April 8, 2024

The Judas Lessons: The Eleventh Hour

Grow. Pray. Study. (GPS)

Sermon: The Judas Lessons: The Eleventh Hour

Scripture: Matthew 26:47-50


47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”[a] Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

Thursday, 4.4.24                                                                                      1 Kings 19

This passage is one of only a few instances in scripture of suicide or suicidal thoughts. In it, Elijah, one of God’s prophets, desires to end his life. Why? Because of solitude and hopelessness over Queen Jezebel’s mission to end his life. Note – in dire situations, even God’s people have thoughts of giving up on life. It may be fleeting, but those thoughts still exist. But notice how God turns Elijah’s mindset around. Have you ever felt despair over situations beyond your control? Do you think Judas felt this kind of despair?

Friday, 4.5.24                                 1 Corinthians 3:10-17, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Some have used these passages as evidence that there is no hope for those who commit suicide. However, a closer look at the context of these verses shows that these words refer to 1) the destruction of the theological foundation of a person’s life, and 2) the defilement of one’s body through impure acts (immorality). Have you ever heard these verses used to relate to suicide? Why do you think people would use them for that purpose?

Saturday, 4.6.24                                                        1 John 3:6, Romans 7:14-20

Some have said of Judas and many who commit suicide, “If he were really a Christian, he wouldn’t have done this.” The verses today offer two perspectives. In one, sin is unchristian. In the other, sin is something that even Paul continued to struggle with. So the question remains: can a Christian struggle with sin? I think we can all answer yes to that. So could Judas, or any Christian, have a moment of weakness and fall prey to suicidal thoughts and actions? The only difference between this sin and others is that there is no way to repent from suicide, as its consequences are permanent. Some have said that if there is no confession, then there is no grace. But what do you say? Does the same apply to people who die untimely deaths without confession or repentance of sin?

Sunday, 4.7.24                                                                                 James 3:13-17

For those who struggle with depression, suicide sometimes feels like the only way out. Today’s passage, not ordinarily used for suicidal issues, reveals a duality of wisdom. Some ‘wisdom’ does not come from heaven but is “earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.” However, wisdom that comes from God is pure and reflects the fruit of the spirit. Discernment between these two wisdoms is key. How do you tell whether or not the wisdom you hear in your mind and heart truly come from God?

Monday, 4.8.24                                                                               Roman 8:38-39

These two verses declare that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. Nothing. That means that there is always hope. A few years ago, I (Wade) counseled the family and friends of a young man who committed suicide. They were certain that, even though the boy professed faith in Christ and had a connection to his local church, he went to hell. There was no hope. Obviously, they were devastated. This instance revealed something about their perspective of God that was troubling to me: God would abandon someone who needed him most. Think about it. Would the God who promises to never leave us nor forsake us, especially in our darkest hours, leave someone who fell victim to temptation during their worst hour I can’t with clear conscience say that God would ever do that, especially in light of the verses today. Nothing can separate, so there is always a possibility of redemption.

Tuesday, 4.9.24                                                                            Matthew 27:1-9

Judas tried to make things right, but it was too late. The chief priests would not be dissuaded from their agenda of killing Jesus. Guilt-ridden and overwhelmed, Judas gave up. But think about it… where could Judas turn? The other 11 disciples would certainly reject him, even though Jesus always urged love and forgiveness. And, if Jesus truly were God’s son, Judas couldn’t turn to God, right? Killing the Son of God is something you don’t come back from. Judas didn’t have the benefit of seeing Jesus rise from the dead. Thus, the only difference between us and Judas is that we have a resurrected Jesus to pray to. What do you think would have happened is Judas had seen the risen Christ?

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *