Summary: The falling away of Judas / Exhorting one another to keep the faith!
"Woe to that man"
The Scripture reading this morning will be from Mark 14:10-21
10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So, he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.
12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”
13 And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him.14 Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”
16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.
17 In the evening He came with the twelve. 18 Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.”
19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” And another said, “Is it I?”
20 He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish. 21 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.”
One of the most tragic stories in all the Scripture is the story of Judas Iscariot. Not only does the Bible say it would have been good if he were never born, the Bible says he was a devil from the beginning! He is called the Son of Perdition, which basically means “child of hell”, Acts 1:25 says “He went to his own place” which seems to imply that not only did Judas go to hell, his hell, his punishment will be far worse.
What was his crime? You say “He rejected and betrayed Jesus which led to His crucifixion.” Do you remember what Jesus said those who crucified Him? Father forgive them for they know not what they do. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
When somebody does something wrong you tend to give them a break if they don’t understand all the implications. Not only that I think by nature we look for excuses for bad behavior – “well take it easy on that person, they don’t really know any better – or he’s young, cut him some slack, she’s been through a lot don’t be too hard on her”. We often look for reasons to be merciful and that’s not necessarily a bad thing depending on the motivation but let me say this: its one thing to sin in ignorance, its another to sin willfully. Its one thing to reject Jesus in ignorance, its another to do it knowingly & willfully.
I realize there may be some here who wonder “can a person really reject Jesus and claim ignorance?” Certainly, nobody will be saved out of ignorance but Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians 2 that the rulers of his age were ignorant and Paul would know something about that because in 1 Timothy 1:13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
I believe Judas knew full well that Jesus was the Christ but he betrayed him anyways. Not only that I believe there are many people today who walk away from the faith being fully convinced that the Bible is true but they do it anyway. There is no tragedy greater than this and I also believe that the Bible teaches there is reserved no greater punishment than for those who knowingly reject Christ in a willful manner. Jesus said “To whom much is given much is required!”
Hebrews 10:23-29 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.