Christ Calls to Calvary…the Fallen
This is our theme for tomorrow night’s midweek Lenten series: Christ Calls to Calvary. Tonight, Christ calls the fallen.
Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. (Matthew 26:48-50)
This may be the hardest call to understand and accept. In the end it will be the most important call of all. Judas’ name has been attached to all kinds of images, stories, explanations, excuses, protests, and empathy. Judas is the one who betrays Jesus to the Jewish leaders and their guards.
Judas—was one of the twelve that Jesus called to follow him.
Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him. (Matthew 10:1-4 NAS)
Judas—sold his friend and master for some money.
Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. (Matthew 26:14–15 NAS)
Judas—sat with Jesus when Jesus instituted the Supper. The Supper which continues to offer the body and blood of Jesus even today.
While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:26–28 NAS)
Judas—tried to deny his own plot. At the supper, Jesus says that someone will betray him. Judas joins the other disciples and asks the fateful question, a question that reveals his own plotting even before the meal began:
And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself.” (Matthew 26:25 NAS)
Judas—led the group to Jesus to fulfill his “contract” with the chief priests.
Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” (Matthew 26:14 NAS)
While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people. (Matthew 26:47 NAS)
Judas—realized his sin, and he regretted what he had done. Instead of repenting, though, he was led to despair and ultimately his death.
Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. (Matthew 27:3)
Jesus—endured the betrayal of Judas, the denials of Peter, the abandonment by the other disciples, for our betrayal, our denials, our abandonment of Jesus.
He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:25 HCSB)
Jesus—came to fulfill His heavenly Father’s perfect will.
This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4 HCSB)
Jesus—came to be betrayed, by every one, including Judas—and me. He knew what waited for him, betrayal and death, death on a cross.
[Jesus said:] “Behold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.” (Matthew 26:45 NAS)
Jesus—died on the cross for the sins of every one, Judas—and me.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 HCSB)
Jesus—is God’s perfect amen to every promise he made—for the fallen.
For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in Him. Therefore, the “Amen” is also spoken through Him by us for God’s glory. (2 Corinthians 1:20 HCSB)
Jesus—came for the fallen, for every person—including me. There is hope.
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:11-13 HCSB)
Jesus—has the last word, forgiveness for fallen.