tables turn and Jesus allows himself to be arrested, and then when Jesus dies, Judas dies with him. Judas couldn’t bear what he did, so instead of seeking forgiveness, which Jesus taught, instead of receiving grace, which Jesus introduced him too, Judas took his own life.

I believe that when Jesus got to Judas, to wash his feet on the night of the last supper, Jesus didn’t need water in that basin to wash Judas’ feet. My guess is, like Mary Magdalene did to Jesus, Jesus did to Judas; his tears poured out over Judas’ feet. That’s how Jesus loves, even knowing the evil in us, he loves more than we can possibly imagine. As painful and tragic as the story of Judas is, it teaches me that there is nothing I can do, no where I can go, where Jesus won’t chase after me.

1. Have you ever betrayed someone? What did that feel like?
2. Have you ever been betrayed? What as that like?
3. What do you learn about Jesus in how he treated Judas?

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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Andy Snyder - April 4th, 2024 at 10:37am

Lord, let me step aside and not try to control or fix things that you are in control of. As Judas did. That never ends well. Let me give you control of everything in my life.

Chris Sequeira - April 4th, 2024 at 2:23pm

A paradigm shifting question in my own journey was, "Do you believe that people (in general or a specific person) are doing the best they can?" As I now see it, there are 3 responses to this question. And your response makes all the difference to your life. The 3 possibilities are: 1) No, 2) Yes - for themselves, or 3) Yes - for ... (others/Jesus/ etc.). I believe that the answer is Yes, with most people acting with their best interest in mind. Sadly, Judas is a good example of Yes - for Judas, and how his intent may have been good, but he was only looking out for what was best for him. To love well, we need to shift our focus to Yes - for Jesus.