Summary: During the Easter series we will focus on the hands of the people involved. We will begin with Judas. At his hands, Christ was betrayed.

God and Human Hands

“Betraying Hands”

March 6, 2005

Intro: We are beginning a series of talks to lead us through the Easter story up to Easter Sunday. We are going to be focusing on the hands of the people involved.

Hands can be fascinating. You can tell all kinds of stories with your hands.

One source said:

“Hands are the essence of the individual. They speak more eloquently than our words, since the action of our hands come from the heart.”

Today we are going to look at the human hands of Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples.

I. The Betrayer

Judas is the only disciple not from the region of Galilee; he is from Judea.

Judas was a chosen follower of Christ.

“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles; Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”

Luke 6:12-16 (NIV)

Judas was the treasurer of the disciples.

“Keeper of the money bag.” John 12:6(NIV)

Judas was a thief

A woman came to anoint Jesus with expensive perfume. Judas objects because of the loss of the value of the perfume.

“‘Why wasn’t this oil sold and the money given to the poor? It would have easily brought three hundred silver pieces.’ He said this not because he cared two cents about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of their common funds, but also embezzled them.” John 12:5-6(The Message)

Judas was a betrayer.

In the listing of the disciples in Luke 6, Judas is defined as a traitor.

“and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.” Luke 6:16

The original language literally means “the one who handed Jesus over.”

“Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.” Luke 22:1-6(NIV)

**Show scene from “The Passion of the Christ”

Judas set into motion the events that led to the cross.

II. The Price

For Jesus, the price was crucifixion.

For Judas, the price was guilt and shame.

“Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. 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.” Matthew 27:1-5(NIV)

The guilt of Judas led to death.

“‘Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus—he was one of our number and shared in the ministry.’ (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).” Acts 1:16-19(NIV)

III. The Choice

All of us have, at some level betrayed God. The question becomes, what do we do next?

All of us are guilty of betraying God.

“There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3:10(NIV)

“It’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, everyone of us in the same sinking boat with everyone else.”

Romans 3:23(The Message)

Our guilt can overwhelm us.

“I’m swamped by my bad behavior, collapsed under gunnysacks of guilt.” Psalm 38:4(The Message)

“For I recognize my shameful deeds—they haunt me day and night.” Psalm 51:3(NLT)

Judas was overwhelmed by his sin. He was destroyed by guilt and shame.

Our guilt can lead to freedom.

“Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets.”

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