>When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”

They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely not I, Lord?”

Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you.” Matthew 26:20-25

I don’t know of anyone who has ever named their child “Judas.” Jerry Seinfeld used to joke that if people named their child “Jeeves,” that child would inevitably turn out to be someone’s butler. “To the Peace Center, Jeeves.”

“Judas” really isn’t the name recognition that any of us want. Judas was driven by greed. As the disciples treasurer, he tended to help himself (John 12:4-6).

Judas’ specific actions of betrayal were prophesied hundreds of years before they happened. Psalm 41:9 foretells that “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” We find the fulfillment in Luke 22:3-4. Zechariah predicted the exact price of 30 pieces of silver that would be paid, 500 years before it happened (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:14-15). Both Jeremiah and Zechariah revealed that the money would be returned and would be used to purchase a Potter’s field (Zechariah 11:12-13; Jeremiah 19:1-13; 32:6-9; Matthew 27:3-10).

Was Judas’ wickedness a part of God’s plan? Judas plays a unique, if undesirable, role in the days leading to Jesus’ death. It would be easy to turn Judas into some sort of detestable beast, a Hannibal Lecter-type disciple. Certainly he was something that we could never become. Yet Judas’ sin and ours drove Jesus to the cross of Calvary. We’re not so innocent. Fortunately, through Christ’s death and His forgiveness, we are redeemed.

Judas regretted his actions to the point of taking his own life (Matthew 27:5). If only he had known that even his actions were forgivable. No one is unredeemable.

There is no sin bigger than God’s ability to forgive. What is dragging you down these days? Wouldn’t you like to be free? Give what is binding you to God and seek His forgiveness. He’d love to forgive you.

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