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.
One reply on “Dear Anonymous”
I think there are a few problems with this response. You may site scripture, and obviously you see that as sufficient, but just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t make it logically sound.
The question is, DID Judas have a choice? Now, Jesus’s death was necessary for redemption, and we know that in the scale of time, since believers names are inscribed on the foundation of the earth, indeed, redemption itself was necessary. You may say that God is outside of time, and fair enough, but, of course, God didn’t step out of time and revoke this requirement, otherwise we would have no knowledge of it - kind of like we wouldn’t miss someone if they went back in time and killed their grandfather, because in the altered world we live in, that person was therefore never born. So, also, God created this requirement…and then let it stand.
So then, the question is, did there have to be a perpetrator? Did there have to be a person that delivered up Jesus to be killed? The answer seems to be yes, in looking at Matthew 26:15, at least, and taking the Bible “on good faith” (pun intended) that that prophecy wasn’t simply backwards compatible. And of course someone had to do it. Even if Judas didn’t, someone HAD to. It’s not enough to say that God simply foresaw this, and didn’t cause this, and that it was Judas’s own sin nature that caused this, which God “used for good.”
The true creator of the universe - the one that created everything, the one that has foresight into everything, created such as system as would produce Judas, and hence He (God) caused Judas.
This isn’t like a scientist accidentally making silly putty either. God had full power and full foresight. He set every atom in motion and knew what the outcome would be, and therefore caused the outcome. One can’t pull a trigger and then say that because the processes within the gun, and the millions of atoms colliding on their own that you aren’t responsible, being the “prime mover,” if you will. If Spiderman has taught us anything, it is that with great power comes great responsibility. So, of course, wouldn’t it follow that with ultimate power comes ultimate responsibility?
This extends to anything with sin, actually. And especially Adam and Eve, or even the generation of satan. What I said about Judas I said because assuming free will somehow emerges from this system (I haven’t the foggiest idea of how that might be), Judas essentially took the bullet. Whether it was a good choice or not, he made it so that I didn’t have to be the one to fulfill this requirement - and hence he is quite Jesus-like. Let’s not forget, after all, that Jesus saw that you would be coming in the future and loved you enough to say “Take this cup from me.” Now there’s a guy I feel like adoring. Talk about a reluctant saviour.