The role of Judas Iscariot
Who does not know who Judas Iscariot is? His name is branded in history never to be forgotten even by those who do not belong to the Christian religion. The prevailing belief is that he was used by God to betray His Son so that the prophecies might be fulfilled. He was used so that the prophecy of the death of Jesus would be fulfilled so that Jesus would carry the sins of humanity on His Shoulders.
According to this belief Judas was goaded, pushed and forced to betray His Master and as such had no responsibility in the events that unfolded. He was not to be accounted guilty and as such is to be considered innocent of this betrayal. In other words this was not actually a betrayal but an act of God Who had chosen Judas for this role!
Now there are several issues which arise at once from this supposition: firstly, we must assume that indeed the true Mission of the Son of God was to come solely to suffer death on the Cross, secondly we must also assume that Judas had no free will of his own but was forced by God to commit his act, thirdly we must assume from the outset that God is not Perfect and that He arbitrarily interferes with the free will of men since He must have robbed Judas of his will in this case. Fourthly we must also assume that God is so unjust as to allow an innocent person to carry the sins of others on his shoulders, something which is impossible and unacceptable in human justice.
To continue with this discussion it is imperative to state here that God’s inviolable Perfection is what is taken as a basis and this position cannot be pushed aside or moved by so much as a hair’s breath. Now having established this fact it must be realised that God does not interfere with the free will of man! Man has absolute free will of action and decision and this will never be interfered with by God. It is therefore clear from this statement that Judas acted absolutely on his own in his betrayal of Jesus the Son of God.
As a result he must be accountable for his actions in this matter and this re-establishes the concept of betrayal in this matter, something which must not be assumed in regard to the widespread established explanations. If he was forced by God then his action was not a betrayal, but if he acted out of his own free will then his action is a betrayal.
God does not use human beings for murder! God uses human beings for the good, for peace and progress. Certainly the nailing of the Son of God to the Cross cannot be regarded as an act of peace and progress or a good thing!
Jesus Himself made this clear when he used the term “betrayal” when He referred to the matter. A betrayal is a betrayal, no matter how we want to explain it. It is a sin against the Will of God. Jesus went even further when He said that it was better for the traitor if he had not been born! “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. (Matthew 26:24)”
Now why would Jesus say this if Judas was not acting on his own out of his free will and if he was forced by God! This is a damning statement which completely nullifies all pre-existing interpretations of the Mission and death of Jesus and the role of Judas in this death.
If Judas was being used as a tool for the fulfilment and was doing the Will of God then why this statement? Why did Jesus call his act a betrayal? Why did Judas hang himself after his deed? Only because he became aware that what he did was wrong!
God did not send His Son to this earth with the aim for Him to die for humanity and carry their burden of sin of His Shoulders. If this concept is not possible in our earthly system of justice and regarded as unjust that another person innocent of a crime to bear the brunt of someone else’s crime and carry this crime on his shoulders, how much more impossible must this be in the Eyes of God Who is the Epitome of Justice Itself?
People like to talk about prophecies, saying that it is because so that the prophecies might be fulfilled. Yes, His death was prophesied but that prophecy was nothing but an objective account of how He would fare in the hands of men! Him coming from the Light of God to bring the Word of God to mankind living in the darkness. Mankind who had even come to worship this darkness. It was inevitable that this mankind who had become subservient to this darkness would attack a Messenger from the Light. It is natural because the darkness hates the Light.
Men who had become servants of the darkness naturally had to attack this Luminous Messenger from the Light. The prophecy was an account of how Jesus, Who is the Living Light would fare in this environment dominated by darkness and hate. In spite of this Jesus still took upon His Mission and came for the few who were longing for the Light. He risked His Life for this few and died on the cross so that His Word would be preserved for the sake of this few who were longing for the Light.
If He had fled, His Word over the centuries would inevitably have been enveloped by doubt and nothing of It would have been left. This is the greatest Sacrifice of Love for humanity for Him to die for the sake of the Word that He brought so that we might continue to have access to this Word and act accordingly.
The true Mission of Jesus was to bring the Word to mankind so that we might have direct access to this Word and act accordingly. Only the adherence to this Word would lead to the remission of sins and nothing else. The Word of Jesus is the way to salvation and forgiveness and closeness to God.
We must see to it that our idea of our Saviour and our vision of Him is not obscured by blind faith so that we would be able to appreciate His Sacrifice in greater glory than is possible with existing interpretations. What He did for us is all the greater if we truly understand it in all its glory. It does not diminish the Mission of Jesus but on the contrary, it makes His Mission all the more sublime so that we must now be more determined to delve into His Word and live It to the full.