Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jesus Forgave Judas Iscariot

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all . . .(Romans 8:32)

If God delivered up Jesus, then delivering up Jesus, in and of itself, was not a sin.

I am crucified with Christ . . . who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

If Jesus gave himself up, then giving him up, in and of itself, was not a sin.

. . . I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. . . . (Matthew 27:4)

If delivering up Jesus (or giving up Jesus) was not a sin, then why did Judas confess, “I have sinned,” after he delivered him up?

Judas didn't sin when he delivered up Jesus, but he sinned before that. He sinned when he made a covenant with the chief priests to deliver Jesus to them after the devil put it into his heart to do so. That act, performed under that influence, was his sin. That act was the trespass against Jesus which Jesus depicted using the words of the Psalmist, “[he] has lifted up his heel against me.” That trespass against Jesus was the sin which Judas confessed to the chief priests.

Many have criticized Judas for confessing his sin to the chief priests rather than to Jesus himself. But the fact is, Judas didn't need to confess to Jesus. Faced with the sin, Jesus took the initiative; he went to Judas, told him his fault, and forgave him for it, even before Judas had an opportunity to kick or to stomp, as the case might have been. Afterward, Judas followed the lead of Jesus.

Judas had acted with stealth when he betrayed Jesus, so he was caught off guard, as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, when Jesus declared, “You are not all clean.” Judas alone understood the declaration. This was the response of Jesus to the trespass against him: Jesus told Judas his fault between him and Judas alone. And by washing the heel that was lifted up against him, Jesus conveyed to Judas his message of forgiveness for the trespass. As a consequence, the heart of Judas was changed, and he no longer desired to deliver Jesus to the chief priests as the devil put into his heart to do. Subsequently, Judas followed the lead of Jesus.

I offer these ideas only in my own name.

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