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Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Cost of Selling Your Soul

Matthew 27:3-5 (ESV)
3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.

Nothing that I have ever done can be undone. I can't unsay a word that I have ever said. I can take things back that I have taken but I can't un-take what has been taken. I can't even un-think a thought. The actions have happened. Nothing can make them un-happen.

Judas evidently thought he could absolve himself of what he had done by bringing back the thirty pieces of silver. He knew Jesus was innocent. He thought he had sold information. He didn't realize he had sold his soul. I don't think anyone ever does. He couldn't buy it back with thirty pieces of silver.

Let's say you bought a car at an unbelievable bargain. You didn't cheat the dealer. He freely offered the price for the car. Later the dealer is sorry that he made the sale. He comes back and wants to give you your money back in exchange for the car. You would naturally be reluctant in selling it back to him. You got a great deal and you want to keep that deal. Why would Satan want to return Judas' soul for a mere thirty pieces of silver. The chief priests and elders had also sold their souls. They weren't about to take back the money to absolve Judas. Even they called it "blood money."

I don't know how far a person goes to sell his soul. I know that Jesus will forgive any sin other than blaspheming the Holy Spirit. This is the sin which crosses the line. This is the only sin in which there is no return. Is this what it takes to sell your soul? Maybe so.

I have seen the most unlikely people come to know Christ. I have seen drug dealers and prostitutes and murderers and those who said they would never repent come to know Christ. They were miraculously changed. They were able to hear the Spirit speak and became new in Christ.

Judas felt sorry for what he had done but he still didn't believe. He hanged himself because he couldn't stand living with himself. He didn't know that Jesus forgives even though he had spent years listening to His teaching. Somehow, he resisted repentance. He never begged for forgiveness.  Was it that he couldn't believe in a forgiving God or that he didn't believe in God at all? I don't know. Does it matter?

Judas soul had been sold. The devil had it in his hands. He certainly didn't want to give it back. Judas couldn't imagine that the One he betrayed was the only one who could buy it back. He didn't understand that Jesus would go to the cross to buy his soul.

He should have known though. Jesus had told His disciples. Yet, somehow he refused to know. So, there was no more hope for him because he didn't have enough to buy back his soul.

He thought a soul could be bought back with silver. The real cost of a soul is measured in Blood.


Craig Godfrey said...

You know, I have heard lots of different teaching on this, and I still don't know whether I will see Judas in heaven or not.
I have one foot in the once-saved-always-saved camp, and the other one in the was-he-really-saved-in-the-first-place one.

Either way though, thanks for the good reminder to keep short accounts with God - to repent and seek forgiveness while we can.


Anthony Chia said...

In your bog entry before the last, you said that Judas Iscariot didn't get it, to which I agreed too.

I have just got this text below that indicated that although Jesus did tell the disciples that on the third day of His death, He would rise again, but they did NOT know what he was talking about. It specifically said that all the apostle-disciples were told. The text I reproduce below.

Luke 18:31-34 - 31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 33 they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” 34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

What this mean is that, all the disciples, perhaps, did NOT appreciate what Jesus had said until Jesus was discovered missing from the tomb. Some times back, I remember, you put up an article on Judas also, and said that, had Judas waited, he could have got to see the resurrected Christ, and that would open up the opportunity for him to ask Christ Jesus for forgiveness.

From this Luke 18:31-34 text and the betrayal of Judas, a couple things are reminded:

1. The way God deals with us, men, is progressive revelation.
Jesus of course, did teach about many things to the disciples about the Kingdom, and they understood some (more I believe they understood, subsequently, especially, after the resurrected Jesus continued with them for some days, and then through the Holy Spirit whom He said would remind them of the things He, Jesus, had taught them).

2. We should be careful NOT to be too hasty.
Judas was too hasty, although there again, our own weaknesses are not easily noticed by ourselves. The other apostle-disciples, including doubting Thomas, stuck around, and they learned to wait. When the next time, Jesus told them to wait, they did, and they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

3. There is such a principle as "you reap what you sow".
There are aspects that we cannot eliminate and no one can help us, and for those, only God can help. The guilt of Judas was so bad, it let him to take his own life.

4. Evil only cares about what it wants, it cares NOT, for the person.
The response of the wicked religious leaders after the betrayal, to Judas' attempt to lessen his guilt, typified the manner of evil.

5. While we should NOT be hasty, we must NOT miss the "boat". I want to talk about this a little more:


Anthony Chia said...

Cont. From above

Despite no "discrimination", and Scripture indicated none, from Jesus, Judas obviously hadn't care enough about Jesus' teachings, and so, NOT moved to be changed by it, to any significant degree. It might have been the case that Judas waited too long; perhaps, he thought there was a lot time still to embrace the ways taught by Jesus, after all Jesus was still young, in His thirties. But the problem, which many did NOT appreciate is that if we embrace NOT the ways of The Lord, we are embracing some ways, and those ways are the ways of Satan. When we read the text around the Last Supper, we realise that Scripture did NOT mince its words, it said Satan entered Judas Iscariot. Waiting too long, ignoring the ways of The Lord, or the gospel, one maybe ensnared.

I know you, Ps Prentis, have been lamenting about many in the church, too, are also NOT caring enough about Word of God, NOT moved by it to any significant degree as to live by them. What must we do? What must you do? What did Jesus do?

Next, by way of application, I want to speak about those "standing at the door" and NOT coming in. I just had a long session with my brother-in-law last Sunday, as part of my effort for this coming Easter session, to reach out. I have been praying for this relative for sometimes, now. My sister accepted Jesus just before her match-making with this brother-in-law of mine. He is not a believer, they married more than a quarter decade ago. Their two children are believers, one baptized, one not. They are not regular to the church except the baptized child. Still this man has no qualms about attending church with his wife or his children, yet he, for more than 20 years, would not receive Jesus. When the critical question came up, guess what he said! "I have been going to church already-what". I explained to him, that was not good enough. I explained to him about justification. But I could sense he wanted to procrastinate. I added we are old already, and "what he was still waiting for", that he should not miss the boat. I have another person, also procrastinating; he is my friend from the university days, with the same surname, and whom I had been his bestman when he married a Catholic girl some twenty over years ago. He too has been going to the church, Catholic Church, and his children are Catholics. This chap hearing it from the catholic teaching, asked me if he could just wait for his children to pray him to Heaven, after he has died! He does not want to make the decision, without realizing he has already made it by his not wanting to confess Jesus as His Lord. To wait till after death, that would be too late, wouldn't it!

Anthony Chia, high.expressions