Summary: Second sermon in a series leading up to Easter that focuses on the betrayal of Judas - It asks the key question - Are you sold out or a sell out?

The Passion of Christ

March 14, 2004

Sealed with a Kiss – Judas

Sunday AM

Text: Matthew 26:37-50

Intro: Judas – the mention of his name invokes thoughts of treachery and deceit. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, Judas was once a popular name.

Name: from Judah – meaning “Jehovah leads.”

Note: He was born to parents who had great hope that he would be led by God. The irony is that no other person has ever been so clearly led by Satan.

Name: Iscariot – signifies the region from which he came – “man of Kerioth.” Likely Kerioth-hezron – a town south of Judah.

Trans: Judas is possibly the most colossal failure in human history. He committed the most horrible and heinous act of any individual – he betrayed the perfect, sinless, holy, Son of God for a handful of money.

Truth: His story is an example of the depths to which the human heart is capable of sinking. He spent 3 years w/ Christ and missed Him b/c of hatred.

His life is a reminder that it’s possible to be near Christ and even associate w/ Him and still miss Him b/c of a hardened heart.

His life reminds us no matter how treacherous and sinful a person might be they are incapable of thwarting the redemptive will and purpose of God.

His life reminds us we’ll either be sold out to Jesus or we’ll sell out Jesus.

Trans: It’s my hope that we’ll see through his life some timeless principles about the devastation brought by the choice selling out Jesus for sin and self.

I Give the Devil an Inch and He’ll Take a Mile

Truth: Satan and sin never deliver what they promise.

Note: Satan possesses an uncanny ability to entice men to act in a way that considers only their best interests even at the expense of others.

Quote: Sin will take you farther than you want to go, cost you more than you’re willing to pay, require more than you are able to give. Sin will cause you to do things you didn’t think you were capable of.

How: Satan got into Judas’ life thru a door he left open b/c of unbelief, greed…

A The Door of Disillusionment

Note: Judas was hoping and looking for a Messiah who would ride in on a white stallion and conquer the Rome restoring the nation of Israel – but Jesus didn’t come that way. Judas was looking for a conquering warrior – instead he received a suffering servant.

Judas grew weary and embittered against Jesus b/c following Him was different than he expected. Thus, he became remarkably disillusioned.

He embraced Jesus for what he had hoped Jesus would do for him, not for who for who Jesus really was and why he really came.

Note: It’s amazing how people who call themselves Christians have become disillusioned w/ Jesus and His church. They were looking for something different when they began to follow Jesus – but b/c they never really put their faith in Christ they didn’t discover His transforming power.

B The Door of Greediness

Note: Judas was attracted to Christ but not for spiritual reasons. He followed for selfish reasons. He was only interested in what he could gain.

Story: Mary anointing Jesus – Judas becomes indignant.

Trans: His life is a picture of how the love of money is the root of evil. How much would it take to for you to sell out – it’s amazing how little it costs!

C The Door of Betrayal

Note: Judas didn’t act in a moment of insanity, it was calculated – and for the price of a slave. He determined he would identify Jesus w/ a kiss.

Word: Kiss (phileo) a verb referring to an act of special respect and affection. In the Near East it was a sign of respect and reverence.

Idea: A slave would kiss the feet of his master Ordinary servants would kiss the back of the hand. If a person kissed the hem of another’s garment was a sign of reverence and awe – but to embrace and kiss one on the cheek was a sign of close affection and love – it was a sign of intimacy.

Note: Of all the signs Judas could’ve chosen, this was the most insulting and despicable. This was the equivalent of spitting in Jesus’ face.

Note: This shouldn’t surprise us though, b/c Satan, who had filled Judas, knows no embarrassment and has no restraint on his wretchedness.

II Be Careful What You Ask For – You Just Might Get It

Insert: The devil didn’t make him do it, and neither did God. He was chosen yet he chose. God chose him to betray, and he willingly accepted.

Verse: Psalm 55:12 says the Messiah would be betrayed by a friend.

Zech. 11:12 said it’d be for 30 coins that would purchase a potter’s field.

Insert: Scripture says Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him, yet Judas was in no way coerced – he acted freely and w/out external compulsion.

Note: Sometimes we have a difficult time reconciling choice w/ ordination – but we shouldn’t. They are not in contradiction but rather in perfect union.

God’s plan and Judas’ actions concurred perfectly in the fullness of time. Judas did what he did b/c his heart was evil and his motives were selfish.

Quote: If I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is foreordained, that is true; and if I find , in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true ; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two line that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, from where all truth springs forth. Spurgeon.

Insert: God ordained the events by which Christ would die, yet Judas carried out his plan by his own volitional choice – and God’s will was set into motion.

Insert: What Judas and the devil meant for evil, God used for his good. Rm. 8:28

Note: Judas had every opportunity to know and follow Christ – but that didn’t happen. While Christ called him, he was never drawn to Christ b/c Jesus was only a means to an end. Judas had an agenda that used God instead of followed Him. He was in it for personal prosperity. He was so close to the light yet he was walking in darkness – deceived by his own desires

III Close to Jesus But Far From the Truth

Info: Judas was numbered among the twelve – he had been w/ Jesus for 3 years. He was in the inner circle and was entrusted w/ the money.

• The tragic example of an opportunity lost

• The epitome of a privilege wasted

Truth: It is possible to be near Jesus, in association w/ His followers, engaged in Great Commission ministry and still be lost and unsaved.

Note: He was a follower of Jesus but lost.

He was baptized but unsaved.

He was preached the good news, but didn’t believe it.

He went out in Jesus name w/ power, but was powerless himself.

Quote: It is a terrible thing to go to Hell from anywhere, but what sorrow must be the portion of those who go to Hell from the church. John Rice

Note: Judas serves to remind us that church attendance, Christian parents, even involvement in ministry do not articulate a genuine faith. (Kim)

Insert: Countless thousands of churchgoers know about Jesus, but they don’t know Him. Truth is, there are two kinds of Judas’ – those who know their faith isn’t genuine, yet b/c of pride they refuse to get right w/ God. Then there are those who genuinely think they are saved, yet they show no evidence of salvation – there is no fruit

Verse: I am the vine and you are the branches… It’s not a single fruit, but that you possess a clump of fruit.

IV Don’t Look a Gift Horse the Mouth

Note: To betray Jesus was no easy task. Judas had to literally climb over ever obstacle Jesus put in his path.

Insert: Jesus knew Judas had betrayed Him, yet He gave Judas a chance to repent.

• He put Judas in a place of honor allowing him to recline to His left.

• He washed his feet and spoke of salvation and cleansing.

• He served Judas the Passover explaining the elements of atonement.

Note: Have you ever thought about how hard God’s made it for you to reject Him?

V Remorse without Repentance Leads Only to Despair

Note: Judas sold out Jesus for a mere pittance – the cost of a slave. Yet later he was remorseful that he did so he tried to give the money back.

Note: His remorse was not repentance though. He was not sorry b/c he sinned against Christ, but b/c his sin did not satisfy him the way he had hoped.

Question: Are you sold out or a sell out? I don’t want Jesus to ever look at me the way he looked at Judas.