GOD’S WORD FOR APRIL 4
GOD’S WORD FOR APRIL 4 ~ ~ Luke 22:48 ~ ~ “But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
Like Pilot that we talked about yesterday, Judas is another one we throw in the box marked, “scum”.
Of course the Crucifixion was God’s plan. It was the plan of Jesus Himself, so they didn’t really need Judas. The connection could have been accomplished any number of ways.
So, why did this little frightened, weasel-of-a-man betray the Son of Man with a kiss?
Like Pilot, Judas was a pawn of satan, a tool of evil. He was a willing tool on one hand, because, just like Pilot, on the other end of the social ladder, he loved money and popularity. Money he got from the Pharisees. Fame, he figured, he’d have when the loud mob of Jews realized he helped them fulfill their plan.
Most likely, he wanted a political Messiah to come, and he thought Jesus was it, because he hated the Romans as much as they all did, but he was determined to do something about it. Maybe he was disillusioned by Jesus because He was too mild and gentle to be an insurrectionist, and he’d make sure he was put in jail for a while so the real job could be done.
Many things probably went through his mixed up mind, and they weren’t of his own making. This was God’s plan, and only He knew the plan. Satan was God’s pawn in it, with satan thinking he would get rid of the Jews by getting rid of their messiah. So it was a sort of pyramid structure.
God, of course, had the plan all figured out to the very detail, and watched all these pawns and victims step all over themselves and each other in the name of their own sin and deception. They were all “drawn away by their own desires” In the end, they all worked perfectly in God’s Great Plan of Redemption.
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
God meant it for good, for the Salvation of Mankind:
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
The Jews were pawns of the devil, working toward their own destruction,(satan thought, as a nation, but they were actually heading that way personally, spiritually) while they thought they were working toward keeping their own power and wealth, and keeping the status-quo as it is, which was beneficial to them. That would make the Jews victims of a double-cross by the devil, who was in turn deceived by his own deception.
At the same time the Jews were using Judas for what they thought was their own causes, while the devil was using the Jews to double-cross Judas, while using Judas to trap Jesus. All the while God used the whole bunch of them for His Salvation Plan.
While the devil made the Jews think they were keeping their good life by the crucifixion, his ultimate goal was to destroy the whole Jewish race, chosen people, by getting rid of their Messiah. Then he could use the Romans, or anyone (he thought) to annihilate the whole race. Remember, in the Garden of Eden, after the fall, all this was predicted. The devil wasn’t quite sure of the details, but all these years he, no doubt, remembered those words:
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
Since Jesus was born he’d been trying to kill Him, and now he figured he was on the home stretch. He had to make this work, or the Jews would be saved, and he’s be eating flames for eternity.
Meanwhile the Jewish leaders actually were destroying themselves personally, and unknowingly, by rejecting their own personal salvation.
So to speed things up, the devil got onto Judas and used his desire for money and fame, besides his zeal for the Messiah to free the Jews from Rome, to entice His betrayal. He thought Jesus would be put in jail for a while, and things would move for the freeing from Rome, and Judas would be a hero with the Zealots whom he worked with. If Judas had only known that his treachery against Jesus was the deception of the devil, he would probably have recoiled in horror. He had been brought up in the Temple. He had heard the Torah read from his youth. Judas was a religious man. But he had no idea that his treachery was not his own idea, but was by the instigation of the devil, and that he was being used as a utensil by that devil to do something else, and then that he would be thrown cynically aside, when his usefulness was ended.
The Jewish leaders were delighted with the cooperation of Judas. While Judas was using the Jews for his purposes, they were using him for theirs, and the devil was using everybody below him, but, still, God was in control of it all, because, remember, “the devil is God’s devil”
When they had bound Jesus they led Him away, Judas, when he saw that He was condemned, realized that he got the whole thing wrong, and he was sorry. Of course the Jewish priests, who groomed him and enticed him for this very job.—–those who took him to dinner and slapped him on the back as their brother—- turned their ugly looks to him and said “see to that yourself” They as much as said, “You sinned, we didn’t. It was your kiss who betrayed the one you loved, now get out of here!”
They echoed the very thoughts that he told himself, and why he thought maybe he could reverse this now, but he couldn’t. Jesus was dead. It probably seemed to him that he could do nothing right. It turned out, even so, that he couldn’t even do his suicide right, sadly.
Jesus said in John 17:12
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
He was lost. But, as I write this now, the question comes to me, what if Judas would have understood that Jesus would rise, (which none of them understood at the time, so he couldn’t have) But, what if he would have waited for a couple days, would Jesus have forgiven him, as He did all the others who deserted Him, and Peter who betrayed Him? Was his worst sin, after all, giving up on Jesus’ salvation and forgiveness? Did he actually, in the end, reject Jesus by his suicide?
After all the deception, double cross, pride and lust is finished, Jesus said the only sin of the world is not accepting the Light.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me.
Satan is not finished. Even though he was conquered by Jesus, he is still deceiving. He is a lion without teeth. A lion on God’s chain. He can only test us as God allows.
But the deception is strong, and getting stronger as time zooms to the end. There is only one way to salvation, and it’s not church, sacraments, or trying to be good. No one can be good enough.
IT’S ONLY JESUS!!!
STAY STRONG. STAY IN THE WORD. HOLD ONTO JESUS!!!
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