I have always disliked the story of Judas Iscariot in the Bible. Judas started out as a close follower of Christ, but in the end betrayed Jesus into the hands of an angry mob who crucified God’s son on the cross. Jesus lost His life and spent three days in Hell because Judas wanted thirty pieces of silver. Judas, overcome by guilt, hanged himself. This story is depressing and leaves no hope for Judas Iscariot in the end.
There are many characters in the Bible who choose money over good intentions. Ananias and Saphira are another example of people who choose money over truth and life. They, however, were not overcome with guilt, but were struck down by God because of their lying, greedy ways.
It occurred to me several Sundays ago while worshiping that I am no better than Judas, Ananias, or Saphira. Every time I choose my ways over God’s ways, I am betraying Jesus. I am a traitor and a liar, and I deserve the same ends that Ananias, Saphira, and Judas met. Why has God allowed me to live when I should be struck down for my evil ways? Why has God given me grace?
The answer comes in the name of Jesus Christ. Because I have repented of my many sins and chosen to place my hope in Jesus, my sins are forgiven, and I am given eternal life. Jesus provides the only lasting hope in this world, and it can be obtained by everyone. God gives hope to all who choose to believe and live their lives according to His ways.
Deuteronomy 30: 19-20 says, “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.” Choosing God means choosing life! I do not want to be like Judas and let myself be overcome by evil. Judas chose suicide instead of redemption. Although what he did was of the utmost evil, God would have forgiven and washed him clean if he had chosen to repent. Instead, Judas ended his own life out of grief and guilt without accepting God’s redeeming love.
Judas may have chosen death, but I have chosen life in Jesus. Instead of letting my sins overcome me, I have let Jesus take them away. Because God sent His only son to die on the cross, my sins can be washed away and I can have eternal life in heaven with the other believers who have chosen the free gift of life.
Although I started out like Judas, I have been redeemed. I, Judas, was a traitor and a liar. I, Judas, sinned often. I, Judas, betrayed my Lord every time I chose the world’s ways over God’s ways. I, Judas, have chosen God’s ways. I, Judas, will be given a new name when I reach my heavenly reward. I, Judas, no longer bend to the world’s ways. Although I still stumble, I am covered by God’s love.
1 year ago