I remember my mom saying to us kids "Even Jesus wouldn't invite his enemy (Like Judas) to his birthday party"- trying to convey the fact that we cannot trust all people and to ultimately know who your enemies are. I didn't quite get what she was trying to say when I was younger, but I do now. Yes, Judas was a part of Christ's 12 chosen disciples and I believe Jesus did truly love all of them and believed in their full potential. But ultimately, Jesus is not responsible for the evil Judas allowed into his own heart to cause the betrayal.
At the same time, it boggles my mind that it was prophesied of Jesus' betrayal in a few places:
Judas the betrayer was there in the upper room with Jesus and the other disciples when the famous "Last Supper" was given. He was already scheming in his own heart though how the dirty deed would go down- the betrayal of Jesus. Even at the holy moment of 'feet washing', Jesus had said to His followers "You are not all clean" (John 13:11). Shortly afterward as they were seated at the table, Jesus spoke the words that confirmed a prophetic culmination of the appointed betrayal. As they ate the bread that represented his soon to be broken body that was given for us all and as they drank the wine, it was to be a symbol of his blood that would be shed/ poured out for all to receive mercy and forgiveness.
I could just hear a pin drop in that room. Actually, when I was visiting that very space in Jerusalem a few years back while on a tour, I too was imagining what it would have been like to have heard Jesus say:
A few thousands years later, as I read about the confusion happening amongst Jesus' best buds is painstakingly heartfelt. Jesus' deeply devoted followers must have been absolutely devastated hearing such words. All of them spoke up and asked with great fear if it would be them. I'm trying to put myself in Judas' shoes and the word that comes to mind is "Exposed". So when Jesus answered:
Betrayed by a friend- in his humanity he failed Jesus and his role to be a fully devoted disciple of Christ. Yet it is clear that the devil entered into Judas- and when that happens, the gates of hell were loosed. I don't think I will fully understand this prophesy and its fulfillment until I see Jesus face to face. Not just of the story of Judas, but of my own brush with betrayal. I must believe that as I forgive all those who have betrayed me, I too will experience resurrection power through faith in Christ. I've come to understand more and more as I get older that as a believer in Jesus Christ- I will share in His victories and in his sorrows. Betrayal is one of those sorrows.
The betrayal of Jesus and the story of Judas is simply one of 300 references to Jesus as prophesied in the Old testament. Below is a fascinating blog link of 55 prophetic verses of Jesus where it highlights a prophecy along with the fulfilment in Jesus as recorded in the new testament. Fascinating! My take away? I serve a sovereign God. What the enemy intends for evil, God can and will turn it around for good! Do I hear an amen?
*Click here to read "Betrayal and Beauty (Out of the Ashes)"