Monday, June 05, 2006

Learning From Judas' Betrayal (Part 1)

In my last post I wrote about lessons that we can learn from Peter's denial of Jesus. Now it's time to turn our attention to Judas, the same Judas who has been the subject of so much debate in recent days. The Judas of the canonical Scriptures is a pathetic character who turns his back on Jesus and when he realizes his mistake he goes out and commits suicide. But no matter how tragic his life there are lessons that we can learn from the events that are described in Matthew 27:1-10.

1. The Limitations of Human Justice. While Jesus died according to God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23), on a human level his crucifixion was a miscarriage of justice. Jesus lived a flawless life and certainly did nothing deserving of death or the condemnation of any court of law if it were functioning as it should under the authority of God. Without getting into the details of the trial, or the character of Pilate the 'Governor,' or the biased agenda of the Jewish religious leaders we should learn from this event not to put our confidence in human justice. Sinful people cannot be trusted to do what is right, especially when it comes to the Gospel. This doesn't mean that we should give up on the legal or political system, but it means we need to be realistic about what it can achieve and realize that our hope is focused beyond this world in the person of the Lord Jesus and his glorious return at the end of the age.

2. Sin Does Not Satisty in the End. In the Bible we are not told what was going through Judas' mind when he decided to betray the Savior into the hands of sinners for a measly 30 pieces of silver. But we are told in the most graphic way that sin does not satisfy in the end. No sooner had Judas realized his 'objective' than he was overcome with remorse and returns the money to the chief priests and elders along with the confession that he had sinned for he had betrayed innocent blood. Sin always promises more than it can deliver. It may satisfy for a time but not in the end when it really matters. This is because we were made for God and nothing else can really take his place although we sometimes try very hard to prove otherwise. We need to remember this great truth when we are tempted to turn from God. Sin is a cruel and deceptive taskmaster. The way of blessing is the way of obedience to Jesus. If Judas temporarily thought he knew better than Jesus, he soon realized the depths and dark consequences of his wicked miscalculation!

To be continued...

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