It is not good . . . to be hasty and miss the way Proverbs 19:2 (NIV)
When Judas hanged himself after he’d betrayed Jesus, what did he miss? He missed Jesus being nailed to the cross, the loud cry before He breathed His last, the spear piercing His body and the corpse being laid in the tomb. And, three days later, he missed the resurrection!
But it’s more than the death and resurrection of Jesus that Judas missed. By committing suicide Judas missed out on what was accomplished through Christ’s death and resurrection. Here are three benefits from Christ’s death and resurrection that Judas missed:
First, Judas missed the pardon of Christ. When Jesus looked at the mob thirsting for His blood, He cried out, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Now some think that Judas’ betrayal was so heinous and horrible that he could never be forgiven. I don’t. If Judas hadn’t taken his life I believe he could have been pardoned. The grace of God isn’t limited. No one’s outside the scope of God’s love. The Lord doesn’t want “anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Three things are required to come to repentance: acknowledgement of sin, remorse for sin and accepting Christ’s forgiveness. Judas did two of the three. He acknowledged his sin (cf. Matthew27:4), was filled with remorse (cf. Matthew 27:3) but stopped short of asking Jesus to forgive him.
Second, Judas missed the peace of Christ. Three days after dying on the cross, Jesus was resurrected from the dead. If Judas’ life hadn’t come to a terrible end (cf. Acts 1:18) he would have seen the resurrected Christ. If Judas had seen the resurrected Christ he would have come to know freedom from inner strife. That would have changed everything for Judas. It certainly changed the other disciples. “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together . . . Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’” (John 20:19).
Third, Judas missed the power of Christ. We don’t know much about Judas, but we know he was a fervent nationalist who wanted to overthrow Roman rule and return political power to the Jews. Judas wanted power. Yet, when his life ended in “Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood” (Acts 1:19) he missed out on getting the power that surpasses social, political and economic power – he missed out on spiritual power. The other disciples got it. About fifty days after Judas died, a power of unparalleled magnitude swept into the world – Pentecost power – the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 2:1ff) – the power that changed the world!
Judas missed the pardon, the peace and the power of Christ. Don’t make the same mistake . . .