Why Did You Do It, Judas?
I’ve known your story since childhood, Judas. I’ve tried all my life to understand what drove you and made you tick, questions that have troubled me for a long, long time.
For me it all comes down to 30 pieces of silver. I must be missing something. Surely there is more to it than that! What was it you agreed to do to earn your fee? What promises were made? You weren’t needed to lead the mob to Jesus that day. Caiaphas had plenty of resources to track the Galilean in Jerusalem. Could it be that you agreed to be a witness? Or that you gave up bits and pieces of truth needed to fabricate a frame that would stick? Were you angry at the Master and His other disciples because you figured they considered the money carrier to be less important?
Caiaphas must have been delighted when you left his chambers. I can almost hear the conspirators: “We’ve got an insider, a man who traveled with Jesus. He is the keeper of the purse, surely one of the inner circle. Jesus trusted him. His testimony, should we need it, will be devastating for their so-called master.”
Judas, what door did you leave open for the devil? You saw miracles, healings, demons cast out, disease defeated, and death overruled, and probably took part in them, yet you turned. What made you kill yourself? Were you double-crossed? Did you lose your nerve? Were you a devil from the beginning...pretending all along? Or did you realize you weren’t important at all - just a pawn among knights, kings, priests, and politicians.
I must know, Judas, because I fear I am like you. We all carry dark potential; and if you could walk so close to the Light of the World and die in outer darkness, who is immune? Your shattered life calls me to vigilance. I must close doors left ajar in my heart. I must be on guard lest in moments of sheer madness I am guilty of betrayal.
You’re one of history’s biggest gamblers. You rolled the dice - and lost. There are some who argue you were just a victim of a cruel providence. How unfair that God would choose you to be the one to fulfill prophecy. Others argue that you were trying to force Jesus to seize power and reveal Himself to the nations. But you and I know it all came down to a matter of choice. Jesus chose to pay the highest price for us all, and you chose to benefit from His decision by selling out for 30 pieces of silver. You sold out, alright....dirt cheap. Maybe that’s what made life unbearable for you.
Judas, you are a warning for all of us. God help us when our selfish allowances grow to maturity. God help us when unconfessed sins approach the finish line. God help us when 30 pieces of silver seems a reasonable price for integrity.
Judas, there is only one proven more foolish than you. He also lived very close to God. They call him lucifer.
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