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Judas Iscariot

March 7th, 2010

What do we know about Judas Iscariot? His Father was Simon Iscariot (Jn. 6:71). One popular understanding of this name is a reference to his hometown (“man of Kerioth”). His role with the 12- He was the group’s treasurer How he betrayed Jesus -- with a kiss (a normal, cultural sign of respect & friendship). What is the likely history of “Easter”?

Easter- is a non-Biblical word. The name is likely drawn from Eastre, dawn goddess of fertility, to whom sacrifices were offered in April. This pagan festival gave way to the Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection. As a society transitions, or the church gains power, festivals kept dates & general celebration, but infused new meanings into them. That’s why the celebration of the resurrection also involves chocolate bunnies, egg hunts, and pastel colors. This date was firmly in place by around 150 AD.

What is the presumed motive for Judas’ betrayal?

“Jesus’ consistent refusal to make His mission political, and His open declaration at the feast of Bethany that His death was imminent, may have spurred Judas to action. If he could not be assured of a prominent place in the coming Messianic kingdom, he could at least profit by disposing of Jesus to His enemies. Disillusionment, the frustration of his expectations, and greed as John indicates, plus a definite Satanic influence prompted his treachery. (Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 3, p.732)

When people are disillusioned, they either turn from, or turn on, Jesus.

When Christ was condemned, what was Judas’ response?

Matthew 27:3-5 “When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. ‘I have sinned,’ he said, ‘for I have betrayed innocent blood.’ ‘What is that to us?’ they replied. ‘That's your responsibility. So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”

How did Judas Iscariot die?

Matthew 27:3-5 “When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. ‘I have sinned,’ he said, ‘for I have betrayed innocent blood.’ ‘What is that to us?’ they replied. ‘That's your responsibility. So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”

Acts 1:18-19 “With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.”

These passages are complimentary, not contradictory. Judas likely hung himself on a precipice overlooking the valley of Hinnom. Either the branch, or rope, broke (then or later). The body would have finally fallen into rocky terrain.

You can still look at the terrain of this area; from the bottom there are rocky terraces 25-40 feet in height and almost perpendicular. Trees still grow around ledges. There are plenty of jagged rocks on the way down. (McDowell- A Ready Defense)

Am I like Judas?

What do I need to keep in mind?

Let’s not fool ourselves regarding our goodness. Christ redefined sin. You heard, do not murder (angry); you heard no adultery (lust). No mistake. We need Christ!

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