Monday, October 18, 2010

Judas Iscariot shouldered his cross

        If Jesus said that he came to save that which was lost, then believe that which was lost is saved. (Matt 18:11)

        If that which was lost is saved, then he did not succumb to Satan, but he overcame Satan. (John 13:27)

        This chain of reasoning supports recognition of the Satan that entered Judas after the sop as a spirit opposed to the delivering up of Jesus.

        We saw that spirit earlier in his ministry. (Matt 16:23)

        In delivering up Jesus, Judas overcame that spirit.

        In Matt 26:25, Judas asked, "Is it I?"

        Jesus replied, "Thou hast said."

        Jesus referred to the covenant that Judas had made with the chief priests to deliver him up. (Matt 26:14-16)

        Judas had made that covenant when the devil put into his heart to deliver him up. (Luke 22:3-4; John 13:2)

        Jesus could have cast that devil out of Judas at any time, but there was a consideration of timing, that the scripture might be fulfilled.

        Jesus would allow Judas to betray him.

        With Judas committed to delivering Jesus up to the authorities, the time had come for Jesus to clean house.

        The strong man was bound. His house would be spoiled.

        He confronted Judas for his betrayal as he washed their feet. (John 13:4-11)

        He announced that they were not all clean. (John 13:11)

        Judas understood what he was talking about. He knew that he had betrayed him. He knew that he wasn't clean.

        But after Jesus had washed his feet, he knew that he was forgiven when Jesus spoke of the trespass in these words:

        "He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me." (John 13:18)

        Judas felt the cleanness of that heel. The desire to deliver him up was gone.

        When Jesus announced that one of the twelve should deliver him up (John 13:21), it was not a foregone conclusion for Judas, as it was for Jesus, that he would be the one chosen for the assignment. This is true despite the outstanding covenant for him to deliver him up.

        The devil was cast out; the house was swept clean and garnished.

        Peter beckoned to him to ask who it should be. 

        Judas asked, "Lord, who is it?" (John 13:23,24)

        The question was sincere. If Jesus had given the sop to Thomas or Philip or Andrew or even Peter, Judas would have experienced a great relief from the burden of the covenant to which he was bound.

        It would have been clear that any of those men would have been acting under the direction of Jesus - none of those men had betrayed Jesus as Judas had. 

        His hope for such relief was crushed when Jesus handed him the sop. (John 13:26)

        He accepted it.

        We know what happened next. That devil returned with seven other spirits more wicked than himself. Satan entered into him.

        We heard the words of Satan earlier, "Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee." (Matt 16:22)

        Now, instead of relief, Judas felt the magnitude of that burden increase multifold as Satan added all within his power to it. 

        Judas recalled the response of Jesus to that earlier manifestation of Satan, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me." (Matt 16:24)

        The covenant to which he was bound had become his cross.

        He put his shoulder into it as he got up from the table, and he carried it ... as he went out into the night. (John 13:30)

        I offer these words only in my own name.

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