Tuesday, April 7, 2015

AN UNEXPECTED PERSON IN HEAVEN


If Father God had not thought you worthy of His Son's sacrifice, Jesus would not have been sent. Jesus paid it all, including the payment for betrayal.

After careful observation of the Scripture and other Biblical scholars, Judas' relationship with Christ was flawed from "Go!" 
  • So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. - John 18:3
According to a study by Rick Renner, the original Greek for the "detachment of soldiers" ("band of men" in other translations) is spira. This word describes a fully dressed, fully fit, fully capable group of 300 to 600 armed Roman soldiers that were lead alongside "some officials". These "officials", in the Greek, huperetas, translates to temple police officers. Plus, the torches and lanterns spoken of here are the kind that were meant to illuminate a large area. Therefore, you have a picture of the Mount of Olives blanketed with armed Roman soldiers and Temple Mount Police with enough light added to the Passover festivities to create an artificial sun on the earth. And at the front of all of these men was a man who really - Did Not Get It - Judas. 

The signal to give away who Jesus was among the Disciples was even hypocritical - a kiss.
  • "Judas knew beforehand that he could give Jesus such a kiss. This lets us know that he and Jesus were not strangers but had a unique, friendly relationship. As the bookkeeper and treasurer of the ministry [John 13:29], Judas had assuredly met often with Jesus to discuss ministry finances and disbursement of funds. It seems that during their three-year working relationship, they became dear and cherished friends - so close that Judas had the privilege of giving Jesus a kiss of friendship, a privilege reserved only for the intimate few." (Sparkling Gems From the Greek, Rick Renner, p.213)
Jesus could have passed Judas off as just the fulfillment of prophecy (Zechariah 11:13) and not cared to teach Judas, love Judas (washing his feet at Passover), and discipline Judas (when he complained about the use of the expensive perfume on His body). But Jesus did have compassion on Judas in all these areas, the same as He had toward the other Disciples. Jesus, knowing the role Judas would play in the end, still poured into his life. Even when Judas lost all control and Satan entered Judas, Jesus was simple and direct - "What you are about to do, do quickly." (John 13:27)

I admit - I have been disloyal and unfaithful to Jesus. I have violated His authority in my life by disobeying Him. I have dragged Him into unholy situations that I got myself into. I know I have been unfaithful to Him, but God is always faithful to His Word and love relationship with me. This does not give me an excuse to keep on being unfaithful. On the contrary, it challenges me to want to please Him more and gives me a healthy appreciation for the price Christ paid for my betrayal.

The death of Judas preceded that of Christ (Matthew 27:1-5). This places Judas in the place of death, Hades, as a "captive" audience for Jesus just hours later when Christ descended to the depths to visit, teach about Himself, and conquer (Ephesians 4:8-9; Colossians 2:15). I would like to think and believe Judas was numbered in that train of captives that was led to freedom by the victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, especially observing he felt remorse at his actions right before he hanged himself. Betrayal was paid for by my Savior. So, perhaps we will see An Unexpected Person In Heaven.