Delivery Plan • Judas
Ryan Story | Student Pastor
There are two major schools of thought in the Christian theological world. If you ever want to start major arguments between biblical scholars say the words “predestination” or “free will,” and then run for cover. These conversations can be fascinating in which to listen and participate. There are Bible juggernauts on both sides. Both sides use Scripture, love Jesus, want to see the lost saved and should love those with opposing views. One of the biggest points of contention with the Arminian and Calvinism crowd is found in one man, Judas Iscariot. The issue becomes, did Judas choose to betray Jesus, or was he predestined to betray our Lord? Did he have a choice at all or does God make it so people have no out and have to commit horrible acts? So the great theological question of the day is, did God use Judas for His glory?
There are some interesting Scripture verses about Judas that can help figure out if Judas was predestined to betray, or if he had to make that choice. If you read any of the Gospels, every time Judas is mentioned there is never a positive linked to it. The writers always make sure we know that Judas was the one who betrayed Jesus. John 6:70-71 says, “Jesus answered them, ‘Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.’ He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.” I cannot imagine a worse thing to be known for all eternity that you were a devil! Again in John 13:27, Jesus says that “Satan entered into Judas.” Now, if we like to use verses in the Bible that say God knows the plans He has for us, sometimes that plan is not always the nicest. If you read Zechariah 11 and Jeremiah 32, many believe that Judas’ betrayal was prophesied thousands of years before it happened. So, in this case, Judas’ fate was set. God knew the devil would get him; God knew who and what Judas was. God has to use evil because whenever He ever uses humans, that is the only choice He has.
That has always scared me that God could use me in a manner like that. God can use us like He used Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, or King Saul. God’s plan for us can sometimes be set in stone to be an example of what not to be. While I almost set that as a hyper predestination truth in my head, I read Matthew 27:3-5.
“Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ They said, ‘What is that to us? See to it yourself.’ And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.”
After Jesus’ arrest, Judas seemed to feel some sort of remorse. He understood the gravity of what he just did. However, I only see Judas showing remorse, but not repentance. Judas admits he did wrong, he admits Jesus was innocent, but he never called out for salvation. While reading this, I wonder what if Judas waited three more days before he took his life? When Jesus rose from the grave, He redeemed Peter. I am curious what Jesus would have said to Judas. Judas took away his opportunity for redemption.
God used Judas; that fact is undeniable. However, was God done with Judas? That is the ten-million-dollar question. What if He had more planned for Judas?