1. It was already in the foreknowledge of God that Jesus would be be delivered into the hands of the enemy.
2. Acts 2:;22,23 tells us that Jesus was delivered up "by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God."
3. McGarvey says concerning these verses: "...it was in accordance with God's preordained purpose that He was to be delivered into their power."
4. This simply means that He was "delivered" -- surrendered, or given over to.
5. From 1 Pet. 1:18-21, we learn that the shed blood of Christ was in consideration before the foundation of the world.
6. It had been prophesied that Jesus would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. Zech. 11:10-13. (Matt. 27:9,10) should read Zechariah instead of Jeremiah.
7. So, it was according to God's divine purpose (Gen. 3:15), not that God was unable to prevent Christ's death.
8. The Jews were of that disposition of heart and mind to be capable of doing such terrible deed.
I. THE CHARACTER OF JUDAS.
A. Even the name, JUDAS, is often used synonymously with TRAITOR.
1. Like the name JEZEBEL is synonymous with an evil woman.
2. Just what kind of person was the one who was fitted into God's plan for betraying Christ?
3. God has often used vile, corrupt people to carry out His divine plans.
a. Pharaoh. -- Rom. 9:17.
b. God also used idolatrous, evil nations to punish His own people when they sinned.
1) Assyria, Babylon, Philistia, etc.
B. Judas was a selfish, greedy, covetous person.
1. He did not care for the poor. Jno. 12:3-6.
a. Many people today are of the same character.
b. Such often give a pretense of good will, in order to hide their evil character and gain their own selfish, greedy desires. 1 Tim. 6:10.
c. This generation is full of people who will exploit the poor and the unfortunate for their own profit.
1) There are flim-flam artists. Con men, etc. that prey especially upon the elderly that live alone.
2. Judas, since he was a thief and an embezzler, no doubt volunteered to be the treasurer of the group of disciples.
3. But his greed and his coveteousness for money, proved to be his downfall.
a. He truly did "pierce himself through with many sorrows."
C. He was a hypocrite of the worst sort.
1. He used his friendship, and even the kiss of friendship in order to carry out his shameful, deceitful act of betrayal.
a. We can read of this in Matt. 26:14-16 and Mk. 14: 43-46. As was prophesied in Psa. 41:9.
2. The kiss was an expression of love, respect, and friendship.
a. "Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity." 1 Pet. 5:14.
b. "Greet ye one another with a holy kiss." 1 Cor. 16:20.
3. In Matt. 26:47-50, we have an account of the betrayal.
a. In this account, Jesus speaks to Judas calling him friend.
1) This does not mean that Jesus did not know for what intention Judas kissed Him. Lk. 22:48.
2) But to make Judas fully aware of his abominable and deplorable act of treachery. Gen. 3:9.
3) This was to make Judas aware of his self-condemnation by using a holy, sacred act to commit a vile deed.
4) He had not come at this time as an open enemy, but disguised his enmity under the cloak of friendship.
4. It is hard to imagine any one more vicious and wicked than one who would betray a friend for his own personal gain.
5. Only a vicious character such as Judas could betray a friend through hypocrisy such as a kiss.
6. Some people in business and politics are ready to betray friends for personal gain and profit.
7. Some brethren in the church exploit their friendship with brethren for their personal ambitions.
8. Many times, whether they gain their desires or not, they turn against those whom the have used and abused.
9. It is sad when people are not willing to stand by another for the sake of honor, truth, or the right principle.
10. Some people are always willing for others to take the rap, or blame, for their own mis-deeds.
D. Judas was a coward.
1. Matt. 27:1-5 gives the account of his activities shortly after betraying Jesus.
a. Note that he only acted after he saw that he was condemned.
b. When it is said, he "repented himself" does not mean that he was necessarily sorry for the sin he had committed.
c. Nor that he was truly sorry to the extent that he would do everything necessary to the righting of all the wrongs committed.
d. But he was concerned, not for the suffering of Christ, only for finding himself condemned.
2. So, he committed the cowardly act of going out and hanging himself rather than face up to his obligations of righting the wrongs he had done.
3. Even the ones with whom he had conspired had no further use for him nor respect.
a. So, people that are evil do not trust one another.
b. They only band together to commit evil acts.
c. People who do not have the right principle for bringing them together, do not have what it takes to hold them together whenever problems and difficulties arise.
d. In the church, unless people are drawn together by sacred principles of the gospel, they will not persevere and hold together with the "bond of unity" required.
e. Any time people are prompted by carnal desires and principles, they will be filled with envy, strife, and division.
II. EXAMPLES TO BE NOTED AND LESSONS TO BE LEARNED.
A. God did not MAKE Judas do the evil, nor did God RESTRAIN him from doing it.
1. Some people think God arbitrarily made Judas do what he did and that Judas had no choice in the matter. This is what different types of sinners claim today.
a. But Jno. 13:21-27 shows that Satan entered into Judas. Satan does not enter into anyone who does not allow him to do so.
b. Jesus merely foretold, predicted what Judas would do.
c. He knew the mind of Judas, and only allowed him to carry out what he desired to do in the first place.
d. Jesus used no power, force, or influence to cause Judas to do what he did.
e. Satan was the influence, he was the one that prompted Judas to act as he did. Jno. 13:2.
B. Jesus did not prevent Judas from doing what he wanted to do.
1. He said, "That thou doest, do quickly."
2. Jesus had given him no occasion to stumble.
3. Judas had every opportunity to benefit from the teaching and association with Jesus and the other apostles.
a. So, sometimes the very best of influences and associations do not keep a person from going wrong. As children of godly parents do sometimes.
b. That is the reason that sometimes the very best of parents have a child that goes astray.
4. We do not find Jesus begging, pleading, compromising and flattering Judas in order to keep him from doing what he wanted to do.
C. Some brethren in the church are so fearful of what an ungodly brother will do, that they pamper and baby and cajole such a one to avoid trouble.
1. They are more afraid of offending the guilty than of the disturbance and harm he is creating by his ungodly life.
2. The lesson from this is that we should not fear the sinner, but rather bring his case to its ultimate conclusion.
D. Our society is reaping the terrible fruit of pampering the lawless and burdening the law-abiding citizens. By practicing so-called "political correctness."
1. Do we have a Judas among us here today?
2. Are those that are more interested in their own well-being really interested in the progress of the church?
3. If there is such a one, he is a Judas.
By Jim Sasser
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