Judas Iscariot was called as one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, those who would spend three years living with Him and learning His teachings. These were the men who would take the gospel message of Jesus’ life, crucifixion and resurrection to the world. Judas, however, would become the one who betrayed Jesus onto death.
Jesus and the disciples were in an upper room celebrating the Passover Feast. John 13:2 says that the devil had already prompted Judas to betray Jesus. As they shared the meal Jesus made an announcement. "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me" (John 13:21). He added, "Woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born" (Matthew 26:24).
Judas went to the chief priests to ask what they’d give him for handing Jesus over to them. He knew they’d been looking for a way to get rid of Him. They gave Judas thirty silver coins.
After the Passover meal Jesus and His disciples were at the Mount of Olives. Judas led a detachment of solders and some officials carrying swords and clubs to Jesus. He had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest Him and lead Him away under guard" (Mark 14:44).
The kiss that appeared to be a gift of love became the most horrendous act of guilt ever. The men seized Jesus and arrested Him. He was taken to the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law. After a mock trial and appearance before Pilate, Jesus was condemned to death.
Upon learning of this, Judas was seized with remorse and returned the money. He said, "I have sinned, for I have betrayed innocent blood" (Matthew 27:4). Then he went out and hanged himself. His betrayal and sin led to his own death.
Betrayal is a treacherous act of disloyalty and unfaithfulness against someone we proclaim to love and care about. Judas proclaimed to be a disciple of Jesus yet he wasn’t what he appeared to be.
John 12:6 tells us that Judas was a thief; as keeper of the money bag he used to help himself to what he wanted. His heart was filled with so much greed that he was willing to betray Jesus for money.
Are there times we also betray Jesus in our hearts and by our actions? Do we "kiss" Jesus with our show of worship and love on Sunday and then sell Him out the rest of the week? Do we give Christ and Christianity a bad name by our habits or how we treat others?
Let’s search our hearts, showing remorse for our hidden sin and repenting of it before it destroys us. Jesus loved us enough to die on that cross to give us forgiveness of sin. Let’s love Him enough to not betray Him.
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