In Response to “Why I’m Thinking About Hell” an anonymous commenter wrote the following:
The issue of Judas is strange to me. Why should it be that christians assume Judas to have “sold his soul to satan?” Wasn’t his work beneficial and even necessary to the securing of salvation? If it weren’t for Judas would the prophecies be fulfilled and would Jesus have accomplished his purpose? It seems to me that Judas should be celebrated for the same reasons Christians celebrate Jesus - it was a job that had to be done so that everyone could benefit. And God would curse him for doing it?
I would agree that Judas betrayal of Christ was to fulfill prophecy. I would also agree that Judas’ work was both beneficial and necessary (in the end) and to our benefit. But I would have to disagree that we should celebrate the work of Judas — I’ll be brief:
First, we can not celebrate the sin of Judas. Christ himself said, “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born” (Matthew 26:24). Judas sinned before a holy God and we can not celebrate that. Honestly, that line of thinking would lead us down a slippery slope. If we were to celebrate Judas, then we should celebrate Pilate and others for killing Christ.
Secondly, we must understand that Judas is NOT a result of fate. He is still responsible for his own actions before the Lord. Though what he did was inside God’s plan, it does not excuse him from doing what he did in sin. He will be judged just like you and I for his sin.
Finally, Judas’ death is infamous. Acts 1:18 records that after Judas hung himself he fell and “burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out.” That doesn’t sound like the kind of man that we should be celebrating. It sounds like the kind of man who would betray God in the flesh. Though I understand your reasoning in seeing the good that God did inspite of Judas’ sin, I can not agree that we should be putting this man on a pedestal and thanking him.
I hope these simple truths from the Scripture can help you discern both the sovereign plan of God and the wickedness of Judas’ actions. If you have any other questions, feel free to share them any time.