In the recent dialogue about Judas Iscariot, one person wrote: “There is a bit of Judas (son of perdition) in all of us. The point is not so much about his deed as it is about the boundless grace of God. Judas was an instrument to reveal His amazing grace which is extended to each of us. Let anyone without sin cast the first stone. Who among us can say that, while we may not have literally betrayed the Lord, we all have figuratively done so? If we have thoughts of omission or commissioned sin, how are we different? Does God distinguish levels of sin? He has noted no difference between the thought, passive or active, of sin and sin itself. Thank God for His amazing grace greater than all our sin!!! I’m writing a book, entitled: Judas Verdict: Guilty and Sentenced to Heaven”
Have you ever investigated the Words of Jesus from the cross? Each statement was made on behalf of specific individuals.
For instance Judas had a deep seated need for security. He struggled with faithfulness in his role of steward. When his hopes for what he envisioned for Jesus began to fade, he initiated actions that would secure his future. His behaviour indicates he networked and manipulated resources to his benefit. Jesus provided him a role that highlighted his lack of faith so that he would turn from his independent inclining’s and ask for help. Judas is not alone in the struggle to be self-sufficient. When Jesus was on the cross, He expressed: “I Thirst”. To many of us that is a simple request for a drink. But for individuals like Judas, it is horrendously difficult to ask for ANYTHING. Their self-sufficiency precludes them from receiving anything that they feel they do not deserve. Jesus made his request to encourage them to realize that it is not only OK, but it is right to express your needs.
1) The first statement that Jesus made from the cross was: “Father forgive them”. Many people find forgiveness is too difficult for them. They have such a desire to walk in holiness that making mistakes causes them to suffer from depression and even bitterness.
2) When Jesus addressed the thief He said: “You will be with Me in paradise.” How could anyone in that absolutely hopeless situation tell anyone that their heavenly future was secured? He hung there completely victimized by the crowds and the hordes of hell. He had no validation that He was the Son of the living God, with any authority over life or death. But with no hesitation He made a statement that gave eternal life. His focus was on His identity with Jehovah, not on His situation. Do you ever feel victimized, ignored or unable to minister because you have no authority?
3) Some people, who thoroughly enjoy researching and upholding the truths that scripture reveals, tend to have a professional rather than a personal relationship with the Author. And they wonder why they are dry in their spirit even though they’re zealous in their studies. Jesus addressed His mother asking her and the Apostle John to “Behold your son …! Behold your mother …!” Jesus was putting focus on the importance of personal and emotional relationship. Of all the disciples, John had learned that and could contribute holistically to her needs. (There is more on that in the message to the Church at Pergamum.)
4) When Jesus cried bitterly “Why have you forsaken me?” he was experiencing deep rejection from His Father. Like Him, there are people who are supremely sensitive to the approval or disapproval by others. Their life circulates around people and activities and they feel ostracized if not in the middle of impacting their world. Dying to people’s perceptions to take time to discover God at a deeper level is a major barrier in acquiring authority and be effective to reveal Him.
5) There are two applications to Jesus’ statement: “It Is finished”. First, He knew unequivocally that He had lived with complete integrity. He had accomplished the ministry He had set out to do. Secondly, He had now accomplished the key thing of paying for all sin: past, present and future. The physical agony He endured was nothing compared to the anguish and torment of His holy spirit. It was unrelenting torture. But at the end, He claimed it to be finished. For those of us who thrive under the pressure of accomplishing many things, it’s absolutely necessary to be focused on finishing the best thing and not just being busy at many things.
6) In his last moment Jesus made one more statement: “I Commend My Spirit”. He was now in the intimacy of resting in God’s hands. He achieved a position of dominion, not because He was pleasing people or because He had accomplished His work, but because His authority was re-established in His identity with His Father. There are some people whose greatest desire is to celebrate in the presence of God. As on the last day of creation the high point of humanity was just God and man enjoying being together.
May you be blessed with the realization that someone is making request for you to be filled with the full knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom. … john Colossians 1:9
(Original Post Nov 16 2014)