People in the Bible tend to either be lifted up as heroes or demonized as, well, demons. The biblical men and women fall into one of these two extremes and we place ourselves somewhere in-between. We look up at the heroes and say "I could never be like that" while looking down at the demons, saying "I would never be like that".
As it is, the people of the Bible are just that, people. They are men and women like us, with successes and flaws like us. They obeyed God, and denied Him, just as we do. Sometimes we resemble the faithful few, other times we join ranks with those walking the broad path.
Judas is one such bad guy that we believe we'll never be. You'd be surprised to hear then that we actually live a lot like him. Here are three qualities of Judas that many Christians have and should get rid of:
He heard the instruction of the Master Teacher daily.
He saw the miracles, the selflessness, and the compassion of the Savior.
All the while he carried around the spiritual baggage that would eventually get him killed.
It seems almost unbelievable to us. We wonder how Judas could walk with God in the flesh and still harbor such a great sin in his life. We wonder, though we are guilty of the same.
The same lips that praise God tear down our fellow brothers and sisters. The same hand that serves our neighbor is used to search for pornography later. The same mind that prays to God, wonders if God ever hears those prayers anyway.
Instead of giving it over to Christ, Judas walked around with soul-crippling sin. Unfortunately, we often do the same. Jesus died so we didn't have to hold on to or live mired in secret sins. Judas clung to his sin; we ought to cling to Jesus.
"And [Judas] said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him." (Matthew 26:15-16)
Old Testament history tells us that thirty pieces of silver was the buying price for a slave (Ex. 21:32). In the New Testament, thirty pieces of silver became the buying price for the Savior.
Judas' love of money resulted in him selling out the Savior for the price of a hired hand.
We may never sell Jesus out for silver pieces, but we sell him out all the same. Your boy/girlfriend, your job, your entertainment, your reputation, your sports team, what do you value over Christ?
Judas found out after he sold out Christ that it wasn't worth it. Will you keep selling Christ out or realize now, that it's not worth it?
His love of money led to a betrayal of the Messiah that his people had so long clamored and waited for. He saw the Savior, condemned to die.
Then it hit him...
So much regret that he returned the money and confessed his sin, the betrayal of innocent blood (Matthew 27:4-5). Feeling unforgivable he took a rope and hung himself. So ends the life of Judas the betrayer.
Judas was not the only traitor in Jesus' life. Not long before these things took place Peter was told that he would deny Christ three times. He did, and was, like Judas, filled with regret (Matthew 26:69-75).
The next chapter doesn't show us Peter hanging from a rope however. In fact, Peter is seen at Pentecost preaching the message of the gospel.
Judas the betrayer remained a betrayer. Peter the denier became Peter the forgiven.
Two men. Two sins. One grace-filled God. One man who believed God could forgive him.
It may be that the other two points didn't apply to you. Too often though we view ourselves as sinful people, in need of grace, but unable to get it. We see sin as an immutable quality of our character, but it's not.
Peter was forgiven, Judas could have been, and you can be too.
Judas carried his sin with him, though he had a Savior who could heal him. He sold Christ out for something of far less worth, and he took his life thinking that he couldn't possibly be forgiven for his transgressions.
To the reader carrying around sinful baggage, leave it at the cross. To the reader selling Christ out, quit, it's not worth it. To the reader who thinks his sin can't be forgiven, God’s grace is greater.
Christians, we need to stop living our lives half-hearted and broken. Judas did, we don't have to. Our Savior is greater than our sins, and he's greater than whatever we're selling Him out for. Give everything over to Him. Stop looking like Judas. Start looking like Christ.