The Forgiveness of Judas

Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver. As a result of Judas’ actions, Christ was humiliated, beaten, and ultimately murdered at the hand of man.  Judas committed one of the gravest sins against God since Adam and Eve took a bite of the fruit. Could Christ have forgiven Judas? How can somebody who sins so greatly against God find forgiveness? How can Christ forgive me? This is a question that I’ve struggled with a lot as a believer. To really understand Christ, and forgiveness, this is a question that needs to be answered.

First, let’s look at a different sinner in the Bible, Saul, who is later known as Paul. Saul thought he was following God. He was the Pharisee of Pharisees. He challenged others to find one commandment that he physically broke – it couldn’t be done.

While attempting to follow after God, Saul killed Christians. He was responsible for mass genocide. Paul was so close to following God, yet he was so far off. When Christ finally confronted Paul with his sins on the road to Damascus, Paul cried out for God to fix him.

Judas betrayed Christ – in doing so he sinned against God, just like Saul. Yet, the story didn’t have to end there. When Judas was confronted with his own sin, he could have went to Christ and cried out for forgiveness.

As Christ forgave Saul, Chief Sinner, Christ’s forgiveness extended to Judas. In Matthew 27 we see Judas realize what he has done. Judas confronts the Pharisees and remarks: “I have sinned, for I have betrayed innocent blood.”  Judas knew he had messed up. He threw the blood money at the feet of the Pharisees and screamed for them to fix it.

Ultimately, that’s where Saul and Judas differ. Paul saw his mistakes and earnestly cried out to God for forgiveness. Judas saw what he had done, and tried to fix it on his own.

Was Judas wrong in betraying Christ? For sure. Was there forgiveness for Judas? I believe so, had Judas cried out to Christ to fix him, instead of trying to fix the mess himself.

Are there any areas in your life where you’re trying to fix things yourself? How can you surrender to God?

–Derek Hanisch

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