Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Betrayer Revealed


Matthew 26:20-25

When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve.

Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”

He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."

Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Rabbi, is it I?"

He said to him, "You have said it."

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It is now after six o’clock on Thursday evening.

Later in the night the Lord Jesus Christ will be captured and brought to a mock trial early in the morning.

Then He will be crucified and die around three o’clock on Friday afternoon.

The Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples had to eat the Passover meal Thursday night before midnight, and nothing could be left in the morning.

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When anyone shared a meal with another person in that part of the world and at that time in history, he was identifying himself as a friend.

The idea of eating a meal with someone and then turning him over to his executioners was unthinkable.

When the Lord Jesus Christ told the disciples that one of them would deliver Him over, they knew one of them would do it, knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ would tell the truth.

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"And they were exceedingly sorrowful"

That is a strong way to indicate the degree of their sadness and grief.

Some may have even cried.

They didn’t know whom the Lord Jesus Christ was talking about.

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They didn’t know it was Judas because he was a capable hypocrite, excellent at playing out his masquerade.

Judas was so adept at his hypocrisy that the rest of the disciples had actually chosen him to be their treasurer.

They didn’t have any doubt about his integrity.

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"And each of them began to say to Him, "Lord, is it I?""

Even they didn’t trust themselves regarding their possibly betraying the Lord Jesus Christ.

That shows great integrity on the part of the disciples.

They knew that deep down inside them was a sinful principle so ugly, it might lead them to betray the One they loved.

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He answered and said, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me."

The Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples ate with their hands, dipping the bread, the herbs, and perhaps even the lamb.

When the Lord Jesus Christ said, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish," He could have been referring to any of the twelve because they all were dipping food into the dish.

*******

"The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him."

The Lord Jesus Christ was not a victim of a plan gone wrong.

His betrayal is exactly what God had planned.

No one did anything to the Lord Jesus Christ that was not a direct and immediate fulfillment of God’s eternal plan.

That was the divine plan.

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Judas was a betrayer, but a betrayer by his own choice.

He rejected grace and the offer of salvation.

He made his own choices, yet God in His marvelous sovereignty used Judas’s betrayal to accomplish His holy purposes.

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"But woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!"

The man who betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ is cursed.

Judas had no desire to usher in the Kingdom of God on the Lord Jesus Christ’s terms.

He had no desire for the salvation of the world.

The OT predicted that the Lord Jesus Christ would die on a cross.

It was written that He would die on the cross for the sins of the world.

Yet even though that was in the plan of God, the man who turned the Lord Jesus Christ over is still a cursed man.

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"It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."

It would have been better to have never been born than to endure what Judas would endure – existence in eternal hell.

The degrees of punishment in hell are related to one’s level of rejection: the more truth you understand and reject, the greater one’s punishment in hell.

Therefore, the severest damnation in hell is reserved for Judas.

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Judas rejected the very One he had lived with for three years.

Judas made his own choices, and they were the source of his own damnation.

Yet the choices fit perfectly into the sovereign plan of God.

God controls not only the good, but also the evil of man to accomplish His own ends.

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The Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t identify the betrayer in Matthew 26:24; He just pronounces damnation on him.

He gave Judas ample opportunity for salvation and repentance.

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Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Rabbi, is it I?"

Judas had to say that.

If he had said nothing, he would have been unmasked.

He had to play the game.

Everyone else asked the Lord Jesus Christ that question, so he had to say it.

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He said to him, "You have said it."

The betrayer was finally revealed!


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