This week is K-week at ABC Wednesday. And K is for Kiss.
There are lots of kisses we could refer to, but none so famous as Judas’ kiss when betraying Jesus to the Sanhedrin.
Judas, as you know, was one of the twelve disciples, hand-picked by Jesus to follow him throughout his ministry on earth. As CFO, he was in charge of the group’s finances. In the three years he followed Jesus, he witnessed miracles, heard the teachings and remembered the prophesies. As a Jew, he knew his Torah well. He eagerly anticipated the day when this Messiah would overthrow Rome and establish God’s long-awaited kingdom.
But it was becoming evident this man…this Jesus…wasn’t holding up his end of the deal. Doubt settled in and Judas began to wonder if he was backing the right horse. It is told that Satan entered Judas and he betrayed Jesus to the authorities for 30 pieces of silver. This set into motion the events that resulted in Jesus’ crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. Upon discovering what was about to happen, he tried to fix it, but it was too late. He realized he misunderstood the whole situation and repented of his actions…but, sadly, couldn’t move forward and chose to commit suicide.
Judas get a bad rap historically. And while it’s true his free will was responsible for his own choices and actions, the whole thing becomes muddled when you add in that this was part of the grand plan. The part of the plan where God manifests himself in the body of the man, Jesus, to sacrifice himself as an offering to overcome Satan/sin and reconcile creation back to himself. As divine God in a perfect man, it’s the only way we can stand before a holy God, blameless in his eyes, to receive his kingdom.
I believe there are things we can learn from Judas. Yes…even a betrayer has things to teach.
The first one is there’s a mini-me Judas relaxing on each of our shoulders, whispering in our ears. (I’m specifically talking to believers now) When we give others lip service about loving Christ but refuse to forgive others; gossip about our friends…and/or enemies; lash out at those we love; are mean and spiteful when wronged; we’re really giving him our kiss of betrayal. But…and there’s always a but…unlike how Judas handled the situation, we can come to the throne of grace with a repentant heart and God will offer mercy. But (there’s that condition again) it’s up to us what we do, in turn, with that gift.
And, just because someone is surrounded by the Truth or hangs out with godly people, that doesn’t mean God’s goodness will necessarily rub off on them. This is where Christians have historically gotten a bad rap. Heinous crimes have been (and currently are) committed by those that should know better. Which brings me to the next point….
Spiritual warfare is alive and well, and working in every one of us. Dark forces look for any and every opportunity to work against good. Moral corruption is their goal and they will use anyone to accomplish that task.
So, now…this begs the question: Was Judas damned for all time because of his free will actions? Or since God foresaw his actions…and said actions were required to complete the grand plan…and he was remorseful, was there room for forgiveness and redemption for Judas after the dirty deed?
That is way above my pay grade and I don’t have an answer.
What I do have is another clip from Jesus Christ Superstar, featuring Judas. And nobody does Judas like Carl Anderson. Nobody.
Ahhh, the 70s. Gotta love ’em.
Submitted for ABC Wednesday