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Summary: What is the meaning of Acts 1:18 when it says of Judas, "He burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out"? This is the final in a series of "Seventy-Two Hours Jesus Was In The Tomb." The order of the other sermons are: "Was Jesus Crucified On

EASTER: BEHOLD! HE STINKETH

TEXT: Acts 1:15-21

INTRODUCTION: (Explain Wed. Crucifixion again) Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, proceeded the Lord in death. His death was by his own hand. Judas’ name is always accompanied in Scripture by such identifying descriptions as “who betrayed the Lord, was a thief, traitor,” ect.

This identity has carried through to today. It is a name of reproach. Webster’s defines Judas as: a treacherous person; one who betrays under the semblance of friendship. A more despicable act than Judas’ betrayal of Christ has never been perpetrated in all of history.

We know very little about him before his call as a disciple. From the name Iscariot, it may be that he was from the town of Kerioth, located in southern Judah which was probably the land originally given to Simeon. (Joshua 15:25).

We looked at Judas last Sunday evening and discussed many reasons why he might have betrayed the Lord, so we will not cover that here. There is plenty more we can learn from Judas.

Judas had been sent with the other eleven to the Jewish people proclaiming that the kingdom of heaven was nigh. Evidently he was active with the others in preaching, healing, and casting our demons.

Which shows us that the acts we see today which people call miracles, could indeed be counterfeit. Done in the power of Satan. In fact that is exactly what Matthew 7:21-23 21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

You better believe Judas had the same powers as the rest or else he would have surely looked out of place and very suspect. Not everything that claims to be power from God, is.

As the twelve became an organized body, regularly traveling and preaching, there were gifts of money and other offerings given to them. And of course this would mean that a treasurer was needed. And Judas was selected for this office.

John 13:29 29For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

With this responsibility and in control of large sums of money, Judas began to steal from the treasury. Covetousness and greed began to grow in his heart. John 12:6 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

We clearly see in Judas why coveting is one of the Ten Commandments and so evil. Ex. 20:17 17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

My purpose this morning isn’t to speculate on the motives that may have influenced Judas’ betrayal. I covered that also last Sunday evening. If you are interested ask for a copy of the sermon.

But my purpose this morning is to show (among other things) that Judas was a suicide by hanging – that his death was not discovered until the three Sabbaths had begun, which made it impossible to remove his body and bury it because of the Sabbath restrictions.

At the same time it strengthens an already inflexible argument that there were indeed three Sabbaths end to end.

I. HOPE OF GAIN WAS NOT HELD BY JUDAS ALONE

In fairness to the facts we must admit that a hope of personal gain was not only held by Judas alone. James and John had coveted seats on the right and left in Jesus’ kingdom. Mark 10:37 37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

Peter had asked what they would receive because they had left everything to follow Jesus. Matthew 19:27 27Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

There seems to have been a continual competitiveness of the disciples on this issue of power and honor. If this hadn’t been characteristic of the disciples in general, they no doubt would have readily spotted this flaw in Judas.

Look at Matthew 18:1-4. The argument of who was the greatest was again brought up to the Lord. Jesus sat a small child in they’re midst to demonstrate who would be the greatest in His kingdom.

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